Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The 10 best Big 12 players ever: No. 4
By David Ubben
We're in the middle of counting down the top 10 players in the history of the Big 12. I'm sure you'll all agree with my selections.
See more on my criteria here.
Let's move on with the list:
No. 4: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma (2006-2009)
Why he's on the list: Bradford was Oklahoma's starting quarterback for only two seasons, really, but they were two of the best of any quarterback in college football history. He finished his career as college football's all-time leader in career passer rating, at 175.62, but his season in 2008 was one of the greatest statistical years of any major quarterback ever. He tossed 50 touchdowns to just eight interceptions while helping Oklahoma score more points than any offense in college football history.
Bradford was as accurate as any quarterback to ever play college football, but he had a huge arm and made great decisions constantly. He was a modest, three-star recruit who struggled late in his high school career, but racked up 36 touchdowns and just eight interceptions after winning the Oklahoma job as a redshirt freshman in 2007. He threw for 8,403 yards in just over two seasons as the Sooners' starter, and fell just short in 2008 of grabbing Oklahoma's eighth national title. He finished that season with a Heisman Trophy, as well as the Davey O'Brien Award and the Sammy Baugh Trophy. He thrashed Missouri in the Big 12 title game in both seasons as a Sooners, earning a pair of Big 12 championship rings.
His career ended in frustrating fashion, essentially with a shoulder injury in the 2009 season opener. He came back in the middle of the season but re-injured it early in a loss to Texas and never made the field again as a Sooner after electing to undergo season-ending surgery. The St. Louis Rams made him the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
The rest of the list:
- No. 5: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
- No. 6: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
- No. 7: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
- No. 8: Jason White, QB, Oklahoma
- No. 9: Roy Williams, S, Oklahoma
- No. 10: Tavon Austin, WR/KR/RB/PR, West Virginia