Coach Stoops and members of the OU football team meet State Legislature.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Oklahoma lawmakers lauded head coach Bob Stoops and representatives of the OU football team with brief ceremonies at the state capitol Monday afternoon in Oklahoma City.
"It is a unique opportunity and pleasure to be honored by the state legislators," said Coach Stoops. "We appreciate how special it is to represent our university and state, and we are grateful to President Boren, Joe Castiglione and all our fans for creating such an incredible environment for us. Our success is a reflection of the tremendous support we receive."
The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution commending the Sooners for the 2008 Big 12 Conference title while the Senate honored quarterback Sam Bradford by proclaiming March 2, 2009, as "Sam Bradford Day" across the state.
"It was a great honor to be recognized by the senate and house of representatives especially since my teammates were there to share that with me," said Bradford. "I owe any personal success to our team. I think today reminded us that there are a lot of people in Oklahoma who are cheering for us. That's rewarding and challenging all at the same time."
Along with Bradford, fourteen players joined Coach Stoops at the capitol including Frank Alexander, Jeremy Beal, Chris Brown, Ryan Broyles, Brandon Caleb, Keenan Clayton, Brody Eldridge, Auston English, Dominique Franks, Jermaine Gresham, Brian Jackson, Gerald McCoy, DeMarco Murray and Brian Simmons.
The 2009 Sooner football team begins spring drills on Tuesday afternoon in Norman. Watch for complete coverage
including daily updates, video features and interviews plus photo galleries direct from SoonerSports.com.
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Release from the State Senate:
The State Senate honored the 2008 Big 12 champions, the University of Oklahoma Sooners and their outstanding quarterback, 2008 Heisman winner Sam Bradford.
The team and Head Coach Bob Stoops were welcomed with cheers and applause as they lined up to listen to the reading of two resolutions recognizing their many accomplishments.
"We are very fortunate to get to play at a great university that we're very proud of. I recognize the great support that we get from our president David Boren, through our athletic director Joe Castiglione, through all the communities throughout Oklahoma, the great support of our student body and 85,000 sold out every single game," said Stoops. "So again we always look at it that we're incredibly fortunate to work and play at a great university with such great support throughout the state of Oklahoma."
SR 13, by Senators Todd Lamb and Glenn Coffee, congratulated the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, the team's outstanding quarterback sophomore Sam Bradford and named March 2, 2009 as "Sam Bradford Day" in Oklahoma in honor of his many accomplishments.
"Sam Bradford has not only provided great leadership for the Oklahoma Sooners--he's also a great role model for our youth and an excellent ambassador for our state. We're so proud of all of his accomplishments both on and off the field; and we're thrilled that he chose to return to OU next year and continue his education," Lamb said. "It was an honor to welcome Sam, his teammates, and Coach Stoops to the State Senate."
Bradford graduated from Putnam City North High School in 2006 in the top ten percent of his class. While in high school, he played basketball, golf and was the Panthers quarterback for three years being named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Football Team.
His excellence both in the classroom and on the field has continued at OU. As a redshirt freshman, he was selected as the Sooner's starting quarterback and holds the NCAA record with 36 touchdown passes as a freshman. Last year, as a sophomore he successfully passed 302 times for 4,464 yards and 48 touchdowns, as well as rushing for five touchdowns, setting a new school record. In total, he has passed for 7,585 yards and 84 touchdowns.
Bradford let the Sooners to Big 12 Conference Championships in 2007 and 2008, and to the BCS National Championship game in 2009. In recognition of his incredible athletic ability, Bradford was named an Associated Press All-American First Team Quarterback and won the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award as best quarterback in the nation. In 2008, he was also selected as the 74th Heisman Memorial Trophy winner making him only the second sophomore, fifth Sooner, and 30th quarterback to win the highest honor in collegiate football.
"It was a great honor to be recognized by the Senate and House of Representatives especially since my teammates were there to share that with me. I owe any personal success to our team," said Bradford. "I think today reminded us that there are a lot of people in Oklahoma who are cheering for us. That's rewarding and challenging all at the same time."
SCR 7, by Senators Coffee and Lamb and House Speaker Chris Benge, commended the OU Sooners football team for winning their third consecutive Big 12 Conference Championship last year and for competing in the BCS National Championship game in January.
"I know that there are people all over the state who are already counting down the days until the next football season begins," Coffee said. "Oklahomans know football is more than just a sport for us--it's a way of life and part of who we are. The OU Sooners are a tremendous source of pride, bringing positive national attention to Oklahoma. We were so thrilled to welcome this outstanding team to the State Senate and honor their outstanding achievements."
The Sooners have dominated the gridiron for the past decade. During the 2000-2008 seasons, they had 102 wins, which is the most wins of any school in the nation and the longest home winning streak at 24 games. They have played in six different conferences over the years, winning their first conference championship in 1915 and winning at least one title in every conference in which they competed. The team wins an average of one conference title every other year.
The Sooners became the first team to win three consecutive Big 12 Conference Championships when they defeated the Missouri Tigers 62-21 in December 2008, claiming their sixth Big 12 title in nine seasons. No other Big 12 team has won more than two conference championships. They also set a NCAA record during the 2008 season having played five consecutive games in which they scored more than 60 points.
Release, Photos and Audio Clips