CB/PR Antonio Perkins

2003 Statistics

Coach: Bob Stoops
55-11, 5 years
2003 Record: 12-2
at Alabama WON 20-13
UCLA WON 59-24
at Iowa State WON 53-7
Texas WON 65-13
at Colorado WON 34-20
at Texas Tech WON 56-25
vs. Kansas State LOST 7-35
Louisiana State LOST 14-21

2003 Final Rankings
AP-3, Coaches-3, BCS-1

2004 Outlook

On paper, this team looks legendary. Head coach Bob Stoops is one of the game's best, and, thanks to excellent recruiting and tremendous player development, the Oklahoma program is, right now, possibly the most consistent in college football. There are roadblocks, though. Back-to-back games against Texas and Kansas State could prove dangerous, but the most ardent opponent may be complacency. After destroying opponent after opponent months ago, it caught up with the team in their final two games. Many may shrug that off as trivial, but Oklahoma's toughest opponent may be themselves. In 2003, that proved to be the case. You see, those 18-22 year olds are much less consistent/confident once shaken. Teams see they are vulnerable, but few will have the talent to pull off what it will take to defeat these guys.

While coaches don't make plays, Mike Stoops' absence will be felt at some point. He got the best out of his players, and designed situations suitable/applicable to maximizing their talents. White must stay healthy and the defense needs to develop quality depth, but the talent level in Norman is practically unrivaled. The foundation for a dynasty is being built. After a national championship in 2000, OU has lost merely five games in the last three seasons. They have conquered one of the three most treacherous conference (SEC and Big Ten are traditionally as tough), and are developing a unique balance on both sides of the ball that is rarely seen at any level.

After finishing last season with a whimper, this team will be determined. The Kansas State debacle, followed by an upset loss to LSU in the BCS title game, has the returning players feeling like they have something to prove. Frightening thing is, they do. Expect to see them right there in the Top 25 all season, with only the usual three - Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State - having any chance, that is until the conference championship. You may tell your grandchildren about having actually seen this team play, so watch them in 2004 to see where Oklahoma is being placed amongst the all-time college football dynasties.

Projected 2004 record: 10-1
QB - 5 DL - 5
RB - 3.5 LB - 4.5
WR - 4.5 DB - 5
OL - 5 ..

Passing: Jason White, 451-278-10, 3846 yds., 40 TD

Rushing: Kejuan Jones, 225 att., 925 yds., 13 TD

Receiving: Mark Clayton, 83 rec., 1425 yds., 15 TD

Scoring: Trey DiCarlo, 19-22 FG, 74-76 PAT, 131 pts.

Punting: Blake Furguson, 56 punts, 41.9 avg.

Kicking: Trey DiCarlo, 19-22 FG, 74-76 PAT, 46 long

Tackles: Donte Nicholson, 90 tot., 58 solo, 10 TFL

Sacks: Dan Cody, 10 sacks

Interceptions: Brodney Pool, 7 for 79 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Jejuan Rankins, 12 ret., 20.3 avg.

Punt Returns: Antonio Perkins, 53 ret., 12.1 avg., 4 TD


QB Jason White

Paul Thompson threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns, both to Jejuan Rankins, to lead the Red to a 24-3 victory over the White in Oklahoma’s annual Red/White game before a crowd of 31,000 on Saturday. The Red offense was composed primarily of first-team players. Like Thompson, Grady, a redshirt freshman, was impressive. He completed 18-of-27 passes for 180 yards. Neither quarterback threw an interception. Neither team rushed the ball particularly well. The Red defense, which surrendered just 192 yards, was led by cornerback Darien Williams. Heisman Trophy winner Jason White was one of a handful of players who did not play in the game. Other veteran players saw limited action.


P. Thompson, 30-21-0, 311 yds.
T. Grady, 27-18-0, 180 yds.


D. Hickson, 13 att., 57 yds.
T. Choice, 6 att., 17 yds.


J. Rankins, 5 rec., 88 yds.
T. Ross, 5 rec., 69 yds.
M. Clayton, 4 rec., 31 yds.
B. Jones, 2 rec., 82 yds.


Darrien Williams, Lance Mitchell, Clint Ingram - 7 each

OFFENSE: Lance Donley-TE, Renaldo Works-RB
DEFENSE: Teddy Lehman-WLB, Brandon Everage-FS, Derrick Strait-CB, Tommie Harris-DT (NFL)

Rarely ever has a team in college football history returned a Heisman winning quarterback. With Jason White being granted a sixth year of eligibility, the Sooners will field a true general, and winner, under center. White's individual statistics from 2003 humbled the nation. His 3,800 yards and 40 touchdown passes rewrote the OU record books, and he is almost automatically a consensus pre-season All-American (NC.net second-team, oops). Some areas of his game, however, do need improvement. Criticizing the defending Heisman winner seems ironic, but White can occasionally play careless and showed that he could be rattled if the elements of coverage and DL-pressure are right. Injuries are also a concern, but thankfully for the Sooners, junior Paul Thompson has played meaningful minutes and is capable.

Running Back
Two years ago, Kejuan Jones was OU's short yardage back. Last season, while sharing time with Renaldo Works, he evolved into a more typical role. Works' graduation leaves Jones, who has quietly rushed for 1,532 yards as either a reserve or part-time starter, as the Sooners' most seasoned back. He appears to be running a step faster despite adding more muscle weight this off-season. The only other running back on the roster that has seen game action is shifty Donta Hickson, a 205 pound bowling ball. He and redshirt freshman Tashard Choice emerged in a heated battle for the number two slot. Hickson is better from the shotgun than Choice, but Choice may have more upside overall. A pair of true freshmen present even more options. D.J. Wolfe, a highly-regarded prep player, graduated high school at semester and was in camp for spring practices. Adrian Peterson, who arrives in August, was thought by many to be the top high school back in the nation last season. Fullback J.D. Runnels is primarily a blocker, but also is a talented receiver. He will see limited action in the Sooners' primary one-back sets.

Wide Receiver
Jason White owes Mark Clayton dinner, commission, half of the Heisman, something. The senior, an NC.net first-team all-American wideout, can turn slip screens, quick slants and out routs into big plays, and will do so routinely. His 17.2-yard per catch average just does not do justice to his explosive ability. He is poised for a Heisman run of his own, and is now arguably the top receiver in college football. While Clayton is the headliner, and rightfully so, the supporting cast is what makes the unit special and allows the Sooners to run multi-wide formations. Brandon Jones has a knack for the endzone, and keeps defending safeties on their toes. He, Will Peoples and Travis Wilson possess NFL-size. Jejuan Rankings is a crafty jitterbug, and is used often on curl and drag routes. The team's top five receivers return, with each performer having recorded at least 20 catches in '03. No team in the nation can rival the Sooners' overall depth, talent and experience at this position.

Tight End
Skill position players receive the majority of the attention in the passing game, leaving the tight ends primarily as blockers. James Moses has good size, and is feisty along the line of scrimmage. He and Joe Jon Finely will be the primary options. Miami-native Willie Roberts could be a player to watch. He could find himself open by default during three- and four-receiver sets, and at 6'7'', he is a prominent target. Any good receiving corps is improved when the TE has to be covered, so throw this way, Jason, and you will be that much better as a team.

Offensive Line
You don't average 43 points per game without quality play in the trenches. Seniors Jammal Brown (first-team NC.net all-American), Vince Carter (third-team NC.net) and Wes Sims stand as pillars of authority, and boast a 36-5 record during the careers in Norman. They know how to win, and despite the confounding intricacies of their offense, they know how to perform to the needs of the system as well. While Brown and Carter do have imposing size, the three veterans rely on agility and fundamentals to overwhelm opponents. Kelvin Chaisson and Davin Joseph return at guard, and should continue to progress. The marginal nature of only forging a team average of 3.8 yards per carry and allowing 28 sacks means there is room for improvement(s), regardless of past success rates.

Simply put, this group has established unprecedented expectations. Nine starters return from a squad that finished third in the nation in scoring, and a 1,400-yard receiver, Heisman winning quarterback and intact offensive line are among the resuming incumbents. Works is the key to the group. Though he is often lost in the shuffle of All-Americans and senior leaders, he must accept the role of an every-down back. The offense proved in its two losses that unorthodox front-seven schemes can rattle White if the coverage can hold up for those marginal few seconds to start a given play. Defenses may get burned this way, but they are guaranteed to get burned if they don't. A strong running game keeps such inventive approaches in check, making Works the focus we suggest for making this unit unstoppable once again.


WR Mark Clayton


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Jason White-Sr (6-3, 221) Paul Thompson-Jr (6-4, 202)
RB Kejuan Jones-Jr (5-9, 191) Donta Hickson-Jr (5-10, 203)
J.D. Runnels-Jr (FB) (6-1, 246)
WR Mark Clayton-Sr (5-11, 187) Travis Wilson-Jr (6-3, 216)
WR Jejuan Rankins-Jr (5-11, 172) Will Peoples-Sr (6-1, 191)
WR Brandon Jones-Jr (6-3, 214) Mark Bradley-Sr (6-2, 190)
TE James Moses-Sr (6-3, 246) Willie Roberts-Jr (6-7, 240)
OT Wes Sims-Sr (6-5, 308) Chris Messner-So (6-7, 270)
OG Kelvin Chaisson-Jr (6-5, 303) Antonn Reid-Fr (6-3, 282)
C Vince Carter-Sr (6-3, 289) Chris Bush-Jr (6-4, 284)
OG Davin Joseph-Jr (6-4, 312) John Flynn-Sr (6-1, 242)
OT Jammal Brown-Sr (6-6, 313) Akim Millington-So (6-6, 300)
K Trey DiCarlo-Jr (6-0, 204) ..



Defensive Line
The core of this group returns, and seniors Dan Cody (first-team NC.net all-American), Dusty Dvoracek (second-team NC.net all-American) and Jonathan Jackson form a trio as intimidating as any in the game. Jackson and Cody use speed and athleticism to create a fierce pass rush, and both will wreck havoc in the backfield once again. But the line's strong push and over-pursuit did allow teams to average 3.4 yards each time they ran, so staying home will be important. They key, however, is Dvoracek. He uses brute strength and unrelenting desire to collapse the interior of the line, takes on blockers for linebackers, creates space for awaiting safeties and opens lanes for the talented stunting defensive ends.

If this unit has a weakness, it is at linebacker. Roster turnover, position changes and depth concerns prompt some uncertainty. Lance Mitchell is the foundation. He missed almost all of last season, but is poised for a banner year. With him roaming the middle, versatile Gayron Allen can take advantage of his athleticism in the flat. Lewis Baker will be asked to play a big role, but the talent around him will allow him to ease into a starting position and comfortably mature into a complete player. Wayne Chambers is a credible reserve, who could start if needed. Last year's LBs were part of the Sooner's stellar pass-defense, taking away the underneath stuff that this unit will struggle with more. This should be the first area opposing offensive coordinators aim.

Defensive Back
Chijioke Onyenegecha was one of the most hyped JUCO prospects of '02. Scouts called him NFL-ready, pundits raved about his blistering speed, and every program in the nation sought his services. He will step into the corner position vacated by Derrick Straight, and much like his predecessor, will develop into an elite defender. His counterpart, senior Antonio Perkins, allows the safeties relative freedom and is a true shutdown corner. Rover Donte Nicholson acts as a fourth linebacker and is one of the team's most feared hitters, showing up wherever and whenever needed. Because of the talent at cornerback, he is allowed to roam near the line of scrimmage and aggressively react to what he sees. The situation is a perfect one for Nicholson, who will continue to flourish in this system. Brodney Pool led the team in interceptions with seven, and will be asked to guide freshman Tony Cade. This crew may not quite match 2003's numbers - ranked 2nd in pass-defense/3rd in pass-efficiency defense while allowing only 11 TDs and NCAA lows of 9.4 yards per pass and 4.9 yards per catch, and tied for 5th with 21 team-INTs - but should keep the play in front of them for optimum results.

The stars along the defensive front make this bunch special. The attention they demand and chaos they create will lighten the load on the greener linebackers and allow the defensive backs to take chances. Their talents magnify those of the players around them. Each individual unit compliments the other, and the talent-potential at each position seems downright unfair and scary. But unlike in recent years, depth is a potential worry, and many young players will be asked to grow up rather quickly. The LBs will be this unit's ticket back to reality, though, so watch their level of play to see where OU entire team will finish - exceptional LB-play will mean another shutdown D, while marginal LB-play would be the unit's unraveling.


DE Dan Cody


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jonathan Jackson-Sr (6-3, 238) Larry Birdine-So (6-4, 254)
DT Lynn McGruder-Sr (6-3, 300) Lawrence Dampeer-So (6-3, 300)
DT Dusty Dvoracek-Sr (6-3, 287) Carl Pendleton-Fr (6-6, 277)
DE Dan Cody-Sr (6-5, 260) Calvin Thibodeaux-Jr (6-1, 248)
SLB Clint Ingram-Jr (6-2, 230) Russell Dennison-So (6-3, 225)
MLB Lance Mitchell-Sr (6-3, 243) Zach Latimer-So (6-3, 218)
Wayne Chambers-Jr (6-3, 232)
WLB Gayron Allen-Sr (5-10, 220) Rufus Alexander-So (6-1, 216)
CB Antonio Perkins-Sr (6-0, 188) Jowahn Poteat-So (6-1, 191)
CB Eric Bassey-So (6-1, 197) Chijioke Onyenegecha-Jr (6-2, 205)
SS Donte Nicholson-Sr (6-2, 210) Tony Cade-Fr (6-2, 205)
FS Brodney Pool-So (6-3, 198) Jason Carter-So (6-0, 187)
P Blake Ferguson-Sr (6-0, 186) ..




Trey DiCarlo is efficient and reliable. His leg-strength isn't top-notch, but, from inside 50 yards, he is almost automatic. His accuracy is comforting, and he has big-game experience.

Field position is crucial in football, and Blake Ferguson creates favorable situations for the Sooner defense with his booming punts and adapting play. A great athlete himself, Ferguson is one of the team's more underrated players.

Return Game
Antonio Perkins is the most dangerous punt return man in college football. His speed and vision make him nearly impossible to tackle in the open field, and earned him four touchdowns via return in 2003. In hard-fought, defensive games, he is invaluable. Jejuan Rankins and Mark Bradley are speedsters who will handle the kick return duties. Because of the talent-jam on defense, numerous highly skilled players are forced to play on special teams early in their careers. That makes returning punts and kicks against the Sooners no simple task - teams averaged only 4.2 yards per punt return.



Backup QB Paul Thompson has simply been amazing this spring. In fact, many feel Thompson completed one of the best spring sessions in Sooner history.. He will obviously get overshadowed by Heisman Winner Jason White, but the 2005 starter is clearly Thompson...Coaches seem to like Willie Roberts (JR. 6'7" 240) at TE, who is a big target and showed some backbone while taking hits in the spring...Behind Carter at center, Chris Bush was playing well before injuring his back midway through the spring. Coaches really wanted to take a look at Bush playing the tackle slot. Antonn Reid was starting to emerge early in the spring, but he too, ended up sitting with a skin infection. This gave freshman J.D. Quinn a chance to see some first-time action at right guard and apparently he performed well enough, despite a cast on his right hand, to solidify the spot behind Joseph next fall.


Look for Lynn McGruder to start in Harris' spot on the interior…With a couple of starting spots open, Gayron Allen and Clint Ingram stepped up this spring and earned the WLB and SLB spots respectively. Allen had the more impressive spring. The big surprise this spring was Demarrio Pleasant. He appears to be the next Sooner head hunter as he put big hit after big hit on the Sooner offense…Coaches are more comfortable with the experienced Eric Bassey to replace Derrick Strait as starter for the time being. The other real story here was the play of safety Darrien Williams (no relation to the former safety Roy Williams), who appeared to have caught the coach's eyes with his big hitting and sure tackling ability.

TE - James "Bubba" Moses
LB - Demarrio Pleasant