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2016 Oklahoma Sooners Football Countdown To Kickoff | 15 Days!

JT Thatcher dazzled as a returner in 2000

Orange Bowl X Thatcher Getty Images

We’re only 15 days away from the season opener against Houston, and today we highlight JT Thatcher.

Thatcher starred as both a free safety and a return specialist on the 2000 National Championship squad, earning All-America honors in both capacities. He’s tied for the OU record with three interceptions in a game (vs. Rice in 2000) and is second all time with eight interceptions in a season. His playmaking ability and open-field prowess led to some of the most memorable moments of the 2000 season.

Thatcher’s two punt return touchdowns and lack of a kick return touchdown in 2000 can mislead, as he regularly put the Sooners in great field position without quite reaching the endzone. The best example is his kickoff return against Kansas State, which was originally called a touchdown but was later ruled down about a foot outside of the endzone. It was just as good as a touchdown, however, as OU would punch it in and take the lead on the very next play.