Oklahoma Football: Top 10 Quarterbacks in Modern Sooners History

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Dec 29, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Members of the Oklahoma Sooners band perform during halftime of the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Clemson Tigers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 40-6. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 – Jamelle Holieway (1985-88)

Some Sooner fans may not remember this, but Jamelle Holieway was the freshman quarterback who replaced Troy Aikman at Oklahoma when Aikman broke his ankle in a game against the University of Miami (Fla.) in 1985. Holieway never relinquished the starting role after that, and Aikman, later to become an All-Pro NFL quarterback and three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys as well as an NFL Hall of Famer, ended up transferring to UCLA.

Holieway went on to lead the Sooners to an 11-1 record in the 1985 season and the national championship with an Orange Bowl victory over Penn State. In addition to winning the national college crown in 1985, Oklahoma also won three consecutive Big Eight Conference championships from 1985 to 1987 with Holieway calling the offensive signals in the vaunted Sooner Wishbone offense.

Holieway was recruited to Oklahoma from Carson, Calif. At one point in his recruitment out of high school, it appeared fairly certain he would accept an offer to play for the University of Oregon and follow one of his high school teammates, but Oregon’s loss became a huge gain for OU.

The California native ran for more than 800 yards in each of his first three seasons at Oklahoma. He tore the ACL in his left knee in a game late in the 1986 season, and he reinjured the knee the following season after seeing limited action in trying to make a comeback.

In his four seasons at OU, Holieway rushed for 2,713 yards and 32 touchdowns, mostly in his first three seasons (1985-87). He also threw 251 passes, more than any other Wishbone quarterback except for Jack Mildren, for 2,339 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Holieway was voted Big Eight Newcomer of the Year in 1985, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 1986 and was a two-time All-Big Eight First Team selection at quarterback. You can view some of Holieway’s career highlights at Oklahoma in this


The former Oklahoma quarterback played for the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League in 1989 and 1990 and for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League from 1991-92.

Next: No. 4 - Steve Davis (1973-75)