Oklahoma Football: Top 10 Quarterbacks in Modern Sooners History

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Nov 21, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners drum major before the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 – Jason White (1999-2004)

Jason White may go down in OU history as the player who had the longest Sooner football career. He began his Sooner career backing up starting quarterback Josh Heupel in 1999, the first season with Bob Stoops as head coach. White redshirted in 2000, when the Sooners rolled through a perfect 13-0 season and a victory of Florida State in the BCS National Championship game.

White, who grew up as fan of Oklahoma football in Tuttle, Okla., a town about 30 miles west of Norman, was beat out by Nate Hybl for the starting job to begin the 2001 season, but he got his big break when Hybl was injured in the first quarter of the annual rivalry game with Texas that season. White replaced him and led the Sooners to a 14-3 win over their archrivals.

White played well as the starter in the next two games following the win over Texas, but tore his ACL early in his third outing in a loss by the Sooners at Nebraska. That would end his season.

The starting role was awarded to White to begin the 2002 season. In the second game that season, at home against Alabama, White went down with an ACL injury in the opposite knee. Again, he was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

White returned to the field in 2003 on a pair of rehabilitated knees and delivered the best single-season performance of his college career. Despite limited mobility, White completed 62 percent of his passes for a career-best 3,846 yards and 40 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

He led the Sooners to a 12-0 regular-season record, a No. 1 ranking and a date with Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship. K-State spoiled Oklahoma’s bid for a third Big 12 championship, though, with a shocking 35-7 upset of the top-ranked Sooners, but the following week, White was awarded the 2003 Heisman Trophy, the fourth Oklahoma player to be so honored.

After the stunning loss in the Big 12 Championship gam, OU only dropped one spot in the 2003 final BCS rankings and went on to play LSU in the BCS National Championship that season. LSU prevailed, however, 21-14.

In addition to the Heisman award, White also was a unanimous All-America selection, he was named AP Player of the Year, The Sporting News Player of the Year and the winner of the Davey O’Brien Award as the best quarterback in college football.

White was granted a medical waiver allowing him an additional year of eligibility in the 2004 season, and he turned the opportunity into another huge season statistically, completing 65 percent of his passes for 3,205 yards and 35 touchdowns.

The Sooners were 12-0 in the 2004 regular season, won another Big 12 championship and advanced for the second straight season to the BCS National Championship, where the opponent was top-ranked USC with Heisman-winning quarterback Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. The national title game was not a good showing for the Sooners that season as USC proved to be too much for OU, defeating the Crimson and Cream by a decisive count of 55-19.

You can relive some of the memorable highlights of Jason White’s courageous collegiate career by clicking on this video.

White was not drafted in the 2005 NFL draft, only the third Heisman Trophy winner to go undrafted. He did have tryouts with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, but his rehabilitated knees proved to be too much for him to overcome at the professional level.

Next: No. 1 - Sam Bradford (2007-09)