OU Football tabbed ‘OT-U’ by NFL.com


For years we’ve heard Penn State referred to as “Linebacker U” and USC or Miami called “Quarterback U” in particular reference to the quantity and quality of NFL players those two schools have developed at those positions. In a current series published by NFL.com, Oklahoma is singled out as the best at producing NFL offensive tackles over the past 15 years.

In the series, which is titled “U-Who?” college football writers for NFL.com are examining each football position and ranking the top-10 college teams at producing NFL players at each position over a timeline of the last 15 years.

The Sooners came out the best at producing NFL-quality offensive tackles.

NFL.com’s Mike Huguenin assessed and ranked the teams based on the overall quality of the offensive tackles who have gone on to the NFL from each school and such factors as what round they were drafted in, years in the NFL and their contribution to their respective teams.

Oct 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt (71) walks on the sidelines against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

With seven NFL draft selections at offensive tackle from Oklahoma in the past 15 seasons, including five in the first three rounds and three first-round selections, the Sooners came out on top ahead of Boston College, Michigan, USC and Iowa.

Jammal Brown (2005, 13th overall, by New Orleans), Trent Williams (2010, 4th overall, by Washington) and Lane Johnson (2013, also 4th overall, by Philadelphia), were all selected in the first round. Brown was a four-year starter for the Saints and is now starting on the offensive line for Washington along with Williams. Johnson has started the last two seasons for the Eagles.

Phil Loadholt was taken in the second round in 2009 by the Minnesota Vikings and has been a starter for the Vikings all six of his seasons in the NFL. Donald Stephenson was a third-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 and should be a starter this season at tackle on the Chiefs offensive line.

Two former Sooner starters at offensive tackle were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft this spring. Tyrus Thompson was a 6th-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings.

Oklahoma was rated the best for producing NFL offensive tackles over the last 15 seasons, but it that wasn’t the only category in the “U-Who” series in which the Sooners ranked in the top 10. NFL.com ranked Oklahoma at No. 6 for running backs.

The most notable of the former Sooner running backs who have entered the league since 2000 are Adrian Peterson, the No. 7 overall pick in 2007, and Demarco Murray, taken in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Murray was traded this offseason by the Cowboys to Philadelphia, where he will be joined with another former Sooner, QB Sam Bradford.

A total of seven Sooner running backs have been NFL draft selections in the past 15 draft years.