On a day in which some players look at, as individually their biggest while at Oklahoma, the Sooners on Monday named the five captains for the 2008 squad.
This years honors went to quarterback Sam Bradford, center Jon Cooper, and fullback Brody Eldridge on the offense, while safety Nic Harris and tackle Gerald McCoy claimed nominations on the defensive side.
As always the mixture includes members of both the offense, but something unusual is the enormous amount of youth that occupies those roles with Bradford and McCoy only sophomores and Eldridge a junior.
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"Hey those guys are respected guys," Stoops said Monday after practice. "They work hard as anyone we've ever had and it tells you a lot about them."
Stoops added that nothing has changed in the voting for the captains, done by the players, and the reason for the three youngsters was all a sign of how the rest of the team views them.
"That's the kid's votes so that's what they think of those guys. They think those are our leaders, and I concur."
Each year members of the offense nominate two offensive players and one member of the defense and the defensive members nominate two of their own along with one offensive player.
One player who wasn't nominated as a Captain was junior running back Chris Brown, but though he's not labeled as a Captain, Stoops said Brown is one of the more outstanding leaders on the team.
"He's an exceptional leader," Stoops said. "He's often overlooked but not by us. I mean that guy has been one of the most consistent backs. He doesn't have the flashiness and size of an Adrian Peterson but down in and down out he's always there."
The game might still be five days away, and his presser not till tomorrow, Stoops did give some insight into the Sooners opening day opponent before leaving practice.
"Defensively, they're a 4-3, pretty standard from what you see out of a lot of people. On the offense, they traditionally like to go with two backs or two tight ends and one back, and run a lot of conventional formations. They like to run the ball and play action pass. Overall they're very solid in what they do."