Months after securing Oklahoma’s seventh national title, Bob Stoops reestablished the Sooners as a force on the recruiting trail.
Finishing as the No. 5 ranked class in the nation by 247 Sports, Stoops filled out the belly positions for OU — especially on the defensive line.
Stoops’ string of great classes got the ball rolling for what would become nearly two decades of Oklahoma dominance in the Big 12 and across the country.
Front Page Star: Tommie Harris
Entering with huge expectations, Tommie Harris began to deliver, quite literally, from his first snap. North Carolina center Adam Metts became the first of many lineman to be tossed aside by Oklahoma’s force on the defense. Harris would go on to decorate trophy cabinets, winning the Lombardi Trophy in 2003 (one year after finishing as a finalist for the same award his sophomore season). He totaled 34 tackles for loss as an interior lineman, and was selected 14th overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2004 NFL Draft. Harris’ dominant career can only be described as a massive success.
Bounce-Back Story: Dusty Dvoracek
Dusty Dvoracek was always productive on the field, but it was his off-the-field troubles that eventually led to his dismissal from the team. The dismissal wouldn’t be the final chapter in Dvoracek’s Sooner legacy, however. After undergoing a rehabilitation program, the defensive lineman was welcomed back to the program for his senior season, where he helped OU win the Holiday Bowl and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors. The Chicago Bears were so confident in his personal turnaround, they spend a third-round pick on him in the 2006 NFL Draft. Though his professional career was ultimately derailed by injuries, Dvoracek’s redemption in Norman was a remarkable story from the 2001 class.
Class Gunslinger: Brent Rawls
Coming to Norman with plenty of expectations, Brent Rawls was the quarterback tipped to lead the 2001 recruiting class. Ranked the No. 6 player on PrepStar’s Dream Team, many believed Rawls to be the man to fill Josh Heupel’s shoes and bring another trophy to Norman. Unfortunately for the Shreveport, LA, native, another quarterback from Tuttle, OK, by the name of Jason White was primed to burst onto the college football scene. Rawls was beat out by White, and then off-the-field issues forced him to leave the program, and he would never find his was back into college football.
Center-piece: Vince Carter
As a freshman, the Waco product was immediately thrown into the fire due to injuries ahead of him. Taking the reins at center, Vince Carter would never relinquish them, anchoring the middle of the offensive line for four years. Behind his lead, the Sooners saw 1,000-yard rushers Quentin Griffen and Adrian Peterson both have plenty of success. Carter was named All-America in 2004, and earned All-Big 12 honors in 2003 and 2004. Carter was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders in 2005 but chronic knee pain ended his career prematurely.
Main Eventer: Jake Hager
Stuffed behind Harris and Dvoracek on the depth chart, Jake Hager had no clear path to playing time on the football field for the Sooners. As a result, he hung up his cleats to focus on wrestling full time during his sophomore year. Hager would go on to earn All-America honors as an amateur wrestler, parlaying his success on the mat into a professional wrestling career. Under the ring name Jack Swagger, Hager was a two-time world champion in the WWE before joining TNT’s new wrestling startup All Elite Wrestling. Hager held AEW’s World Title, and also boasts an undefeated record as a mixed martial arts fighter with Bellator.
Oklahoma's 2001 Recruiting Class:
- DB Eric Bassey (Garland, TX)
- TE Chris Bush (Channelview, TX)
- OL Vince Carter (Waco, TX)
- OL Kelvin Chaisson (Beaumont, TX)
- TE Chris Chester (Tustin, CA)
- LB Russell Dennison (Weatherford, OK)
- DL Dusty Dvoracek (Lake Dallas, TX)
- OL Jerod Fields (Bandera, TX)
- LB Fred Fleeks (Navasota, TX)
- OL Jacob Hager (Perry, OK)
- DL Tommie Harris (Killeen, TX)
- OL Jon Hawk (Garden City, KS)
- RB Donta Hickson (McKinney, TX)
- LB Clint Ingram (Hallsville, TX)
- DE Jonathan Jackson (Houston, TX)
- WR Brandon Jones (Texarkana, TX)
- RB Kejuan Jones (Jenks, OK)
- DB Bobby Klinck (Jenks, OK)
- TE James Moses (Houston, TX)
- K Michael Northen (Houston, TX)
- WR Jowahn Poteat (Ardmore, OK)
- QB Brent Rawls (Shreveport, LA)
- DL Bret Rayl (Lewisville, TX)
- RB Seymore Shaw (Shawnee, OK)
- RB Avery Shine (Eufala, OK)
- LB Gabe Toomey (Des Moines, IA)
- OL Clint Werth (Hayes, KS)
- DB Justin Williams (Memphis, TN)
- LB Mike Wilson (Tulsa, OK)