January 12, 2009

Ranking the Seniors After the Job is Done


When most of 2008's seniors arrived in Norman there were some serious questions about where the program was headed with the losses of players like Jason White, Mark Clayton, Tommie Harris, and many others in a two-year span. But four seasons, 42 wins, and three Big 12 titles later and it's clear Oklahoma's senior class of 2008 was among the most successful in school history. Because of the immense success that this group of players had over their careers, we thought it would be interesting to revisit their individual rankings coming out of high
school or junior college and re-rank them based on what they did during their time at Linsdey and Jenkins. Here is our take on how the rankings would look with the benefit of hindsight.



NOTE: Any player that finished out his collegiate career will be given
at least two stars, for that in and of itself is a significant accomplishment
that not every player achieves.























Re-ranking Oklahoma's 2008 Senior Class

Cory Bennett
- 2004



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Defensive Tackle

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Height/Weight: 6-3 / 276

Profiles:

High School
|

College

KEY STATISTICS: Bennett surprised everyone by starting 11 games as a redshirt freshman after coming in as a rather unheralded defensive tackle prospect. Bennett had several big games through his career but his most notable contribution was giving the Sooners depth along the interior line when they had little stability.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Bennett started early in his career and seemed destined for a higher ranking but as more and more quality talent showed up on campus he found his way into the second string and later in his career found chances fewer and farther between.

Brett Bowers
- 2004



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Safety

Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.

Height/Weight: 6-0 / 197

Profiles:
High
School


College
KEY STATISTICS:
Perhaps one of the biggest plays of Bowers career came during the national championship game making a big play in the kickoff return game, a play that most felt the Sooners wouldn't make.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Bowers came in as a highly regarded safety prospect from Florida but never really became a real contender for a starting position in the secondary. Bowers should be commended for sticking it out in Norman in spite of falling behind several younger players early in his career.

Branndon Braxton
- 2005



High School Ranking:


College Re-Ranking:



Position: Offensive Lineman

Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio

Height/Weight: 6-6 / 304

Profiles:
High School

College

KEY STATISTICS: Braxton became a starter early on in his career and seemed destined to have at the very least a solid college offensive lineman. His ability to play several positions along the line helped Oklahoma tremendously through his career.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Braxton is another guy who seemed like he was on his way to a potential NFL career before a devastating leg injury during the 2006 season, Braxton never quite seemed to find his form again and eventually lost the right tackle job to Trent Williams.

Quentin Chaney
- 2004



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Tulsa, Okla.

Height/Weight: 6-5 / 203

Profiles:

High School
|

College
KEY STATISTICS:
There is little doubt that the game of Chaney's career came in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia, a game that saw him collect four catches for 129-yards and one touchdown. It was his second straight strong performance in the Fiesta Bowl.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: After his first three years on campus Chaney appeared to be an undenibale bust of a prospect. However as the final two years wore on he really found himself and had several big impact moments that made him a worthy contributor particularly as a senior.

Jon Cooper
- 2005



High School Ranking:


College Re-Ranking:




Position: Offensive Lineman

Hometown: Fort Collins, Colo.

Height/Weight: 6-3 / 290

Profiles:
High School

College

KEY STATISTICS: Name your point in time and Cooper was probably making a worthwhile contribution to the team. Much like Vince Carter before him Cooper has been the lynchpin of the offensive line after spending the better part of four years as a starter.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Cooper was well on his way to being a star Sooner lineman before a horrific leg injury against Texas Tech as a freshman nearly cost him his career. However Cooper fought his way back and became an all-conference performer during his career.

Alan Davis
- 2004



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Defensive End

Hometown: Colleyville, Texas

Height/Weight: 6-3 / 255

Profiles:

High School
|

College
KEY STATISTICS:
Probably the biggest play of his Sooner career was a 10-yard sack for a safety against North Texas.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Davis, who went through a position change in the 2006 season, found a way to make an impact as his career wore on. Maybe he never became the standout some had thought he might be but Davis was a solid contributor and did start in last season's Big 12 championship game.

Joey Halzle
- 2006



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Quarterback

Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.

Height/Weight: 6-4 / 203

Profiles:

Junior College
|

College

KEY STATISTICS: In three years as a back-up Halzle only had one big-time impact upon the game and while he has often received criticism for his performance at Texas Tech in 2007 his 21-for-41 for 297-yards and two touchdowns are the kind of numbers most schools wish their back-up was capable of.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Halzle not only tried to help the Sooners from a loss that basically ended all national title hopes for the 2007 season but also allowed Sam Bradford to redshirt in 2006 as well as Landry Jones this season.

Nic Harris
- 2005



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Safety

Hometown: Alexandria, La.

Height/Weight: 6-3 / 230

Profiles:

High School
|

College
KEY STATISTICS: Harris started 44 games as a Sooner and was a three-time All Big 12 selection, twice making the first team. Perhaps Harris' biggest game as a Sooner was the 2007 Big 12 championship game when he had six tackles including one for an 11-yard loss.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING:In Rivals.com rankings, a four-star is a multiple-year starter with all-conference type talent. It's hard to think of a much better way to summarize Harris' career, after some early struggles as a true freshman he developed into a player who will be missed next year.

Lendy Holmes
- 2004



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Safety

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Height/Weight: 6-1 / 201

Profiles:

High School
|

College

KEY STATISTICS: Holmes' most notable moments as a Sooner may have been during his sophomore season spent at cornerback, Holmes' dynamic ability was put on display for most to see.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Holmes wasn't just a very suitable player during his time in Norman but also an incredibly diverse one. Holmes started his career at wide receiver before being moved to safety, then to corner, and then again spending the last two seasons as a starting safety.

Juaquin Iglesias
- 2005



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Killeen, Texas

Height/Weight: 6-0 / 204

Profiles:

High School
|

College
KEY STATISTICS: Iglesias, without much notoriety, became only the second Sooner in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards for the season. It may be several years from now before most realize how much the school's No. 2 man all-time in receptions and yardage is respected for his efforts as a Sooner.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: Iglesias wasted no time in becoming a Sooner legend, even if most don't realize it now. The star receiver during his freshman year kept Oklahoma from the unthinkable, a shocking loss to Baylor. From that point on he continued to become a star averaging nearly 750-yards a season.

Manuel Johnson
- 2005



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Wide Receiver

Hometown: Gilmer, Texas

Height/Weight: 6-0 / 183

Profiles:

High School
|

College

KEY STATISTICS: Johnson seemed to be at his best against Texas Tech the past few years. In the games with the Red Raiders he had nine catches for 249-yards and three-touchdowns.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING:If Johnson could have remained healthy he might have had stats similar to that of his classmate and good friend, Iglesias. Johnson's senior season was well worth the wait but even then he fought off a nasty elbow injury.

Mike Knall
- 2005



High School Ranking: UR



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Punter

Hometown: Chaparral, Ariz.

Height/Weight: 5-10 / 190

Profiles:

College
KEY STATISTICS: Spent most of his career as something of a situational punter being used on short fields thanks to his ability to drop kicks into the 20. However, he was the Sooners punter for every game this season, and the last quarter of the 2007 season. During 2008 he averaged nearly 37-yards per punt.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING:Just figuring as a starter in a time in which the Sooners needed him to, and also allowing powerfully-legged Tress Way to redshirt only aided to his impact on the program. Knall was a solid punter and without much talk played well in the national championship game.

Phil Loadholt
- 2007



Junior College Ranking:


College Re-Ranking:




Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Fountain, Colo.

Height/Weight: 6-8 / 337

Profiles:

Junior College


College

KEY STATISTICS: Loadholt started every game during his two seasons as a Sooner and was part of a Sooner offensive line that yielded less than a sack per game for the two years.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: If not for some inconsistency at points in his career Loadholt could have argued for another star. That being said Loadholt dominated nearly every comer, including his first big test as a Sooner, Calais Campbell of Miami in 2007.

Duke Robinson
- 2005



High School Ranking:


College Re-Ranking:




Position: Offensive Lineman

Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.

Height/Weight: 6-5 / 330

Profiles:

High School


College
KEY STATISTICS: After arriving on campus a bit overweight Robinson spent the summer before his sophomore year getting into shape and came back and became a three-year starter, multiple all-conference award winner and even made some All-American list.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING:Probably the most difficult ranking to make as Robinson is widely considered as one of the nation's top lineman but for most who have watched the Sooners closely the past two years it's been his mental miscues and sometimes passive play that stick out.

Brandon Walker
- 2006



High School Ranking:



College Re-Ranking:




Position: Offensive Lineman

Hometown: Detroit, Mich.

Height/Weight: 6-3 / 284

Profiles:

High School
|

College

KEY STATISTICS: Walked arrived on campus and immediately took a starting job with the 2006 team and helped the Sooners re-establish themselves as the flagship program of the Big 12. In perhaps his best game as a Sooner Walker had 19 knockdown blocks against Texas in 2006.



REASON BEHIND THE RANKING: The junior college transfer came in as one of the elite junior college prospects and did nothing in his time in Norman to hurt that reputation. Walker has pro-potential and while the press focused on the size of the left side of the line lots of folks arond Norman would count on Walker to make a block before anyone else.






.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!