Every year the state universities of Texas and Oklahoma meet halfway between Austin and Norman in the Red River Rivalry where they represent their school and where they came from. However, for some Oklahoma players it might be a little tough to represent their home state, being that it’s most likely Texas.
Needless to say, the roster for the Longhorns is filled with a majority of native Texans. Of the 129 players on the Longhorns’ roster, 115 are from Texas. The Sooners tend to dip south for recruiting, with 50 of their 113 players hailing from the Lone Star State.
This creates an even bigger rivalry between the two Big 12 teams.
Players on the Texas roster want to prove that their Sooner counterparts picked the wrong team, while the Sooners want to prove they made that choice for a reason.
Former high school teammates meet in this game to earn bragging rights in their hometown and between friends. Texas senior Jeremy Hills will face high school teammate and friend Derrick Bradley, a wide receiver for Oklahoma.
“We’re still real good friends,” said Hills. “We’ve been good friends since we were about 13, 14 years old. We’ve been pretty much texting back and forth every time this week. Every time of year this week, me and him, our texts go up. It’s just whenever we go back home, it’s about bragging rights for back home.”
For the players, this creates a great atmosphere adding even more anticipation to an already exciting game.
The number of native Texans on the Oklahoma roster has increased in the past few years. In 2000 when Oklahoma won a National Championship, only four Texans were in the starting lineup while 12 were from Oklahoma. In 2008, eight Texans and only six Oklahomans started for the Sooners. This year 12 Texans are listed as starters in the two-deep depth chart for Oklahoma.
These two schools have a lot to look forward to this weekend as they face off in Dallas. For the players this is an opportunity to see old friends, but most of all bring back the Golden Hat to their respective school. No matter what the final score, there won’t be a moment without excitement on Saturday. The Longhorns and the Sooners are playing for a lot more than just a win.
Printed on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 as: Oklahoma roster includes several native Texans