NORMAN — Bob Stoops enters his 15th season as Oklahoma’s head football coach this fall.
Over that time, he’s led the Sooners to a national title, eight Big 12 championships and numerous other accolades.
He’s also helped develop some of college football’s best players over the last decade and a half.
Today begins a look from myself and Jason Kersey at the best 15 Oklahoma football players over Stoops’ tenure. We begin with No. 15, one of Stoops’ first recruits, safety Brandon Everage.
Jersey No.: 7
Years played: 1999-2003
Hometown: Granger, Texas
Big 12 championships: 2
National championships: 1
Individual awards won: AFCA and Pro Football Weekly All-American in 2002.
Notable: Everage was a high school quarterback who was part of Stoops’ first recruiting class in 1999, picking the Sooners over Kansas State. … He was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2002. … Everage had 94 tackles, six interceptions and three sacks in 2002. … As a senior, he had 60 tackles. … He finished his career with 285 tackles and 10 interceptions and went 4-0 against Texas. … Everage drowned in a Texas river in 2011.
THREE MEMORABLE GAMES
Oklahoma 44, Air Force 3
When: September 1, 2001
Where: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Everage’s day: After reinjuring his ankle in the first quarter, Everage turned in perhaps his most memorable performances, finishing with 12 tackles (10 unassisted) and helping limit the Falcons to just 2.6 yards per carry and just three points—the first time in five seasons the Academy had been held without a touchdown.
Oklahoma 31, Missouri 24
When: Oct. 5, 2002
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
Everage’s Day: The Sooners trailed 24-23 with 7:28 left in regulation when Everage’s interception set the Sooners up for a touchdown on a fake field goal try to beat the Tigers on the road and remain unbeaten heading into the next week’s meeting with Texas.
Oklahoma 49, Iowa State 3
When: Oct. 19, 2002
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman
Everage’s Day: Everage had two interceptions, four pass break-ups, a sack, three tackles and a quarterback hurry as the No. 2 Sooners destroyed No. 9 Iowa State and star quarterback Seneca Wallace. The Sooners held the Cyclones more than 370 yards below their average entering the game.