The University of Oklahoma has produced 152 football All-Americans starting with Claude Reeds back in 1913. However, the decade of the 90's was particularly thin for OU as the program only produced two All-Americans. Defensive end Cedric Jones was the last player selected before the Bob Stoops era began. Oklahoma then went from 1995 until 2000 before having another player named with the honor. JT Thatcher was one of the players to change that.
Thatcher was a hometown kid from Norman. He initially came to Oklahoma as a wide receiver in 1997. In 1998 he was moved to running back before finally finding his home at defensive back when Bob Stoops arrived in 1999. Thatcher was a crucial part of Oklahoma's run to the national title in 2000 and was rewarded will All-American status both as a defensive back and a special teams player.
A semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award, Thatchers set a school record with 8 interceptions in a season. He nabbed three against Kansas and also broke up six passes in that game. For the season he also had 16 pass deflections and recorded 60 tackles.
Defense wasn't the only place Thatcher excelled though. He was also second in the Big 12, and ninth nationally, in punt return average with 15.8 yards per return. Against Arkansas State he set a school record with 160 yards on 5 punt returns including a 66-yard return for a score. He also returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown against Baylor.