OUI's Tito Hernandez catches up with former Sooner defensive tackle Kory Klein.
TH: What are your most memorable experiences while playing football at OU?
KLEIN: Well, definitely winning the national championship would probably have to be one of the ones that rank at the top. All the bowls, in general, were always real fun.
I have some good memories of the Sugar Bowl, but losing it kind of puts a downer on everything. We had a great time at the Cotton Bowl, the Rose Bowl, all the real big games. When you walk onto the field and you can tell there's an excitement in the air.
At home, I still remember the first game when they added onto the stadium and we came out in our throwback jerseys. You could just feel the electricity of the crowd; it felt like the ground was shaking. Everyone was so excited to get the season kicked off. Stuff like that you'll just never forget it.
TH: What statistic are you most proud of?
KLEIN: I never missed a game. I can count on one hand how many practices I missed —I believe it was three. Also, how fortunate I was not to have any injuries. I was a starter for three years, was able to play in every game and able to win in a lot of games on top of that.
Some guys remember how many tackles they had, how many sacks and pressures and everything. To me, to play as many games as I have and to have that longevity is what was important to me most.
TH: Brent Venables is a great coach, but how much do they miss the intangibles of Mike Stoops on the sidelines?
KLEIN: You can't really pinpoint one thing or one person. I think it's a little bit of a combo of everything. Maybe you don't have the exact kind of guys that you had and you don't have the exact type of coach you had.
You have to go through a little bit of growing pains when you bring some new guys in. They tried some new things with coach Pelini — some of them worked and some of them didn't work too well. You have to find that happy medium between the coaches and the players, where they all come together and can all be on the same page.
TH: Which games pose a threat on this year's schedule?
KLEIN: The UCLA game — to see how they deal with the adversity and being away from home playing a good team in UCLA. Then you have the Cotton Bowl with Texas. You can always throw out the records.
Next you have Nebraska in Lincoln. Everyone thinks they're going to be down, but you never know. It could come down to the last few minutes of the fourth quarter.
Texas Tech is going to be tough. They have a great crowd down there and they've been renovating their stadium. I think they're going to have a real good team this year. It's going to be a great challenge, especially defensively. Going down to Lubbock is going to be tough. It's going to be the key game of the season. Prediction: 13-0.
I'll slam my opinion...
It was great to sit down with Kory, a classy individual, who doesn't thrive to have the spotlight on him. But during his time on defense, opposing offensive coordinators put the spotlight on him. His success on the field is the way it is off the field. The Sooners just don't produce football players, but great individuals, and that's my opinion.
Kory Klein slams his opinion
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