It was no surprise that quarterback Sam Bradford went to the St. Louis Rams first and not much of a shock either that defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was selected third by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Offensive lineman Trent Williams was projected in the top 10, but it might have been a little surprising that he went in the top four.
After that, tight end Jermaine Gresham went at No. 21 to the Cincinnati Bengals in what completed the Sooners’ tremendous run in the first round.
“This was historic night, a statement for our program,” said OU head coach Bob Stoops. “Everyone associated with our program should be proud of what was accomplished in this draft. I am just overwhelmed and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know these guys and coach them. To think that four guys who came in as members of the same recruiting class went in the first 21 picks is amazing.”
And it’s certainly a tribute to the entire staff, not only just Stoops.
“I also want to recognize our coaching staff, both the position coaches and the strength and conditioning staff,” Stoops said. “They have done an incredible job of developing our players and positioning them to have this kind of success on draft day.”
Stoops said a lot of this success comes from the fact that the players and coaching staff strive toward the same goals.
“When you combine players and coaches who are dedicated toward the common goal of getting better every day, players realize their lifelong dreams,” Stoops said.
A lot of accomplishing this can also be attributed to the players’ commitment to working hard at OU in all aspects.
“I also want to salute these guys for staying in school,” Stoops said. “I don’t know how you could look at this draft and think that these players did anything but improve themselves by staying for another year.
“And each of them also has a degree or is very close to having one. We tell them to ‘have their cake and eat it too,’ and these four guys did that very thing. They had a fulfilling college career, athletically and academically, and now have an opportunity to play in the NFL.”
Because of that, they have represented OU with this historic draft.
“They are a credit to our university and our football program,” Stoops said. “I could not be more pleased for them. This accomplishment is the result of hard work and dedication that these guys have put forth since they day they arrived on our campus. They have earned their way to this level.”
And now they will all play as first round draft picks at the next level.
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