Oklahoma Sooners All-Decade Offense
The Sooners 2019 football season is complete as is the decade of the 2010’s. We took an opportunity to see what Oklahoma needs to do in order to get over the playoff hump. Now, we move on to look at some of the best players in the last decade on the offensive side of the ball. The Sooners have had excellent offensive players throughout the decade. In some instances, it became difficult to narrow it down. However, now we start by naming our Oklahoma Sooners All-Decade Offense.
There’s plenty of discussions to be had at the quarterback position this decade. But, it was fairly simple to nail it down to three guys. Those three players are Landry Jones, Baker Mayfield, and Kyler Murray. For instance, we have the most polarizing player in program history with Mayfield. Then, you have possibly the single-best one season career ever with Murray. Finally, you have the career passing leader in Jones.
Jones shredded record books during his time in Norman with 16,646 total yards from 2008-2012. His career started in taking the place of injured Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford in 2008 and then was the full-time starter the rest of the way. Even so, he has been known as the quarterback that produced the least with the most talent. However, given the fact that he leads the program in yards, touchdowns, 300, 400, and 500-yard passing performances he certainly deserves to be in the conversation.
The Heisman Winners
Then, from 2014-2017 Oklahoma received a gift when Mayfield left Texas Tech to become a Sooner. Mayfield became an instant fan favorite with his cocky and confident demeanor. Mayfield threw for just over 12,000 yards in his three year Sooner career as a starter. Also, aside from his Heisman Trophy award, he led the Sooners to two trips to the College Football Playoffs. He threw 119 touchdown passes which rank second to Jones with his 123. But, Mayfield only threw four less in nearly 1,000 fewer attempts. If Mayfield would have been a four-year player, he would have own every passing record at the school.
Finally, we come to the single-greatest individual season in program history with Murray in 2018. He had the unenviable task of replacing a legend and from a statistical perspective surpassed Mayfield. In 2018, Murray threw for 4,720 yards with 45 touchdowns and seven interceptions. If you were to duplicate that over three years, he would own every passing record at the school outside of passing yardage. His Heisman Trophy and the fact that he willed a team that had perhaps the worst defense in program history to a playoff berth is a testament to his brilliant season.
Who’s the best?
At most schools, either of these three would be an easy selection. But, at Oklahoma where the quarterback play has been incredible over the last 10 years, it’s not that easy. However, Mayfield is considered one of the best players in the history of the program. And, with leading his team to the playoffs along with conference championships and a Heisman aware he’s hard to go against. As a result, Mayfield gets the nod for the Oklahoma Sooners All-Decade Offense.
We faced similar difficulty decided between the Sooners two best running backs of the decade. We considered Demarco Murray for the selection. But, considering he only played in one season in the decade, he was dismissed. Joe Mixon was also part of the consideration as well. However, in the end, Samaje Perine and Kennedy Brooks made the list.
Ultimately, we went with Brooks over Mixon and Brennan Clay because of his consistency. In his first two seasons, Brooks has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in both seasons while sharing time with Trey Sermon. Also, at 7.5 yards per carry, Brooks leads all running backs in Sooner football history in career yards per carry.
Perine made a name for himself before he made a play on the field. He was known for his weight room performance and one of the strongest players on the team. However, that quickly translated to the field. Perine ended his Sooner career as the all-time leading rusher with 4,122 yards. That alone puts him in great company with the likes of Billy Sims, Joe Washington, and Adrian Peterson. As a result, Perine earned his spot on our Oklahoma Sooners All-Decade Offensive Team.
A quarterback is only as good as his receivers allow him to be. And, for all the touchdowns that our aforementioned signal-callers threw for someone had to be on the receiving end. Still, this was one of the easiest decisions in our all-decade team when you have the three best in school history to play in the decade. With that being said, Ryan Broyles, Sterling Shepard, and CeeDee Lamb fill out our receiving corps.
Much like with Jones, Broyles had the benefit of playing four years. That’s partially what allowed him to be the all-time leading receiver at the school. Even though he only had two years in this decade, he is a clear selection here. His 4,586 career receiving yards leads all receivers by over 1,100 yards. In fact, he also leads the Sooners in every other statistical receiving category.
Next, we have Sterling Shepard who played from 2012-2015. Part of what makes Shepard so special is that a big part of his career was played in the Trevor Knight and Blake Bell era and still was able to get his numbers. He ranks second in receiving yards with 3,482. Shepard holds a special place in many Sooner fan’s hearts because he was a local product and continued the legacy that his father started in Norman.
Finally, we come to CeeDee Lamb. Lamb ends his career ranked third on the career receiving yardage list. However, many consider him to be the best ever to play the position. That’s partially due to him producing huge numbers while sharing the targets with Marquise Brown for two of his three seasons. With that being said, Lamb ended his career with 3,292 and 32 touchdown receptions. Lamb led the trio with over 19 yards per reception for his Sooner career.
During the later half of Bob Stoops career, he was criticized somewhat for not getting the ball to the Tight Ends more. However, Oklahoma did utilize the fullback quite often. But, the Sooners began to use the Tight End more under Lincoln Riley and so Mark Andrews was the clear top selection. Conversely, the fullback was a much closer call. Honestly, this the closest call out of any position. But, we went with Trey Millard as our top fullback
First, our Honorable Mention here belongs to Dimitri Flowers. Flowers was a great weapon out of the backfield for the Sooners. That’s evident by his 54 catches for 886 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career. He also 151 yards on the ground with four more scores. He was a tremendous weapon for the Sooners.
Second, our inclusion of Millard over Flowers was more about how well rounded of a player that Millard was. Besides being a great lead blocker, he had over 1,200 yards of total offense for his career and was a seventh-round draft pick. Similarly, Andrews’ career was the best in school history from a tight end perspective. Andrews amassed 1,765 yards and 22 touchdowns. Behind Keith Jackson, Andrews is the second-best tight end in school history.
Given what the Sooners did on offensive this past decade, it should come as no surprise that there are several players worthy of inclusion from the offensive line. Four of the five were high NFL picks that are starring in the league.
Donald Stephenson earned a spot on our Sooners All-Decade Offensive Team by playing well enough to earn an honorable mention All-Big 12 honor in 2011. The offensive tackle played himself into a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Then, we have Lane Johnson. He could be considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in school history. He was a multi-faceted player at Oklahoma where he played tight end, right tackle, and left tackle. His play was so strong in 2012 that he was the fourth overall selection in the draft. He’s started 92 games as a Philadelphia Eagle which includes Pro Bowl selections in 2017 and 2018. As a result, he earns the prime spot for the offensive line on our Oklahoma Sooners All-Decade Offense.
The New Age
Our next all-decade offensive lineman is Cody Ford. Ford was a player that continuously got better and played both the Guard and Tackle positions. However, he flourished moving to Tackle in 2018. Ford was a third-team All-American selection and a first-team all-Big 12 pick. He was a second-round pick last year where he became a starter as a rookie for the Buffalo Bills this season.
Creed Humphrey has been an excellent center for the Sooners over the last couple of years at Oklahoma. This year, he started every game for the Sooners at the center position where he was voted the Big 12 lineman of the year and an All-Big 12 pick. At this point, it remains to be seen whether or not Humphrey returns or elects to move on to the NFL. Either way, he’s clearly the best center of the decade.
Finally, we come to Orlando Brown as an offensive tackle for the Sooners from 2015-2017. He was also a third-round selection by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 draft. Brown was a three-year starter for Oklahoma where he was a two-time All-Big 12 selection at tackle and in 2017 he was a unanimous All-American.
To end our Oklahoma Sooners All-Decade Offense, we’ll take a look at the punter and the placekicker position. Both of these positions have the tough spot of only playing a few plays per game but many times they are the most scrutinized players on the field. With that, we chose Tress Way as our punter and Austin Seibert as our Field Goal kicker.
Way was clearly the best punter in the decade and probably the best in program history. He averaged 44 yards per punt for his career at Oklahoma. In fact, of his 250 punts, 91 of those were kicked inside the 20. He was a huge weapon for the Sooners. Seibert was one of the best special team players ever at the school. He actually has the most career points by a kicker in FBS history with 499. He was voted the Big 12 Special Teams player of the year in 2018.