Happy Tuesday, OU fans! We are now only 11 days away from the return of Oklahoma Sooners football! In today’s edition of our countdown to kickoff we will highlight a player known for his highlights. We present to you the 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist, Dede Westbrook.
At 6’0” tall and 176 pounds, Westbrook has had to heavily rely on his primary advantage — speed. Unfortunately for the defensive backs he lines up against, his amount of speed is simply unfair.
Westbrook arrived in Norman from Blinn Community College in 2015. While he was regarded as one of the better junior college prospects in his class, the Oklahoma receiver that received the most attention at the time was Sterling Shepard, and justifiably so.
Westbrook had a solid first season and complimented Shepard well, recording 743 yards on 46 receptions with four touchdowns. Shepard would move on to the NFL after the season, and people were left wondering who would step up and become Baker Mayfield’s go-to pass catcher.
In 2016, something amazing unfolded. After dealing with a hamstring injury during the first three games of the season, Dede exploded onto the scene. Game after game after game, Westbrook was re-writing the record books with 100-yard games, 200-yard games and multiple touchdowns per contest. Perhaps the most incredible part of his run was that aside from his sheer consistency, the plays he was making were all so consistently spectacular.
On October 8th, in the Red River Shootout, Westbrook had a game that would turn out to be his best, statistically, of the season. With 10 receptions, Dede totaled 232 yards and scored three touchdowns. His first score was a 71-yard bomb courtesy of Baker Mayfield, the next a display of phenomenal route running for a 42-yard TD, and his third was from 47-yards out in which he turned on the jets and zoomed right past seemingly the entire UT defense.
Overall, Dede Westbrook finished the season with 80 catches for 1,574 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading all Power 5 receivers in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. His historic season made him a unanimous First Team All-American, and he became OU’s first ever Biletnikoff Award winner, which is given to the nation’s top receiver. Westbrook was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, along with his teammate Baker Mayfield, finishing 4th in the voting.
Westbrook has since turned the page on his Sooner career. He entered the 2017 NFL draft and was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 4th round. Westbrook has been making a lot of noise in the preseason, and in his first preseason game, he did this:
In his second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Westbrook recorded an eye-popping 131 yards on six receptions. If there’s one thing us Oklahoma fans know about Dede, it’s that he has a knack for big plays, and by all accounts, he looks primed and ready to showcase his extraordinary ability in Jacksonville, too.
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