What’s in a number? It’s something that all of us utilize in our daily lives in some form or fashion. But, in the college football world, it’s identifiable. It’s identifiable in terms of how recognizable many of our favorite players are. Throughout history, we’ve seen multiple great players wear the same number over and over again. With our Oklahoma Sooners numbers game series, we will break down our favorites from number one to 99. Today, we start by looking at numbers from one to 10.
#1. J.C. Watts
Even though Watts wore the number 19 as a freshman, he certainly identifies with the number one. Watts had 44 career touchdowns, with 35 of those coming on the ground. He had a 22-3 record as a starter and his last game might have been his best as he hit Steve Rhodes to bring the Sooners to within one point. Then, he connected with Forrest Valora for the game-winning two-point conversion.
#2. CeeDee Lamb
Lamb ended his Sooner career as the third-leading receiver in school history. He totaled 3,292 career receiving yards as a Sooner. However, he ranks second in school history in terms of touchdown receptions with 32. He was a big reason why Oklahoma was able to make it to three consecutive College Football Playoffs.
#3. Sterling Shepard
Staying with the wide receiver position, we have Shepard as our all-time number three. Shepard flip-flops with Lamb in the record books. Shepard is second in total receiving yardage with 3,482 yards. But, he is tied for third with 26 career touchdown receptions. Shepard’s best game was a seven-catch 215-yard performance against TCU in 2014.
#4. Jamelle Holieway
Holieway was considered by many as one of the best option quarterbacks in FBS history. He led the Sooners to a national championship in 1985 after taking over for the injured Troy Aikman. For his career, Holieway had over 5,100 yards of total offense with 54 touchdowns. Until the 2018-2019 season, Holieway was the only true freshman quarterback to win a national title.
#5. Steve Davis
Davis was one of the most successful quarterbacks to ever wear the crimson and cream. He had a 32-1-1 record as a Sooner with national championships in 1974 and 1975. The Oklahoma native rushed for over 2,100 yards and had 34 rushing touchdowns in his career. Davis still holds the record for the best winning percentage for a college football quarterback.
#6. Baker Mayfield
While he is certainly the most popular, Mayfield might very well be the best player in Sooner football history. He ranks second in total yards and touchdown passes in program history just behind Landry Jones. However, Mayfield is the leader in terms of completion percentage and passing efficiency. Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy in 2017 and led the Sooners back to the playoffs as well.
#7. Demarco Murray
Murray was certainly one of the best running back in Oklahoma football history. He ranks seventh all-time in rushing at a school that is replete with outstanding running backs. But, it’s possible that he could have been the leading rusher at the school if he was able to stay healthy. Murray’s signature play was a hurdle over a Texas Longhorn defender on his way to a long touchdown in the 2007 Red River Showdown.
#8. Darrell Shepard
Although it might be true that the number eight doesn’t have as much star power as some of the other numbers on this list, Shepard is certainly deserving. He is the uncle of Sterling Shepard. Shepard ran for 771 yards as a senior in 1981 for the Sooners. Incredibly, he only threw 62 passes in his Sooner career.
#9. Mark Clayton
Now, we come to our third receiver in the first 10 numbers with Clayton. He ranks fourth in receiving yards and touchdowns with 3,241 yards and 31 scores respectively. Clayton’s best game was an eight catch 190-yard performance against Texas in 2003. He was a two-time All-American in 2003 and 2004 where he helped lead the Sooners to the national championship game each year.
#10. Torrance Marshall
Our lone defensive players come to us at number 10 with Torrance Marshall. He was a team captain both years and was instrumental in helping the Sooners get their seventh national title. He was named MVP of the 2001 Orange Bowl where Oklahoma defeated Florida State 13-2. Earlier in the season, he helped to salvage Oklahoma’s perfect season with an interception and game-winning touchdown against Texas A&M.