Oklahoma Sooners: Derrick Johnson

Big 12 all-BCS-era team

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
10:00
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After 16 years, the BCS era is finally over. Next season, college football will have a playoff instead.

With the BCS done, we've come up with our Big 12 all-BCS era team (1998-2013) below:

Offense

[+] EnlargeVince Young
Scott Clarke/Getty ImagesWith Vince Young at the helm, Texas won a national title and Rose Bowl.
QB: Vince Young, Texas (2003-05) -- Young led Texas to its first national title in 35 years with an unforgettable performance in the Rose Bowl against USC. The Heisman runner-up also became the first QB in college football history to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in the same season.

RB: Ricky Williams, Texas (1998) -- Williams was part of the BCS era for only one season, but what a season it was. He rushed for 2,327 yards and won the Heisman Trophy going away. Only Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne has more career rushing yards than Williams (6,279).

RB: Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma (2004-06) -- Despite battling injuries throughout his career, Peterson still was a beast in college. After rushing for 1,925 yards while leading the Sooners to the national title game, he finished second in the ’04 Heisman voting, even though there was still a stigma then in voting for a freshman.

WR: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (2007-08) -- Crabtree became the first two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver. In '08, he and QB Graham Harrell led the Red Raiders to an upset of Texas and a No. 2 ranking in the polls.

WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (2009-11) -- Blackmon became the second and only other two-time winner of the Biletnikoff. In his final two seasons, he finished with 233 receptions, 3,304 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns, and he helped propel the Cowboys to their first Big 12 title in '11.

TE: Chase Coffman, Missouri (2005-08) -- Coffman had a monster statistical college career for a tight end with 247 catches for 2,659 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns. He won the ’08 Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. Missouri won 37 games during the four years Coffman was in the lineup.

OT: Jammal Brown, Oklahoma (2001-04) -- Brown was a unanimous All-American and a three-time All-Big 12 selection. He became the fifth Sooner to win the Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top interior lineman.

OT: Russell Okung, Oklahoma State (2007-09) -- In Okung’s final two seasons, Oklahoma State led the Big 12 in rushing yards. The Cowboys were also third in the country in ’07 in fewest sacks allowed with Okung at left tackle. He was a unanimous All-American and Outland finalist in ’09 and became the sixth overall pick in the ’10 NFL draft.

OG: Cyril Richardson, Baylor (2010-13) -- Richardson became Baylor’s seventh all-time unanimous All-American. The Outland finalist was also a key piece on the nation’s highest-scoring offense this season.

OG: Justin Blalock, Texas (2003-06) -- Though a guard in the NFL, Blalock actually started 50 games for Texas, most coming at right tackle. He was a three-time, first-team All-Big 12 selection and a consensus All-American in 2006.

C: Dominic Raiola, Nebraska (1998-2000) -- Raiola was the inaugural winner of the Rimington Award, named after former Nebraska center Dave Rimington, which recognizes the best center in college football. He was an Outland finalist and a consensus All-American.

APB: Darren Sproles, Kansas State (2001-04) -- One of the most prolific all-purpose performers in college football history, Sproles finished his career with 6,812 all-purpose yards. Among his 39 consecutive starts, his most memorable performance came in the ’03 Big 12 championship, when he had 235 yards rushing and 88 receiving, as K-State upset top-ranked Oklahoma 35-7.

Defense

DE: Brian Orakpo, Texas (2005-08) -- Orakpo captured the ’08 Nagurski Award as the most outstanding defensive player in the country, and the Lombardi Award, given to the best college lineman or linebacker. He also was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus All-American while piling up 11 sacks his senior year.

DE: Von Miller, Texas A&M (2007-10) -- Out of a hybrid defensive end/linebacker role, Miller led the nation with 17 sacks in ’09. He was a two-time All-American and won the Butkus Award in ’10 as the nation’s top linebacker.

DT: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska (2005-09) -- There was no more dominant defensive player in college football during the BCS era. Suh finished fourth in the Heisman voting in ’09 and won several national awards, including the Outland, Lombardi, Nagurski (most outstanding defensive player)and Bednarik (defensive player of the year). He was also a unanimous All-American and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

DT: Tommie Harris, Oklahoma (2001-03) -- Harris was a force from the beginning as a freshman on the OU defensive line. He won the Lombardi his junior year, and he was a two-time consensus All-American, garnering unanimous honors in ’03.

LB: Derrick Johnson, Texas (2001-04) -- Johnson was a menacing linebacker for the Longhorns, earning consensus All-American honors in ’03 and unanimous honors in ’04. He was also a three-time, first-team All-Big 12 selection, and won the Butkus (best linebacker) and Nagurski awards as a senior. Johnson finished his career with 458 tackles.

LB: Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma (1998-2001) -- Calmus played a major role in OU’s resurgence under Bob Stoops. He won the Butkus in ’01 and was a finalist for the Nagurski and Bednarik. A three-time All-Big 12 pick, Calmus led the Sooners in tackles in all three of those seasons.

LB: Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma (2000-03) -- Lehman too won the Butkus, beating out Johnson for the award in ’03. He also was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, captured the Bednarik, was a unanimous All-American and played in two national championship games.

[+] EnlargeTavon Austin
Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesWest Virginia receiver and returner Tavon Austin had a huge 2012 season.
CB: Terence Newman, Kansas State (1999-2002) -- Newman was a solid player for Bill Snyder his first three seasons, then broke out as a senior. Newman was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, a unanimous All-American and the Thorpe winner, given to college football’s top defensive back.

CB: Derrick Strait, Oklahoma (2000-03) -- A four-year starter, Strait finished with a school-record 52 career pass breakups. He also won the Thorpe, and was a unanimous All-American.

S: Roy Williams, Oklahoma (1999-2001) -- Nicknamed “Superman,” Williams was the Big 12’s most dominating defensive player until Suh came along. He won the Thorpe and Nagurski in ’01, and was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American the same season. He also famously skied over the Texas offensive line to force the game-clinching interception to earn his moniker.

S: Michael Huff, Texas (2002-05) -- Huff became the first Longhorn to win the Thorpe, and was the leader of the ’05 national championship defense. He was also a unanimous All-American that season.

Special teams

K: Mason Crosby, Colorado (2003-06) -- Crosby was three-time, first-team All-Big 12 selection, and twice was a consensus All-American even though he never won the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top kicker. He was also the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior, and converted 66 field goals in his career.

P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State (2009-12) -- Sharp became the first three-time All-American in Oklahoma State history, and he earned All-American honors both as a punter and a kicker. He was twice named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. In his career, he made 50 of 59 field goals, averaged 45.9 yards per punt and missed only one extra point.

KR: Tavon Austin, West Virginia (2012) -- Austin was in the Big 12 only one season, but he was unstoppable that one season. On top of being one of the most dangerous kick returners in the country, Austin had 1,289 yards receiving and 643 rushing, and finished second in the country in all-purpose yards.

PR: Ryan Broyles Oklahoma (2008-11) -- On top of being a prolific punt returner, Broyles was one of the most efficient receivers in college football history. He finished his career with an FBS-record 349 receptions, and was a two-time consensus All-American before a knee injury cut his senior season short.
For Oklahoma, it’s one thing to lose a recruiting battle to the University of Texas.

It’s quite another to watch that player become an impact performer at the Cotton Bowl in early October. Here’s a look at a few players who picked the Longhorns over the Sooners then stepped up their play against OU, leaving Sooner Nation left to wonder: What if?

Running back Earl Campbell, Tyler, Texas/John Tyler, Class of 1974
After in-home visits from OU head coach Barry Switzer and Texas head coach Darrell Royal, Campbell narrowed his list to the Sooners and Longhorns. He made a campus visit in Norman but committed to UT during his campus visit in Austin. According to his official website, Campbell was still unsure as signing day neared, so he prayed. "God, if it's your will that I should attend the University of Texas, then I'll get up during the night to pee. If not, if I sleep through the night, then I'll know your choice for me will be the University of Oklahoma."

Clearly, Campbell did not sleep through the night.

And the Sooners, particularly Coach Switzer, will always lament his active bladder. His 25-yard touchdown run against the Sooners during his Heisman-winning season in 1977 is one of the "go-to" highlights of Campbell's days in a Longhorns uniform.

Campbell went on to be an Heisman Trophy winner, two-time All-American and three-time All-SWC performer during his time at Texas. He finished with 4,443 career rushing yards and 41 touchdowns. He's also a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

[+] EnlargeJackson Jeffcoat
Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty ImagesDefensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, who chose Texas over OU, has been projected to be a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, Plano, Texas/Plano West, Class of 2010
Sooners fans still watch Jeffcoat with an air of discontent. And they have at least one more season to watch him create problems for opposing offenses with his combination of strength and speed off the edge.

With his twin sister Jacqueline heading to Norman to play basketball for Sherri Coale, OU fans undoubtedly felt like they had the upper hand during the recruitment of Jeffcoat. The elite defensive end prospect was fairly quiet during his recruitment, keeping his options close to the vest and always maintaining that his relationship with his sister would not impact his decision.

As signing day neared, he chose the Longhorns.

Two years later, Jeffcoat is a member of multiple preseason watch lists after earning second-team All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore. He has started 15 of 21 career games and enters his junior season with 81 career tackles, including 27 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.

Jeffcoat was one of Texas’ lone bright spots during its 55-17 loss to OU last season with four tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson, Waco, Texas/Waco, Class of 2001
Johnson spurned the Sooners, Baylor and others to play at Texas. And he became a star in Austin.

He earned the Bronco Nagurski (top defensive player) and Butkus Award (top linebacker) during his career. Johnson was a two-time All-American, two-time All-Big 12 first-teamer and 2004 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Johnson started 40 of 50 career games and finished with 458 tackles, including 65 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and nine interceptions. He created havoc for opposing offenses, from sideline-to-sideline, during his four-year career, becoming one of the top linebackers in UT history.

And even though Johnson never beat the Sooners, he was a nightmare for OU’s offense during his four Red River Rivalry battles. He had 49 tackles and two interceptions against the Sooners, forcing OU fans to leave the Cotton Bowl with a combination of emotions, meshing the joy of victory with a twinge of envy.

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