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Oklahoma’s Greatest Football All-American (2003)

Heupel_medium 
Josh Heupel - 2000

Roy Williams made a late push but it just wasn’t enough to close the gap between he and Josh Heupel so the quarterback who led the Sooners to the 2000 national championship moves on past Superman with a 33% to 29% margin. Now we move on our next to the last group of Sooner All-Americans which includes players from what possibly could have been the greatest Sooner squad of all time and certainly was the best of the Bob Stoops era despite not winning a national championship.  

In 2003 Oklahoma had seven All-Americans including their 4th Heisman Trophy winner. They blew through their competition including conference opponents Texas A&M and Texas by a combined score of 142-13. There are lots of theories out there as to what happened to that team in the post season by no one really knows. What I do know is that they were a lot of fun to watch!

Tell us who you think was the greatest in 2003.

Jason White, QB - 2003
Jason White brought home Oklahoma's fourth Heisman Trophy in 2003 with a record-setting campaign. He became the first Sooner QB to win the trophy and was named Associated Press, Sporting News and CNNSI.com College Player of the Year.

White was a consensus All-American, consensus Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and Davey O'Brien Award winner along with Sports Illustrated and Sporting News Player of the Year honors.

White set Oklahoma school records for touchdown passes (40) and consecutive completions (16) and ranks No. 2 for passing yards in a season and No. 4 for passing yards in a career. He exceeded 200 passing yards in 12 games and was over 300 yards in four including a season-high 394 yards at Texas Tech.

White completed 17-of-21 passes in Oklahoma's 65-13 win over Texas and was 16-of-18 for 263 yards and five touchdowns while playing just the first half against Texas A&M. He ranked No. 1 in the nation in passing efficiency.

White's accomplishments stand alone but are even more amazing considering he battled back from two season-ending injuries. The NCAA granted White's request to return to OU for the 2004 season.

Derrick Strait, DB - 2003
Derrick Strait dupliacted former OU great Roy Williams by winning the Nagurski (best defensive player) and Thorpe (best defensive back) Awards in 2003. Strait earned consensus All-American and All-Big 12 honors as a senior. He was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Strait set school records for starts (53), career interception return yards (397) and passes broken up (53). The Austin native ignited Oklahoma's 65-13 win over Texas with a season-high 11 tackles, an interception, a 30-yard return, two fumble recoveries and three pass deflections against the Longhorns.

Strait was a Thorpe Award semifinalist and consensus first team All-Big 12 selection in 2002.He started every game at corner and tied for the OU lead with six interceptions. He contributed immediately as a redshirt freshman and was named Big 12 Conference Defensive Newcomer of the Year in Oklahoma's 2000 National Championship season.

Antonio Perkins, DB/KR/PR - 2003
Antonio Perkins was a consensus All-American at return specialist for OU in 2003. Perkins displayed an uncanny knack for finding holes in the opponent's return coverage and the speed to take advantage of breakdowns.

He set an NCAA record with four punt returns for touchdowns during the season and also set NCAA records for touchdown returns in one game (three) and punt return yards in a game (277) against UCLA.

He set an Oklahoma school record for career punt return yards and is just one punt return for a touchdown shy of the all-time NCAA career record. His TD returns against UCLA were 84, 74 and 65 yards along with a 69-yard return against Missouri.

Perkins started every game of the 2003 season at cornerback and recorded two interceptions. Perkins also excelled in the classroom with All-Big 12 Academic honors.

Teddy Lehman, LB - 2002, 2003
Teddy Lehman was named the Butkus Award winner as the most outstanding linebacker in college football in 2003 after bing a finalist in 2002. Lehman led the team his senior season with 117 tackles, including 63 solo, with two sacks and one interception.

The Ft. Gibson, Okla., native also had a team-high 19 tackles for loss (47 yards) and forced a fumble. Lehman was the leader of Oklahoma's top-ranked defense in 2003, guiding the Sooners to the National Championship game in the Sugar Bowl and a 12-2 record.

During his junior season in 2002, Lehman logged 112 tackles, including 17 for loss and two sacks in his junior season. He also had two interceptions, which went for 51 yards in returns, including one that set up the go-ahead touchdown against Texas.

Lehman's speed, which made him an outstanding high school sprinter, set the Sooner linebacker apart from his peers. He repeated as a consensus All-American in 2003 after first earning the honor in 2002.

Tommie Harris, DT - 2002, 2003
Defensive tackle Tommie Harris earned consensus All-America honors in 2003 after being named to three All-America teams as a sophomore in 2002.

Harris became the 12th Oklahoma player to be a finalist and the third to win the Lombardi Award in 2003. The junior from Killeen, Texas, won the recognition as the nation's top college lineman, making good on a pledge to return and win the honor after being a runner-up in 2002.

Harris was the anchor of a defensive unit that was near the top of virtually every statistical category in 2003. He had 37 tackles, including 10 for losses, five sacks and a fumble recovery.

"It's almost like in the days of Joe Washington,'' Oklahoma defensive line coach Jackie Shipp said. "When the ball was snapped, everyone looked to see what Joe would do. As a defensive tackle, we all want to see what Tommie is going to do next.'"

Harris? sophomore season in 2002 was a testament to the nationwide success the Oklahoma defensive tackle had achieved. Slowed all season by a groin injury suffered in August drills, Harris still faced double teams week after week. Despite that attention, he was named to three All-America teams and was a finalist for the Bednarik and Lombardi Awards. Harris bypassed his senior season to make himself eligible for the 2004 NFL Draft.

Mark Clayton, WR - 2003, 2004
Oklahoma receiver Mark Clayton was a two-time All-American for the Sooners in 2003 and 2004. As a senior, Clayton led the team in receptions (62) and receiving yards (855) with eight touchdowns. Clayton also returned seven punts for 101 yards and one TD.

As a junior in 2003, was a Biletnikoff Award finalist as the nation's top receiver and a consensus All-Big 12 pick.

Clayton set school records for career receiving yards (2,365), season receiving yards (1,425), receiving yards in a game (190 vs. Texas, 2003), most receptions in a season (83), most touchdown receptions in a career (23) and season (15) and career 100-yard receiving games (11).

Clayton had a string of eight straight games with a TD reception during the 2003 season and 13 of his last 16 games. He also had eight 100-yard receiving games his junior year with 10 receptions for 40 or more yards, the most ever by an OU player (Tinker Owens had seven in 1973).

Clayton was a devastating blocker on special teams credited with five tackles on kickoff coverage including 12 knockdowns against Texas.

Jammal Brown, OT - 2003, 2004
Offensive tackle Jammal Brown was a named a unanimous All-American in 2004. The Lawton, Okla., native was also an All-American in 2003 and a three-time All-Big 12 Conference standout for the Sooners.

Brown won the 2004 Outland Trophy presented to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman. He became the fifth Outland winner from Oklahoma and the first since Greg Roberts in 1978.

As a senior in 2004, Brown paved the way for running back Adrian Peterson and protected quarterback Jason White -- both Heisman Trophy finalists -- as the Sooners completed a second consecutive undefeated regular season and won the 2004 Big 12 Conference Championship.

Brown led the team in knockdowns and did not allow a sack or a quarterback hurry the entire season. The 2004 Sooner offensive line surrendered just seven sacks in 12 games.

As a junior in 2003, Brown had the highest season grade among Oklahoma's offensive linemen and finished with a team-high 127 knockdown blocks and just one sack allowed. Brown's athleticism and speed for a 313-pounder were on display in OU's win over UCLA when he ran down Bruin linebacker Spencer Havner to make a touchdown-saving tackle at the end of a 72-yard interception return.

As a sophomore, Brown had 80 knockdowns with just one penalty and was just one percentage point out of the team lead in offensive line grading. He started every game at right tackle and was part of a line that allowed just 18 sacks all season (less than two per game).

Brown contributed early as a redshirt freshman in 2001 when he played several series at right tackle at Nebraska. He earned All-State honors in high school as one of the top defensive tackles in the nation at Lawton Macarthur.

Poll

Who was Oklahoma's Greatest All-American in 2003?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Jason White, QB - 2003
    (29 votes)
  • 1%
    Derrick Strait, DB - 2003
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Antonio Perkins, DB/KR/PR - 2003
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Teddy Lehman, LB - 2002, 2003
    (3 votes)
  • 33%
    Tommie Harris, DT - 2002, 2003
    (24 votes)
  • 12%
    Mark Clayton, WR - 2003, 2004
    (9 votes)
  • 2%
    Jammal Brown, OT - 2003, 2004
    (2 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now