Stoops Proud of Leadership

The Oklahoma Sooners have overcome a lot of adversity to get to the National Title game and OU head coach Bob Stoops is proud of the moxy his team has shown.

Maybe it's possible to put into words or describe. Maybe it's not.

But OU head coach Bob Stoops said this year's squad has demonstrated a great deal of leadership, possibly better than years in the recent past, fighting threw some major adversity this year, the season-ending injury of middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds and the defeat at the hands of Texas, most notably.

"I don't know how to equate that [to previous years], but I would say yes," Stoops said. "You're going to ask me how. They just have by just what I said. They're just more demanding of each other and what they expect out of each other."

And everyone has had a part in exhibiting that leadership.

"I've loved this group, the seniors, and it counts those guys that aren't seniors," Stoops said. "They've shown a lot. They've done a lot on their own as far as just projecting that type of leadership. Even guys that [just] play a lot like Jermaine Gresham, Chris Brown, and I could go on and on."

That leadership hasn't just been on the field.

The Sooners have demonstrated it in all places, and that might be partially why they are in the situation they are in, one victory away from the program's eighth national championship.

"It's everywhere," Stoops said. "It's walking around the building. It's getting dressed. It's walking into the shower, walking to your car, on the field and when things get tough."

In many places it's easy to display leadership, but how can a teammate possess it when walking to his car?

"By having a positive attitude," Stoops said.

That is the type of will the Sooners have consistently had this year, leadership everywhere.

Stoops said he expects certain qualities in guys that will step up and perform leadership roles, and this year's team has exemplified them.

"[They are] guys who project energy, guys who are positive, guys who work hard, guys who have intensity when they are working and practicing and aren't going through the motion," Stoops said. "They're actually performing at a level that they want, you know, that they can make improvements, and that they're trying to make themselves better and they project that to everybody else."

No one on the current team has been a part of a national championship game, but many of the older guys have been a part of three Big 12 Championship games and won all three.

They will need some of that leadership come Jan. 8.


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