- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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A glimpse at the Ultimate 300 underscores the greatness of Oklahoma’s Class of 2006.
The Sooners signees included five members of the Ultimate 300 including the Big 12’s top-ranked member, Gerald McCoy at No. 19. The Class of 2006 was the foundation of OU’s 2008 team that lost to Florida in the BCS national championship game.
Here’s a closer look at the five Ultimate 300 players who comprised that exceptional class including what was said about them when they signed.
No. 19 Gerald McCoy, defensive tackle, Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Southeast
Ranking out of high school: The No. 21 player in the ESPN 150.
What ESPN recruiting analysts said at the time: “McCoy has that rare mixture of skills and size that will allow him to fill a number of different roles for a defense as a tackle and be a real force to handle.”
His OU career: Started every game he played at Oklahoma as he became an two-time All-American. As a junior, 46 percent of his tackles were for loss (15.5 of 34) during his final season in Norman. McCoy finished his career with 83 tackles including 33 for loss and 14.5 sacks in 40 games started.
No. 37 Sam Bradford, quarterback, Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Putnam City North
Ranking out of high school: The No. 16 quarterback in the nation with a scout’s grade of 79.
What ESPN recruiting analysts said at the time: “At times he looks awkward in his movements and is not a very fluid athlete, but the bottom line is that he is very productive and makes plays with his arm. He's still on the lean side and must bulk up, but that will come with maturity and a college weight program. Very good prospect.”
His OU career: The 2008 Heisman Trophy winner who destroyed records during an exceptional redshirt sophomore season which included 4,720 passing yards and 50 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He ended his career with 15 school records including passing yards (8,403) and touchdown passes (88) before Landry Jones passed him in several career categories.
No. 46 DeMarco Murray, running back, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
Ranking out of high school: The No. 6 player in the ESPN 150.
What ESPN recruiting analysts said at the time: “Murray is quite possibly the best overall athlete of any running back in this class. He is spectacular in everything that he does and is a nightmare to gameplan against. He is a difference-maker right now and should make an impact right away at the college level.”
His OU career: The Sooners career leader in all-purpose yardage (6,498), Murray had a stellar career in crimson and cream. Murray had 3,685 rushing yards, 1,462 kick return yards and 1,571 receiving yards during his 50 career games (32 starts). One of the most versatile running backs in OU history, Murray lived up to the hype that followed him to campus in 2006.
No. 169 Trent Williams, offensive tackle, Longview (Texas) High
Ranking out of high school: The No. 22 offensive guard with a scout's grade of 76.
What ESPN recruiting analysts said at the time: “Williams has a good frame and plays with a mean streak. Williams has the frame to put on additional size and that will only help his game. He has the tools and frame to be an offensive tackle at the college level, but may project better as a guard.”
His OU career: Williams showed versatility during his time in crimson and cream, lining up at both tackle spots during his time in Norman. A two-time All-Big 12 honoree, Williams was an All-American in 2009. He led the Sooners with 97 knockdowns as a senior and started 38 career games in crimson and cream. Williams was the lowest-rated of this group, but he became a critical contributor to OU's success during his time on campus.
No. 194 Jermaine Gresham, tight end, Ardmore (Oklahoma) High
Ranking out of high school: The No. 111 player in the ESPN 150.
What ESPN recruiting analysts said at the time: “Right now Gresham is a tweener between the tight end and wide receiver positions. He has excellent athletic ability and height, and has the tools to be a big wide receiver at the college level. However, continued growth could make him a better fit at the tight end spot and he would be a dangerous weapon at that position. Gresham is definitely a player that can contribute in the passing game in college, but he has the potential to be much more.”
His OU career: One of the top tight ends in school history, Gresham had 111 receptions for 1,629 yards and 26 touchdowns in 42 career games. His final season was taken away by a preseason knee injury after he played a major role in OU’s 2008 title game appearance. He had 66 receptions for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2008 while earning All-American honors.
The Oklahoma Sooners' 2006 class proved to be stellar, with five members in the ESPN Ultimate 300.