Oklahoma Football: Conversation with Former OU All-American Roy Williams


“Stormin in Norman” on Tuesday had a conversation with former Oklahoma football All-American Roy Williams.

Williams is in Miami, Fla., at the Orange Bowl on a speaking tour on behalf of Capital One, the title sponsor of the College Playoff national semifinal game matching top-ranked Clemson and No. 4 Oklahoma. He also serves as a spokesman for the Capital One Cup, an award which recognizes the best men’s and women’s Division I athletic program in the country and awards the respective winning programs $200,000 in student-athlete scholarships.

The winner of the Oklahoma-Clemson game will earn 60 Capital One Cup points.

Williams, who bears the nickname “Superman” among Sooner fans for the highlight-reel pass knockdown at the Texas one-yard line off of Longhorn quarterback Chris Sims that ended up in the hands of fellow teammate and All-American Teddy Lehman. Lehman needed only one step to reach the end zone to secure a 14-3 OU win in the 2001 edition of the Red River Shootout.

Dec 29, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Cole Stoudt (18) is tackled by Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Jordan Evans (26) during the second quarter 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

A native of Northern California, Williams played safety on the 2000 Oklahoma national championship team and went on to play nine seasons in the National Football League (seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2002-2008) and two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (2009-10) after leaving Oklahoma.

Here is the full interview:

Stormin’ in Norman: How is Oklahoma looking in its preparations for the College Football Playoff game with Clemson?

RW: They’re looking good, looking strong. I’m really excited about this game on Thursday. It’s going to be a fun one.

Stormin’ in Norman: When you look at OU and Clemson statistically, they look fairly equal. It’ hard, really, to tell them apart.

RW: Well they are, they truly are. We owe ’em something, I can tell you that. They kicked out butt last year, and I’m hoping we get some get-back this year.

SiN: You played on the 2000 Sooner championship team that had both Mike Stoops and Brent Venables (now the Clemson DC). How was that?

RW: They were co-coordinators, or whatever they called it. They made the best one-two defensive coaching duo in college football to me.

SiN: The Sooners historically have had trouble with mobile, dual-threat quarterbacks. How do you think they will defend and try to contain Clemson’s Deshaun Watson?

RW: I obviously think that we, as far as the whole mobile quarterback thing is concerned, I think we’re ready for it. I think our defensive mentality right now is more sound and disciplined. We’re not all scattered and out of position. I think the team is really buying into coach (Mike) Stoops’ scheme as far as defense. I really think that (Eric) Striker and those guys down in the trenches will be able to contain Watson.

Dec 29, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Germone Hopper (5) catches a touchdown pass in front of Oklahoma Sooners safety Quentin Hayes (10) as the Tigers beat the Sooners in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

SiN: I’m pretty certain that Clemson is going to focus on Eric Striker and Charles Tapper, but the way I look at it, that is only going to open up opportunities for guys like Jordan Evans and Devante Bond to step up and make big plays.

RW: Any team is going to tee off on any team’s main guy. That’s fair to say. Is it going to be effective? I seriously doubt it.

SiN: What are three reasons you feel that Oklahoma is the better team and will move on to the next round?

RW: One, I feel Oklahoma has Baker Mayfield. Two, it’s one of those things that I feel the team is clicking at the right time. OU has only been getting better each and every game. And three, our defense is playing fundamentally sound. I think they’re finally coming into their own, and they’re starting to impose their will on the other team. We are a good defense. We just have to believe in ourselves and go out there an execute.

SiN: Is Baker Mayfield really as good as he appears, or is he just a high-level overachiever?

RW: No, he’s the real deal. When he was sitting out last year, everyone was talking about how they couldn’t wait for him to be active and compete for the starting quarterback job. When he won the job this fall, you could see how he commanded everyone’s respect and took over the locker room. He’s a great leader. He’s just a good off the field. He’s a good kid, he gets good grades. He’s a role-model quarterback.

SiN: What is you prediction of the game?

RW: I just want a win. I don’t care if we win by one point or if we win by 30. I just want to win the game.

SiN: Do you think the month-long layoff will affect the Sooners’ timing and offensive play?

RW: I think it does a little bit, but it’s like riding a bike. You may have been off the bike for a while, but once you get back on, it doesn’t take long. You get back your stride. You’ll probably see some of it the first couple of series, but then things will start to get back to normal.