How are things, Sooner fans? I hope it’s been a solid Sunday so far. As of today, there are officially less than two weeks between now and the start of the Oklahoma Sooners’ 2018 season. For today’s Countdown to Kickoff special, I want to take a closer look at a do-it-all player who regularly made big plays on teams with big names. I’m talking about tailback/receiver Steve Sewell.
Coming all the way from San Francisco, Calif. in 1981, Sewell’s physical gifts allowed him to stand out. At 6’3”, he was taller than most backs, so whenever he ran, it looked as if his long frame wasn’t moving as fast. Rest assured, he had great speed, and his smooth, yet deceptive running style sometimes lulled defenders into taking poor angles. Of course, he burned them whenever they did.
For four years in Barry Switzer’s dynamic offense, Sewell shared the backfield with guys like Buster Rhymes, Stanley Wilson, Marcus Dupree and Spencer Tillman. While Sewell was never the No. 1 option, he could always be relied upon to provide a spark when his number was called.
From 1981 to 1984, Sewell totaled 1,738 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns in 47 games played. It was a very productive career for someone who was never the primary bell cow of the offense.
Though his college career wasn’t statistically prolific, his extraordinary talent didn’t go unnoticed. In the 1985 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Steve Sewell with the 26th overall pick of the first round.
Sewell spent all seven of his years in the NFL with the Broncos, accumulating 3,318 all-purpose yards (917 rushing, 2,354 receiving) and 26 TDs over the entirety of his professional career. He also reached the Super Bowl three times, but unfortunately Denver came up short in each instance. Still, he’ll always have those experiences to look back on, including this 23-yard pass to John Elway in Super Bowl XXII.
Steve Sewell finished up his Sooner career right before Oklahoma won the 1985 National Championship, and he retired from football six years before Denver won back-to-back Super Bowls. No matter — the man didn’t need those championships for his playing career to be validated. He made an impact wherever he went and was a class act through and through.
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