In this edition of the Red-Eye Rewind, we want to dedicate this one to a former Sooner football great who passed away Tuesday night.
A product of the Bud Wilkinson era, former Oklahoma football standout Buddy Leake died at the age of 80.
In the words of The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel, he was a “part of perhaps the greatest backfield in OU history.”
Considering the talent that has rolled through Norman, that’s high praise, especially from a columnist who has seen a lot of OU football.
Leake truly left his mark on this state, founding Oklahoma’s chapter of the National Football Foundation and setting the school scoring record with 242 points before Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens broke it in 1969.
His abilities on the football field almost led him to Lincoln to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, however, according to that OKC Friday report, a successful visit to campus resulted in Leake choosing the other Big Red.
Leake played beside former Sooner greats, such as J.D. Roberts and Eddie Crowder. He, also, shared the same backfield with OU’s first Heisman Trophy winner Billy Vessels.
It is always hard to lose a member of the Sooner football family. Especially one as influential that stepped on campus in 1951, right when Oklahoma was beginning to become a national power.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the Leake family. I graduated in the same high school class as one of his grandsons, and I can not imagine what is like for him right now.
However, from the Stormin’ in Norman family, stay strong and cherish the amazing legacy Buddy Leake left behind.