Billy Sims

Billy Ray Sims (born September 18, 1955) is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for five seasons during the 1980s. Sims played college football for the University of Oklahoma, where he was a two-time consensus All-American, and won the Heisman Trophy in 1978. He was the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the NFL's Detroit Lions. Sims was the last Oklahoma player taken Number 1 overall in the NFL Draft until quarterback Sam Bradford was taken first in the 2010 NFL Draft.[1][2] He was given the nickname "Kung Fu Billy Sims" by ESPN's Chris Berman, after a game where the Detroit Lions played the Houston Oilers. In the NFL Films highlight, rather than be tackled during a rushing attempt, Sims ran at, jumped, and, while fully airborne, kicked Oilers Cornerback Steve Brown in the head.[3]

Billy Sims
refer to caption
Sims in 2010
No. 20
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:September 18, 1955 (age 63)
St. Louis, Missouri
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Hooks (TX)
NFL Draft:1980 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:5,106
Player stats at

Early years

Sims was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but in the eighth grade he moved to Hooks, Texas, to live with his grandmother. Sims initially played baseball and grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan. He showed no interest in football until moving to Texas.[1] In three years of varsity football at Hooks High School, he rushed 1,128 times (a state record at the time, currently second behind Robert Strait) for 7,738 yards, including 441 carries in 1973 (another state record at the time, currently tied for second behind Ketric Sanford). Sims' 38 games with 100 yards or more rushing (1972-1974) is tied for third place in all-time Texas high school records (with Ken Hall and Steve Worster) behind Robert Strait's 41 games, and Wes Danaher's 43 100-yard games.[4]

College career

Sims attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played for coach Barry Switzer's Oklahoma Sooners football team from 1975 to 1979. After playing only one game in his freshman year of 1975, injuries kept Sims out of the lineup for most of his sophomore season, which allowed him to red-shirt to gain an extra year of eligibility. Injuries continued to plague Sims for half of his (red-shirt) sophomore season in 1977 (he rushed for only 545 yards total in two seasons in 1975 and 1977, plus one game in 1976.) In 1978, Sims rushed for 1,762 yards on 231 carries as a red-shirt junior, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Including the postseason, Sims had 1,896 yards. Both the before and after bowl game totals led the NCAA. He also set a total yardage school record that stood until 2004, when freshman Adrian Peterson ran for 1,925 yards. Subsequently, Sims was awarded the Heisman Trophy for the 1978 season, becoming only the sixth junior to do so.[5][6] He was runner-up for the Heisman the following season in 1979, coming in second to Charles White of USC.[7]

In 1979, against then-unbeaten Nebraska, who had the No. 1 rushing defense in the country at the time, Sims ran for 247 yards and helped the Sooners to a 17–14 win. Including the bowl game he had 248 attempts for 1,670 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, and scored 23 touchdowns. He also became the first running back in Big 8 Conference (now merged to form the Big 12 Conference) history to rush for 200-yards in three consecutive games, and had four 200-yard games in a single season.

After losing to the Arkansas Razorbacks 31–6 in 1978, Sims led the Sooners to two consecutive Orange Bowl titles in three straight appearances. In the Orange Bowl following the 1978 season, he rushed for 134 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 31–24 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. In his final game, he ran for 164 yards as Oklahoma beat the previously-undefeated Florida State Seminoles by a score of 24–7. Sims ended his career at OU with 3,813 yards; most of those yards came in his final two seasons.


Rushing Receiving
1976 3 44 14.7 18 0
1977 71 413 5.9 43 6
1978 256 1,896 7.4 63 22 1 35 35.0 35 0
1979 248 1,670 6.7 71 23 1 42 42.0 42 0
Totals 578 4,023 7.0 71 51 2 77 38.5 42 0

Professional career

As he expected,[8] Sims was the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft. He spent his career with the Detroit Lions, making the Pro Bowl in 1980, 1981, and 1982. Sims led Detroit to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983, but they lost in the first round in both appearances. In the 1983 wild card game at Candlestick Park against the San Francisco 49ers, Sims ran for 114 yards on 20 carries, but Joe Montana led the 49ers to a comeback victory, as Detroit kicker Eddie Murray missed a field goal in the waning moments.

Sims' career ultimately ended midway through the 1984 season when he suffered a catastrophic right knee injury in a game against the Minnesota Vikings on October 21. Sims finished his career with 1131 carries for 5106 yards (4.5 yards per carry), and 186 receptions for 2072 yards (11.1 yards per catch). He spent two years attempting to rehabilitate his knee before retiring in 1986.[9] Sims remains a beloved former sports figure in Detroit.[10] His number "20" was worn five years after his retirement by Barry Sanders, and is currently retired as an unofficial "Triumvirate" of the greatest Lions in the modern era to ever wear the number, which also includes Hall of Fame defensive back Lem Barney.

Comeback attempt

In 1988, four years after the knee injury that forced his retirement, Sims announced he was attempting a comeback with the Lions for the 1989 season. Speaking with Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom, Sims claimed to be "as fit as he was in 1983." He offered to play the season with a blank check, allowing Lions management to assess his value and fill in the salary amount accordingly. Sims hoped to meet with then-General Manager Russ Thomas and owner William Clay Ford, Sr. to discuss a spot on the team's roster.[11] Despite some interest from Lions head coach Wayne Fontes,[12] Sims never returned to the NFL.


Rushing Receiving
1980 DET 313 1,303 4.2 52 13 51 621 12.2 87 3
1981 DET 296 1,437 4.9 51 13 28 451 16.1 81 2
1982 DET 172 639 3.7 29 4 34 342 10.1 52 0
1983 DET 220 1,040 4.7 41 7 42 419 10.0 54 0
1984 DET 130 687 5.3 81 5 31 239 7.7 20 0
Totals 1,131 5,106 4.5 81 42 186 2,072 11.1 87 5


Life after football

Financial difficulties

When Billy Sims retired from the Lions in 1984, he received a $1.9 million insurance settlement from Lloyd's of London, in addition to the several million dollars he earned during his playing career.[14] Sims lost his accumulated wealth through a series of failed business ventures. His numerous businesses included a nightclub, a radio station, a dry cleaner, and a car parts manufacturer.

Selling the Heisman

In 1995, he sold his Heisman Trophy to Texas businessman Bob White, who had been a father figure to Sims since he was in the ninth grade; White's son played high school football with Sims.[15] The trophy was sold to White with the agreement that it could be re-purchased by Sims by paying the original price plus 8.5% interest.[16]

Recent years

In 2007, a bronze statue of Sims was dedicated on the University of Oklahoma campus in Heisman Park, commemorating his 1978 award.[17] The life and one half size statue was created by sculptor Jim Franklin in his studio in Perry, Oklahoma. The bronze was cast by the Bronze Horse Foundry in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Sims began giving the "Boomer! Sooner!" Oklahoma cheer immediately following the naming of the winner at the Heisman Trophy induction ceremonies of the four most recent Oklahoma Sooner winners, Jason White , Sam Bradford, Baker Mayfield, and Kyler Murray and held up a sign reading "Boomer" during the 2009 Heisman ceremony. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. Sims is honored in Hooks with Billy Sims Road, and the local library displays a collection of his photos;[18][19] Sims said while at Oklahoma that he preferred his home town to big cities.[8] He maintains 54 Billy Sims Barbecue restaurants franchises with co-founder Jeff Jackson.[20]

Career accomplishments

  • High School (Hooks High School 1972–74, High School Coach: Jack Coleman)
    • Consecutive 100-yard games: 38 (state record)
    • Total 100-yard games: 38
    • Total points: 516
    • Carries-season: 441 (1973; 378 in 1974)
    • Rushing yards in a seasons: 3,080 (1973; 2,885 in 1974)
    • Career carries: 1,128
    • Total yards: 7,738
  • Collegiate
  • NFL
    • 3-Time Pro-Bowl selection
    • 32nd – NFL All-Time Rushing Yards Per-Carry (4.515)
    • 75th, along with Calvin Hill & Don Perkins, – NFL All-Time Rushing Touchdowns (42)
    • 92nd – NFL All-Time Rushing Yardage (5,106)
    • 1st player to score 3 touchdowns in first NFL game.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b Tramel, Jimmie. "Distant dreams: Billy Sims watches as new Sooner generation makes it big." Tulsa World, September 5, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "All Time Number 1 Draft Picks." Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Hailey, Gary. "Billy Sims: The Man, the 'Fro, the BBQ." Naptime Huddle, October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "1978 Heisman Trophy Voting." Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  6. ^ "Heisman Trophy Winners." Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "1979 Heisman Trophy Voting." Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Martz, Ron (November 28, 1979). "BIG RED: When OU fans go to games, it's like going to church". St. Petersburg Times. pp. 1C, 5C. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "A Billy Sims Comeback?" Observer-Reporter, December 20, 1988. Google Books. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Detroit Lions Gridiron Heroes: Billy Sims." Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  11. ^ Associated Press. "IN BRIEF : Sims Hoping for Detroit Comeback." Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1988. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  12. ^ "A Billy Sims Comeback?" Observer-Reporter, December 20, 1988. Google News Archive. Retrieved November 201, 2014.
  13. ^ "Billy Sims". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  14. ^ Hailey, Gary. "Billy Sims: Bankruptcy, Bouncing Back...and BBQ." Naptime Huddle, October 24, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  15. ^ Taylor, Jeff. "A Most Desperate Option Play: Sims Once Sold His Heisman." The Seattle Times, March 29, 1998. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  16. ^ "Sims still getting hit hard." USA Today, March 7, 2001. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  17. ^ "Heisman Park." Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  18. ^ Richardson, Steve. 100 Things Oklahoma Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2014. ISBN 162937007X. Google Books. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  19. ^ Pasche, Paula. 100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2012. ISBN 9781623680213. Google Books. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  20. ^ "About: Billy Sims BBQ." Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  21. ^ "NFL First Game Records". Retrieved August 7, 2013.

External links

1978 Oklahoma Sooners football team

The 1978 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the college football 1978 NCAA Division I-A season. Oklahoma Sooners football participated in the former Big Eight Conference at that time and played its home games in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where it has played its home games since 1923. The team posted an 11–1 overall record and a 6–1 conference record to earn a share of the conference title under head coach Barry Switzer. This was Switzer's sixth conference title in six seasons since taking the helm in 1973.The team was led by All-Americans Billy Sims (who won the Heisman Trophy), Daryl Hunt, Reggie Kinlaw, and Greg Roberts, The Sooners started the season with nine consecutive wins before losing to Nebraska. During the season, OU faced ranked opponents four times (#14 Missouri, #6 Texas, and #4 & #6 Nebraska); four different opponents finished the season ranked. Its only defeat came against Nebraska in their regular season match. The Sooners were able to avenge that loss as an at-large selection to the Orange Bowl against conference co-champions Nebraska, who had claimed the automatic berth by virtue of their victory over OU.Sims led the nation in scoring with 132 points (based on per game average of 10.9, which includes 120 in 11 games). Sims led the team in rushing with a record-setting 1896 yards, Thomas Lott led the team in passing with 487 yards, Bobby Kimball led the team in receiving with 207 yards, Hunt led the team with 157 tackles and Darrol Ray posted 8 interceptions.The 5001 yards rushing remain second in Oklahoma football history behind the 1971 team's 5635. The defense set the school's all-time record with 28 interceptions and tied the record of 50 forced turnovers. Daryl Hunt set the school record for career tackles. Billy Sims became the only Sooner to post four 200-yard games in a season. Sims' 1896 yards stood as the Sooner record until Adrian Peterson posted 1925 in 2004.Billy Sims became the sixth junior to win the Heisman Trophy. Sims was the nation's leading rusher and scorer for 1978. He averaged 160.1 yards and 10.9 points. He set the Big Eight Conference single season rushing record of 1,762 yards on 231 carries for an average of 7.6 yards. Sims was the only back in the nation's top 50 to average 7.0 per carry, and became the first player in Big Eight history to rush for more than 300 yards in three straight games.

1978 Orange Bowl

The 1978 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 2, 1978, featuring the Arkansas Razorbacks against the heavily-favored Oklahoma Sooners.

The sixth-ranked Razorbacks were 10–1, but were heavy underdogs to the #2 Sooners. Earlier in the day, top-ranked Texas and their Heisman Trophy-winning running back Earl Campbell had lost the Cotton Bowl 38–10 to #5 Notre Dame (led by quarterback Joe Montana). Oklahoma now had the inside track to the national championship, if they beat Arkansas. In the regular season, Texas defeated Oklahoma and Arkansas on consecutive weekends en route to its 11–0 record.

To complicate matters for Arkansas, first-year head coach Lou Holtz suspended three players prior to the game for team violations. Two of those players, running backs Ben Cowins and Donny Bobo, had together accounted for 78% of their points. Oklahoma was led by redshirt sophomore halfback Billy Sims, a future Heisman Trophy winner, and on defense by safety Darrol Ray and linebacker Daryl Hunt.

Although the suspended Arkansas players protested, Holtz refused to back down and the suspensions stood. Already considered a heavy underdog to Oklahoma, with the loss of those starters Arkansas was expected to give little competition in the game. Arkansas was an 18-point underdog prior to the suspensions. After the suspensions, they were given as 24-point underdogs by Las Vegas oddsmakers. The Orange Bowl would likely decide the national championship; it did, but not in the way that most expected.Backup running back Roland Sales started for Arkansas in the place of Cowins. With Sales doing most of the running of the ball, Arkansas out-rushed Oklahoma 126 yards to 116 yards in the first half, with Sims fumbling the ball early in the first quarter causing the Razorbacks to recover on the Oklahoma 9 yard line. That resulted in a Sales touchdown (followed by a PAT kicker Steve Little). Another Oklahoma fumble by Kenny King resulted in another Arkansas touchdown rushed in by Hog quarterback Ron Calcagni in the first quarter. In the second half, Sales rushed for another touchdown, Brian White rushed for a touchdown and Little kicked a field goal. A ferocious Arkansas defense, led by defensive tackle Dan Hampton, built a 24–0 lead after three quarters. Oklahoma scored early in the fourth, but the two-point conversion attempt failed.Sales rushed 22 times for 205 yards, an Orange Bowl record; he also caught four passes for 52 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Arkansas defeated Oklahoma 31–6. Sales' Orange Bowl rushing record stood for twenty years, until broken by Ahman Green (206 yards in 1998). Sales and Arkansas teammate Reggie Freeman were named MVPs for the game. Arkansas was third in both final polls, behind Notre Dame and Alabama.The halftime show was a presentation of the Main Street Electrical Parade, one of only two times the parade has taken place outside a Disney park.

1979 Oklahoma Sooners football team

The 1979 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the college football 1979 NCAA Division I-A season. Oklahoma Sooners football participated in the former Big Eight Conference at that time and played its home games in Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium where it has played its home games since 1923. The team posted an 11–1 overall record and a 7–0 conference record to earn the Conference title outright under head coach Barry Switzer who took the helm in 1973. This was Switzer's seventh conference title and fourth undefeated conference record in seven seasons.The team was led by All-Americans Billy Sims and George Cumby. After winning the conference title outright, it earned a trip to the Orange Bowl for a bout with Florida State. During the season, it faced three different ranked opponents (In order, #4 Texas, #3 Nebraska and #4 Florida State). All three of these opponents finished the season ranked. It endured its only defeat of the season against Texas in the Red River Shootout. The Sooners started the season with a four consecutive wins before losing to Texas and then won their remaining seven games. Sims and J.C. Watts both posted for 100-yard games in the Orange Bowl.Sims led the nation in scoring with 138 points (based on per game average of 12.0, which includes 132 in 11 games). Sims led the team in rushing with 1670 yards, Watts led the team in passing with 821 yards, Freddie Nixon led the team in receiving with 293 yards, Cumby led the team with 160 tackles and Bud Hebert posted 4 interceptions. Billy Sims set numerous Oklahoma offensive records that still stand including career 200-yard games, single-season rushing touchdowns (tied)

1980 Detroit Lions season

The 1980 Detroit Lions season was the 51st season in franchise history. As the result of their 2–14 1979 season, the Lions were able to select Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma Sooner halfback Billy Sims with the first pick in the NFL draft. In his rookie season, Sims rushed his way to the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award while carrying the Lions back to respectability. After winning their first four games, the Lions stumbled down the stretch including costly 1-point losses to the Colts and lowly Cardinals. While they vastly improved overall, finishing 9–7, the Lions narrowly lost the NFC Central Division title to the Minnesota Vikings by virtue of a conference record tiebreaker. The Lions won nine NFC games to the Vikings’ eight, but Minnesota had a better winning percentage in the conference. The Lions’ 1979 fifth place finish meant they played two extra NFC games, resulting in five conference losses to the Vikings' four losses.

1981 All-Pro Team

The 1981 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1981. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press added a "nose tackle" position in 1981, joining Pro Football Weekly .

1981 Detroit Lions season

The 1981 Detroit Lions season was their 52nd in the league. The team failed to improve upon their previous season's record of 9–7, winning eight games. The Lions started off the first four games even at 2-2. In the fourth game of the season, starting quarterback Gary Danielson suffered a dislocated wrist, which ended his season. Backup quarterback Jeff Komlo finished the game and was named the starter for the next week. In the next two games, Komlo struggled. The Lions lost both of those games. Head Coach Monte Clark made the decision to give third-string quarterback Eric Hipple start on a Monday Night game against the Chicago Bears. In front of approximately 71,000 fans, Clark's gamble paid off as the Lions defeated the Bears 48-17.

Star halfback Billy Sims continued to play solid football, amassing 1,888 total yards in total offense while scoring a team-high 14 touchdowns. The Lions had a chance to win the division on the last day against Tampa Bay, but lost and finished in second place in the NFC Central with an 8–8 record. The team missed the playoffs for the eleventh straight season.

1984 Detroit Lions season

The 1984 Detroit Lions season was their 55th in the National Football League. The team failed to improve upon their previous season's output of 9–7, winning only four games. The team missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. In a Lions season littered with numerous key injuries, the most painful was star running back Billy Sims suffering a career-ending knee injury in a game against the Minnesota Vikings during the season. In just five seasons in the NFL since joining Detroit in 1980, Sims had set the Lions career rushing mark at 5,106.

1992 Detroit Lions season

The 1992 Detroit Lions season was the 63rd season in franchise history. After going 12–4 from the 1991 season, the Lions took a step back as they posted a disappointing 5-11 record despite another Pro Bowl season from Barry Sanders, who passed Billy Sims for the franchise record in rushing on November 22. The Lions were expected to once again challenge for the NFC title.

Billy Sims Barbecue

Billy Sims BBQ is an American restaurant chain founded by former professional football player, Billy Sims and his business partner, Jeff Jackson. In 2004, Sims and Jackson opened the first Billy Sims BBQ location in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The brand is supported by 54 locations operating across six states. Billy Sims BBQ is a fast casual dining restaurant.

Dave Baker (American football)

Dave Baker (born July 30, 1937 in Coffeyville, Kansas, died September 4, 2002 in Norman, Oklahoma) was a defensive back in the NFL, playing for the San Francisco 49ers for three years.David Baker grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, earning All-State honors in football, basketball and baseball. He enrolled at the University of Oklahoma in 1955 under legendary coach Bud Wilkinson. During his three years of eligibility (freshmen were not eligible in 1955), the Sooners went 30-2, were in the midst of their 47-game win streak (still an NCAA record), and won the Big 7 conference title all three years. Players played both ways at the time, Baker playing defensive back, quarterback and running back. In 1959, he was drafted into the NFL as the fifth pick of the 1st round by the San Francisco 49ers. In the last 40 years of Sooner football (226 NFL draft picks), only Lee Roy Selmon, Billy Sims and Tony Casillas have been drafted higher. Baker played Safety for the 49ers for three seasons (1959–1961) and still to this day holds the 49ers interception per season record, making 21 career interceptions, an average of seven per season. In his 1959 rookie season, he was selected to the NFL All-Pro team. Monte Clark, an All-Pro tackle with the Cleveland Browns and later an NFL head coach, spoke to the 1965-66 SNU basketball team and stated, “In my fifteen-year NFL pro career, David Baker was the hardest hitting and best defensive back I have seen in the NFL.”

After serving two years in the U.S. Army, a return to the NFL to a signed contract seemed eminent, but a different path would be charted. Dr. Roy Cantrell, president of Southern Nazarene University, called, asking for a meeting to discuss with David the possibility of coming to SNU to begin intercollegiate athletics and be a professor of physical education. The position would include being the first athletic director and head basketball coach. Forsaking a lucrative NFL contract and all of its amenities, David and Edna Baker came to Bethany, signed an SNU contract worth $3,600 annually and began a dream.

With no intercollegiate program, no scholarships and no budget, Coach Baker set out with a vision that SNU could become one of America’s finest small college athletic programs. At age 27, with a background in the country’s finest collegiate football program (OU) and the NFL (49ers), Coach Baker believed that the greatest impact and athletic experience could happen where athletics in a "Christian atmosphere” thrived.

During Coach Baker’s tenure (1964–1974) a long list of significant accomplishment occurred: the first two men’s basketball seasons had winning marks (men’s basketball was the only intercollegiate sport for four years); the Benchwarmer Club was formed in 1968; the first scholarships awarded in 1969; the Redskin Revolution to change the course of sportsmanship in society occurred (a new method of introducing players was introduced, which later was adopted by high school, college and pro teams across America); sports were added to include women’s basketball, baseball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis. On the basketball court, the innovation of the big man playing the point on the 3-2 zone defense was introduced in Broadhurst in 1971, to be copied around America at every level. The Spokesman Bicycle Tour group was formed to give hundreds of high school and college age kids a life changing experience in pedaling across America. In 1970, a goal was set to achieve a national title within a decade (it actually occurred in a decade plus one, 1981, in men’s basketball under Head Coach Dr. Loren Gresham). Coach Baker set an athletic program on course with the assurance that “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23).

Davey O'Brien Award

The Davey O'Brien Award, officially the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, named after Davey O'Brien, is presented annually to the collegiate American football player adjudged by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to be the best of all National Collegiate Athletic Association quarterbacks. The Davey O'Brien Hall of Fame is housed at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The annual awards dinner and trophy presentation is held there as well, usually in February.

In 1977, directly after the death of O'Brien, the award was established as the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy, and was given to the most outstanding player in the Southwest. Texas running back Earl Campbell won the trophy in 1977, Oklahoma running back Billy Sims won it in 1978, and Baylor linebacker Mike Singletary won it twice in 1979 and 1980. In 1981, the award was renamed the Davey O'Brien Award.

Since the renaming of the award in 1981, four players have won the award twice: Ty Detmer of BYU, Danny Wuerffel of Florida, Jason White of Oklahoma, and Deshaun Watson of Clemson.

The Executive Director of the Davey O'Brien Award is Bill Brady.

Dexter Bussey

Dexter Manley Bussey (born March 11, 1952) is a former American football running back. He played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Detroit Lions for 11 years from 1974 to 1984 and became the Lions' all-time career rushing leader in 1981.

Bussey was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1952. He began his college career at the University of Oklahoma, but he transferred to the University of Texas–Arlington. He played for the Texas–Arlington Mavericks football team from 1971 to 1973 and totaled over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in both 1972 and 1973.Bussey was selected by the Detroit Lions in the third round, 65th overall pick, of the 1974 NFL Draft. He played for the Lions from 1974 to 1984. While with the Lions, he gained more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 1976, 1978, and 1980. In his 10-year career in the NFL, Bussey totaled 5,105 rushing yards and 6,721 yards from scrimmage. He was the Lions' starting halfback from 1975 to 1979 and the team's leading rusher in 1975, 1976, 1978, and 1979. He moved to fullback in 1980 after the Lions drafted Billy Sims. Bussey broke Altie Taylor's Lions' career rushing record in 1981, but his record was surpassed by Sims in 1984 and he became a backup after the Lions drafted James Jones in 1983. Bussey announced his retirement from the NFL in April 1985 at age 33.After retiring as a player, Bussey worked for at least 20 years as a uniform inspector for the NFL. He also operated a medical staffing agency.

History of the Detroit Lions

The history of the Detroit Lions, a professional American football franchise based in Detroit, Michigan, dates back to 1929 when they played in Portsmouth, Ohio as the Portsmouth Spartans. Currently in their 89th season, they are one of the National Football League's oldest franchises.

Ketric Sanford

Ketric Sanford (born (1978-07-06)July 6, 1978) is a former American football running back.

A native of Corsicana, Texas, Sanford played high school football at Corsicana High School under coach Tom Wilson from 1993 to 1995. Sanford carried the ball 1,058 times and, as of 2012, was fifth all-time in Texas high school football behind Johnathan Gray, Jacquizz Rodgers, Robert Strait and Billy Sims. During the 1994 season he carried the ball 475 times, still a state record for rushing attempts in a single season.He played collegiately at the University of Houston, where he finished his career as the Cougars’ all-time leading rusher with 3,636 yards, rushing touchdowns and all-purpose yards. As a senior, he was given an honorable mention All-America choice by College Football News, as well as a first-team All-Conference USA selection. Sanford first topped the 1,000-yard mark as a junior with 1,054 rushing yards.Sanford was undrafted in the 2000 NFL Draft and played the 2001 season for the Memphis Maniax.

List of first overall National Football League draft picks

This is a list of first overall National Football League draft picks. The National Football League draft is an annual sports draft in which NFL teams select newly eligible players for their rosters. To be eligible, a player must be out of high school at least three years. Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL draft. The draft rules were last updated in 2009. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams also have the option to trade with another team to move up to a better draft position. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record, with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).From 1947 through 1958 the first selection was awarded by a random draw. The team which received this "bonus" pick forfeited its selection in the final round of the draft. The winner of the "bonus pick" was eliminated from the draw in future years. By 1958 all twelve clubs in the league at the time had received a bonus choice and the system was abolished.Before the merger agreements in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft. This led to a massive bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues, along with the subsequent drafting of the same player in each draft. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues held a multiple round "Common Draft". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the "Common Draft" simply became the NFL Draft.Through the 2018 NFL draft, 83 players have been selected first overall, with the most recent being Baker Mayfield. The Indianapolis Colts – formerly the Baltimore Colts – have made the most first overall selections in history with seven. Of the first overall draft picks, 43 have been selected to a Pro Bowl and of those 43, twelve have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While the Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in U.S. college football, only 21 of those Heisman winners have been selected first overall in the NFL draft. Only five first overall draft pick players have been selected the NFL Rookie of the Year: Earl Campbell (1978); Billy Sims (1980); George Rogers (1981); Sam Bradford (2010); and Cam Newton (2011).

Mr. Football USA

Mr. Football USA also known as ESPN RISE National Player of the Year, formerly EA Sports Mr. Football USA, is an award presented to the United States high school football National Player of the year by ESPN HS. In 2013, the award was given by the - Will Grier, Davidson (North Carolina) QB

2012 - Max Browne, Skyline (Washington) QB

2011 – Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas) RB

2010 – Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas) RB (Jr.)

2009 – Dillon Baxter, Mission Bay (San Diego) QB-RB

2008 – Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) QB

2007 – Jacory Harris, Northwestern (Miami) QB

2006 – Darren Evans, Warren Central (Indianapolis) FB

2005 – Matthew Stafford, Highland Park (Dallas) QB

2004 – Chase Daniel, Carroll (Southlake, Texas) QB

2003 – Jeff Byers, Loveland (Loveland, Colo.) OL-DL

2002 – Chris Leak, Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) QB

2001 – Vince Young, Madison (Houston) QB

2000 – Cedric Benson, Robert E. Lee (Midland, Texas) RB

1999 – D. J. Williams, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) RB-LB

1998 – J. R. House, Nitro (Nitro, W. Va.) QB

1997 – Ronald Curry, Hampton (Va.) QB-RB

1996 – Travis Henry, Frostproof (Fla.) RB

1995 – Tim Couch, Leslie County (Hyden, Ky.) QB

1994 – Chris Redman, Male (Louisville, Ky.) QB

1993 – Peyton Manning, Newman (New Orleans) QB

1992 – James Allen, Wynnewood (Okla.) RB

1991 – Steven Davis, Spartanburg (S.C.) RB

1990 – Derrick Brooks, Washington (Pensacola, Fla.) LB

1989 – Robert Smith, Euclid (Ohio) RB

1988 – Terry Kirby, Tabb (Va.) RB

1987 – Carl Pickens, Murphy (N.C.) WR

1986 – Emmitt Smith, Escambia (Pensacola, Fla.) RB

1985 – Jeff George, Warren Central (Indianapolis) QB

1984 – Andre Rison, Northwestern (Flint, Mich.) WR-DB

1983 – Chris Spielman, Washington (Massillon, Ohio) LB

1982 – Rod Woodson, Snider (Fort Wayne, Ind.) WR-DB

1981 – Marcus Dupree, Philadelphia (Miss.) RB

1980 – Bill Fralic, Penn Hills (Pittsburgh) OL

1979 – Herschel Walker, Johnson County (Wrightsville, Ga.) RB

1978 – Eric Dickerson, Sealy (Sealy) RB

1977 – Marcus Allen, Lincoln (San Diego) QB-RB

1976 – Freeman McNeil, Banning (Wilmington, Calif.) RB

1975 – Charles White, San Fernando (San Fernando, Calif.) RB

1974 – Billy Sims, Hooks (Hooks, Texas) RB

1973 – Earl Campbell, John Tyler (Tyler, Texas) RB

1972 – Tony Dorsett, Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.) RB

1971 – Dave Logan, Wheat Ridge (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) WR

1970 – Pat Haden, Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) QB

Oklahoma Sooners football statistical leaders

The Oklahoma Sooners football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Oklahoma Sooners football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Sooners represent the University of Oklahoma in the NCAA's Big 12 Conference.

Although Oklahoma began competing in intercollegiate football in 1895, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1946. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1946, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Sooners have played in a bowl game every year since then, giving players since 2002 an additional game to accumulate statistics. Similarly, the Sooners have played in the Big 12 Championship Game 10 times since 2000.

The Sooners eclipsed 5,000 total offensive yards as a team all but twice (for a total of 16 times) during the tenure of Bob Stoops as head coach from 1999 to 2016, and did so again during the first two seasons of current head coach Lincoln Riley in 2017 and 2018. Oklahoma had only done this eight times before Stoops' arrival. In addition, the 2017 and 2018 seasons marked the 11th and 12th times the Sooners accumulated over 6,000 yards, with the other 10 times occurring during Stoops' tenure as head coach. The team had never accomplished this feat before Stoops took over.These lists are updated through the end of the 2018 season.

The Oklahoma Heismen

The Oklahoma Heismen is a 2005 documentary made by Vintage Sports Productions.

Tagline: From Small Town Athletic Fields to the Downtown Athletic Club.

Willie Galimore

Willie "The Wisp" Galimore (March 30, 1935 – July 27, 1964) was an American football running back for the Chicago Bears from 1957–1963. He attended Florida A&M University, working with the legendary coach Jake Gaither. Galimore is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Galimore possessed incredible speed and lateral movement; many of the opposing players of the time stated that they believed Galimore could run side-to-side down the field just as fast as most men could in a straight line. His running style could be said to most resemble the style of Billy Sims or perhaps Terrell Davis, but faster.

In a documentary short by NFL Films on Galimore, it was said that he was probably the last great find before NFL scouting became sophisticated. Bears assistant coach Phil Handler, while scouting for talent in Florida, received a tip about Galimore's prowess as a halfback, and the Bears subsequently drafted him in the 5th round of the 1956 NFL draft. Galimore's peers (including Chuck Bednarik and Doug Atkins) referred to Galimore as one of the best runners they ever faced.

Galimore was killed in an automobile accident on July 27, 1964 in Rensselaer, Indiana at the age of 29 with teammate Bo Farrington. His number 28 has been retired by the Bears.His son, Ron Galimore, was the first Black U.S. Olympic gymnast.

Willie Galimore's last visit to his hometown of St. Augustine, Florida came just weeks before his death, and he participated in the St. Augustine movement during the Civil Rights Movement, becoming the first Black person who was able to register as a guest at the previously all-white Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge (where the arrest of the 72-year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts for trying to be served in a racially integrated group had made national headlines a few months before). Galimore's civil rights activism is honored with a Freedom Trail marker at his home at 57 Chapin Street in St. Augustine. His widow, Mrs. Audrey Galimore, took part in the dedication of the marker on July 2, 2007. A community center in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood of the city also bears Galimore's name, and he is depicted on a historical mural painted by schoolchildren on Washington Street.

Special teams
Special teams

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