Oklahoma Sooners Numbers Game: 81-90
Last week, we looked at the greatest Sooners to wear the numbers 71-80. Now, we continue with the Oklahoma Sooners numbers game series as we look a numbers 81-90. This group has a wide area of players from Tight End, to Defensive Line, and yes even a punter. However, the significance of this group cannot be understated. With this in mind, any and all comments or input are welcomed. Let us begin the debate in our latest edition of the Oklahoma Sooners numbers game.
#81 Mark Andrews
We begin with one of the best tight end in Sooner history with Andrews. Andrews came in as a wide receiver but quickly changed to a tight end. His breakout season came in 2017 when he had 62 catches for 958 yards and eight touchdowns. He was an All-Big 12 first-teamer and a Mackey Award winner in his final season in Norman. Incredibly, Andrews had 20% of his receptions go for touchdowns as a Sooner.
#82 Billy Brooks
Brooks was part of the Sooners back to back national championship teams of 1974 and 1975. Even though his statistics pale in comparison to today’s receivers, Brooks was a great player. He had receptions of 72, 68, and 63 yards as a Sooner. In fact, he also had game-winning touchdown receptions against Texas and Ohio State. Even sharing the field with Tinker Owens, Brooks gained national honors and was the 11th player taken in the 1976 draft.
#83 Jeff Ferguson
Yes, even the punters deserve some credit as well. And Ferguson gets that credit as one of the best punters in Oklahoma football history. He reached All-American honors for the Sooners at the position in 2001. This was a year in which he averaged 44 yards per punt and led the Big 12 in both the number of punts and punting yardage.
#84 Frank Alexander
Alexander comes to us at number 84 as the first defensive player in numbers 81-90. He steadily improved and came on as a force for Oklahoma’s defense in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he was voted as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. This was a year that he had 19 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks for the season.
#85 Ryan Broyles
Even though he may not be the best in people’s minds, Broyles is statistically the best wide receiver in Sooner football history. His 4,586 career receiving yards are 1,000 more than the second leading receiver. His breakout year came in 2010 where he had 131 catches for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was a consensus All-American in 2010 and 2011 and he ranks third in career receiving yards in FBS history.
#86 Steve Bryan
Bryan is the brother of the late Rick Bryan who was also on our list of greatest players. The young Bryan may not have received the notoriety as his brother, but he was a very good player in his own right. Bryan was an All-Big Eight performer in 1985. Additionally, he was a big contributor and helped the Sooners win a national championship.
#87 Gordon Brown
Back we go to the 1960s for our most worthy recipient for number 87. Brown played the wide receiver position for the Sooners. He made the most out of his opportunities in 1964 and 1965. However, 1965 was his breakout year. He had 35 receptions for 413 yards and one touchdown. In that day and age, 35 receptions is equivalent to a 100-yard catch season today.
#88 Keith Jackson
Jackson is certainly one of the most charismatic players in Oklahoma football history. He’s certainly the best tight end and one of the greatest to wear a Sooner uniform. He’s changed the way the tight end position is looked at today. Even with limited opportunities, Jackson had over 1,500 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns as a receiver. He was a consensus All-American in 1986 and 1987 and averaged over 24 yards per reception for his career.
#89 Mike Phillips
The talent at the number 89 is not quite the same as we’ve seen at some of the other numbers on this list. However, Phillips makes the cut as the best. Although, Phillips might be better known for a negative experience. He, along with Kerry Jackson were part of the reason the Sooners were put on probation in the 1970s for the tampering of transcripts. But, Phillips was a solid contributor in the 1976 season at defensive line and had three interceptions.
#90 Pete Smith
In our final selection, we have to go all the way back into the 1930s. Smith was an All-American for the Sooners in 1937, That’s a huge honor for an individual that started as a walk-on for Oklahoma. Smith played offense, defense, and special teams for the Sooners as well.