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2009 OU Football Preview: Quarterbacks

 

It’s not so much a rarity for a school to have a Heisman Trophy candidate line up under center to start the college football season but to have a Heisman winner under center to start the season is a bit of an oddity. Florida and Oklahoma both have the luxury of quarterbacks who will be competing to join Archie Griffin in the two-time Heisman winner club.

 

The greatness of Sam Bradford was possibly lost a little bit in 2008 in the midst of all the records shattered by Oklahoma’s high powered offense. He passed for an eye popping 4,720 with a ratio of 50 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions. When you consider the amount of time Bradford spent on the bench due to blowout wins those numbers become even more staggering.

As a junior, Bradford will once again be called on to carry the success of Oklahoma’s offense on his shoulders. Those out there who are expecting gloom and doom for Bradford in 2009 should consider a few things. While the offensive line is revamped it is far from inexperienced (O-Line Preview Still To Come). The stable of running backs in `09 should be even better than in `08 because of the addition of Jermie Calhoun and a healthy DeMarco Murray. While not necessarily starters in `08 Ryan Broyles and Adron Tennell have plenty of game experience and add to the mix JUCO transfer Cameron Kenny and OU has game breakers on the edges. Tight end Jermaine Gresham was unstoppable as a junior and returns for his senior year for more of the same. With Oklahoma’s quick strike offense Sam Bradford has a homerun threat at every possible option. Still, there are those expecting Bradford to suffer a slump as TexasColt McCoy did his sophomore season but there is one thing erroneously left out of that equation. Colt McCoy didn’t have the talent around him that Sam Bradford does!

 

To be realistic it isn’t quite fair to expect Bradford to duplicate what he did in 2008 this fall. His list of awards and accomplishments was record breaking for a reason and may not be surpassed for a long, long time. Along with the Heisman Trophy Sam Bradford was the Davey O'Brien Award winner, the Sammy Baugh Trophy winner, the Chic Harley Award winner and AP and Sporting News First Team All-American. He was named as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches, All-Big 12 first team by the coaches and the AP and All-Big 12 Academic first team and ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA. He became the first quarterback to win two Big 12 titles and led the nation in TD passes (50) and passing efficiency (180.84) as well as setting OU records for touchdowns in a season and a career (86). He set school records for passing yards in one season (4,720), total offense in one season (4,767) and 300-yard passing games in one season (12) and set NCAA record for TD passes during the freshman/sophomore seasons with 86. Bradford threw five TDs in four different games and moved up to # 2 in OU career passing yards (7,841).

 

Behind Bradford Oklahoma has inexperience making his protection all the more a priority. Redshirt freshman Landry Jones was touted as the #6 quarterback in the nation by both Rivals and Scout. In Oklahoma’s spring game he completed 5 of 12 passes for 73 yards with one score and a touchdown. True freshman Drew Allen was also highly touted coming out of high school (Rivals had him listed as the nation’s #15 pro-style quarterback). He’s most likely looking at a redshirt in 2009.