October 3, 2006

Motivation to beat Texas changing

Credit Tommie Harris for the modern day influx of premier Texas talent into the Oklahoma program. After the Sooners won the 2000 national title, Harris became the first big-time Texas athlete to spurn the Longhorns and choose the Sooners over the magical recruiting prowess of Mack Brown.

It's such a sore subject in Texas, it's likely what prompted Brown's address to high school football players and coaches after winning the national title last January. As soon as Brown thanked his fans in the Rose Bowl, he addressed Texas high school players and coaches and pleaded for their support in the future.

The Sooners have had plenty of Texas giant killers over the years, such as Quentin Griffin and Mark Clayton. But those players were out to prove they belonged alongside the highly touted and highly pampered high school All-Americans lining the Texas sidelines.

Adrian Peterson ushered in the next wave of Texas giant killers when he chose Oklahoma. And much like the decision of Harris, Peterson's choice hasn't set well with Texas fans over the years.

The same holds true for recent defections such as Malcolm Kelly and Demarcus Granger. All three players were considered the best in Texas at their respective positions. And all three feel the sting of spurning the Longhorn faithful.

"You know how big the state of Texas is and once you're in Texas and you leave, you're a traitor for life," said Kelly.

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