For The Sooners, It's All About Who's Back

When you read our Missouri story you will see that the Tigers contingent in Dallas was quizzed about who is gone. But the Big 12 South champion Oklahoma Sooners, who beat Missouri for the conference title last season, are all about who is back. The OU veterans include Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, tight end Jermaine Gresham, and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

"Well, I think those guys all coming back, I think, says a lot about the overall program that they're pleased and excited to be in and want to participate in one more year and then maybe give up some fortune for a year to have that opportunity to be here one more year with their teammates, with their coaches," said a pleased head coach Bob Stoops.

"But also I think there's value that they see in graduating and/or if you're not graduating, you're within a class or two, so it's real manageable and easy to finish. There is value in that. There's value in being more prepared for that situation when it comes, to being a year stronger, more seasoned, more prepared for that situation. And a value in being with their teammates another year.

"So it is pretty special. I think it says a lot about the quality of individuals they are too. Just that they see the value in all those things."

Stoops is also confident that the OU players have worked hard and the supporting cast is solid too.

"Hopefully, our players have been working well," he said. "I think most all of them have been on campus for the most part, going to summer school and hopefully working out. But we had a good spring, winter and spring leading up to the summer.

"Excited about the team that we have back, feel that we have a good, strong nucleus of players that we hope we'll get great leadership out of. Not just the three or four that everyone's talked about, guys like Brody Eldridge, Matt Clapp, guys like Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray, Auston English, Jeremy Beal. A lot of these guys, Keenan Clayton, Travis Lewis. A lot of these guys have played a lot of good football for us."

Will they be as good as last year? Stoops was asked and he sometimes likes to let the media answer its own question. Oh, count on it, the Sooners will be good.

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