Roy Williams Still Impacts OU

Although Williams has gone to the NFL, he's still a major force for the Oklahoma Sooners. Williams has proven that former players can still play a key role in their schools' success.

What Sooner (or 'Horn) will forget that October afternoon when 'the real' Roy Williams took over the game and handed the Golden Hat trophy to his Oklahoma Sooners with an airborne, jarring goal line play on Chris Simms, resulting in an Oklahoma TD via the quick hands and feet of Teddy Lehman and the final interception on the following play? Final score: Sooners 14 - 3.

The legend of Roy Williams was already growing. But those two back to back plays sealed it and made believers out of the entire nation. In his OU career, Williams had 275 tackles, 5 interceptions and seven sacks. But the mention of Williams by Sooner or 'Horn fans also refers back to those two big plays on the Cotton Bowl turf. After those two plays, Williams became known as 'superman' to friend and foe alike.

The Dallas Cowboys'- as well as every other NFL team, saw those plays. They already had Williams on their 'watch' list. Suddenly, he was on their 'must have' list. They made Williams their first round pick, eight overall in the draft. Distracters and many Cowboy fans wondered if it was the right pick. As it turns out, the pick was probably Dallas' best pick since taking Troy Aikman over a decade ago.

Williams finished his rookie year with 92 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 interceptions, (two returned for TD's). The numbers made him a contender for ‘Defensive Rookie of the Year,' an almost impossible accomplishment for a rookie defensive back, as the award usually goes to higher profile defensive lineman or linebacker. (This year in Dallas, a dismal one for Cowboy offense, his two TD's could have also made him a candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year).

Although Roy physically left Oklahoma for Dallas, his heart stayed with OU. Roy has become a familiar site on sidelines of important Sooner games. Now that he plays for a high profile NFL team in a metro market traditionally loaded with high school talent, close to the OU campus, Williams' biggest impact will be in recruiting.

Like any Sooner alumnus, he's forbidden by NCAA rules to actively recruit for his school. But you can't turn off televisions, shut off the highlight reels and silence the mouths of commentators. Williams won't have to recruit for Oklahoma, his play however will.

The impact of a Roy Williams on the sidelines of a Rose Bowl game will not be lost on up coming high school stars. Especially those in Texas. His play defines the Stoops defensive philosophy and speaks volumes to impressionable minds. Every coach will tell a star that their aggressive defensive schemes will highlight the individual and give him a chance to be noticed. Oklahoma coaches need not say a word. A two minute tape of Roy Williams will do all the talking. His $ 2.6 million salary, and his future in the NFL will backup the presentation with facts.

A final note. Roy Williams has not forgotten how he grew as a person and player under the Stoops coaching. Devastated by the dismissal of John Blake who recruited him out of Union City California, Williams was despondent upon the arrival of Stoops and company. However, that first spring a light came on. Suddenly, it all started to make sense.

Maybe the biggest change was the conditioning required by the new regime. There were no excuses here either. To get better required discipline and work, and a lot of it. Slowly, even the painful workouts under Jerry Schmidt began to make sense. They payoff came as Williams and his teammates toiled in early morning weight sessions during the season , and under the torrid sun in the summers. Williams and his Sooner teammates reluctantly became believers, then in 2000, national champions.

A month ago, with the indoor practice facility almost completed, there was one area left unfinished. The facilities' additional weight training section, needed to avert overcrowding at the Switzer Center training room, would have to wait for more funding.

An envelope arrived with a check for $ 100,000.00 It would purchase equipment and put the finishing touches on the state of the art room. It was signed by Roy Williams.

Note: The weight training room at the new Indoor Facility will be named after "Roy Lee Williams, class of 2001."

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