clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oklahoma’s Greatest Football All-American (1949-1950)

Paul "Buddy" Burris was our overwhelming choice for Oklahoma’s Greatest Football All-American from 1946-1948. He received all of the votes but two in our poll and moves on as a strong favorite to the second round.

Buddy_medium
Paul "Buddy" Burris 1946, 1947, 1948

Let's move on to 1949-1950 where Oklahoma produced nine All-Americans - the most in any two year period to that point. Among the Sooner greats during this period were a four-time selection, future Oklahoma Athletic Director, Texas Longhorn coaching legend and the leader of Oklahoma’s first national championship team.

This could be the most difficult vote yet with so many greats to select from but we are looking for the greatest of all time so that means eliminating some truly worthy legends.

Stanley West, G - 1949
Stanley West earned All-America honors in 1949. Standing 6-1, 236 pounds, West was considered the biggest man on the squad probably because most said he had the biggest appetite on the team.

The all-conference selection used his speed and elusive lateral movement on defense to frustrate opponents' offenses time after time. He was co-captain of the 1949 team and considered to be one of the top offensive blockers. He played a large part in getting three different Sooner halfbacks rushing and scoring conference titles during 1946-48.

He was the eighth player taken in the 1950 draft by the Los Angeles Rams.

Wade Walker, T - 1949
Wade Walker was named an All-American during the 1949 season. He is one of only three Sooners to earn all-conference honors for four years.

During his career he blocked three different OU running backs to rushing and scoring titles: Joe Golding in 1946, George Brewer in 1947 and George Thomas in 1948. While he was at Oklahoma, the Sooners lost only one conference game. During his senior year, OU defeated Louisiana State to complete the winningest season in school history at 11-0.

He was drafted in the 19th round by the Buffalo Bills in 1950. He returned to his alma mater to serve as director of athletics in the '70's, retiring from OU in the spring of 1986.

George Thomas, HB/DB - 1949
George Thomas earned All-America honors in 1949. He led the conference in rushing during both the 1948 and '49 seasons. During the 1948 season, he averaged 6.7 yards per carry and rushed for 159 yards against Santa Clara.

He was also an outstanding cover man who could play the run and pass equally well. His three-year total of 2,007 yards set the career rushing record at OU. He also held almost every school scoring record for a game, single season and multiple season.

His outstanding speed was also utilized on the track team, as he ran on the winning 440-yard relay team at the 1949 Texas Relays. He was the 12th player taken in the 1950 draft by the Washington Redskins.

Darrell Royal, QB/DB - 1949
Darrell Royal was named an All-American during the 1949 season. One of the greatest all-around players ever to compete for the Sooners, he led Oklahoma in passing during his senior year with 509 yards while rushing for 189 yards. During that season he completed 34-of-63 attempts with only one interception.

His punting ability was second to none, which he displayed when he booted one 81 yards against Oklahoma A&M in 1948. His ability on defense almost surpassed what he accomplished on offense. He is the all-time interception leader at OU with 17. The all-conference selection also was an outstanding punt returner.

During the 1948 season, he had returns of 73 and 95 yards for touchdowns. The latter is tied for the eighth-longest play in school history.

He was drafted during the 20th round by the New York Bulldogs in 1950. He went on to become a legendary coaching figure at the University of Texas.

Jim Owens, E - 1949
Jim Owens earned All-America honors in 1949. The Oklahoma City native was considered the finest downfield blocker on the team. Owens was also a vicious tackler on defense.

Another dimension of his ability came out early in his career as he caught five passes, including one for a touchdown, against Texas during his freshman year. He stung the 'Horns again his senior year when he caught the winning touchdown from QB Darrell Royal. Also during that year, he had the key blocks on three of the Sooners' touchdowns against Missouri.

The two-time all-conference selection was drafted during the 23rd round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1949. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

Jim Weatherall, T - 1950, 1951
Jim Weatherall was a consensus All-American during both 1950 and '51. He opened many of the holes for OU's high-powered offense that finished ninth nationally in rushing offense and seventh in total offense. He also was the placekicker for the Sooners.

Weatherall was the first player in OU history to win the Outland Trophy, awarded to the outstanding lineman in the country. In 1975, he was inducted into the Helms and Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame.

The two-time all-conference selection was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1952. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

Buddy Jones, S - 1950
Buddy Jones earned All-America honors in 1950. A 5-10, 155-pound safety, Jones played well above his size throughout his career.
 
His outstanding play during both the 1949 and '50 Sugar Bowls were key factors in the Sooner wins.
 
Oklahoma's secondary was passed on more times (290) than any other team in the nation during the 1949 season. Jones' ability was one of the major reasons OU gave up only five touchdown passes during that season.
 
Jones also saw time at halfback during the 1947 season, where he averaged nearly eight yards a carry.

Leon Heath, FB/LB - 1950
Leon Heath earned consensus All-America honors in 1950. The powerful fullback was voted the outstanding player of the 1950 Sugar Bowl. During that game he set an OU rushing record of 170 yards with touchdown runs of 86 and 34 yards. He was also an outstanding linebacker.

He led the nation in average yards per carry in 1949 with 9.12 yards on each attempt. During 1948-50, Heath was a large part of the Sooners' 16-0 record in the conference and the first national title in OU history in 1950.

He was the 12th player taken in the 1951 draft by the Washington Redskins.

Frankie Anderson, E - 1950
Frankie Anderson earned All-America honors in 1950. Considered an extremely aggressive and explosive end, the all-conference selection threw Iowa State backs for 50 yards in losses in just 14 minutes during the 1948 game at Ames, Iowa. During that season, he led the Sooners in receiving and finished second to Jim Owens the following year.

In his first varsity game as a freshman at defensive guard, he caused a fumble against Missouri that OU converted into a touchdown.

He was drafted in the 11th round by the Detroit Lions in 1951.

Poll

Who was Oklahoma's greatest football All-American from 1949 - 1950?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Stanley West, G - 1949
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Wade Walker, T - 1949
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    George Thomas, HB/DB - 1949
    (2 votes)
  • 42%
    Darrell Royal, QB/DB - 1949
    (14 votes)
  • 12%
    Jim Owens, E - 1949
    (4 votes)
  • 21%
    Jim Weatherall, T - 1950, 1951
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Buddy Jones, S - 1950
    (0 votes)
  • 12%
    Leon Heath, FB/LB - 1950
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Frankie Anderson, E - 1950
    (0 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now