With leading candidates for the Heisman and Outland trophies and
the Biletnikoff, Butkus, Lombardi and Thorpe awards, No. 1
Oklahoma could have more hardware than a Home Depot by the end of
the season. Defensive end Dan Cody is one of the few Sooners
starters who's not on the short list for any individual awards,
but he probably should be.
Cody, a 6'5", 270-pound junior, has been one of the most
consistent members of Oklahoma's relentless defense, which didn't
allow an offensive touchdown in a 52-9 rout of No. 15 Oklahoma
State on Saturday. His three first-half sacks all came at key
moments--the first forced a fumble from Cowboys quarterback Josh
Fields that led to an Oklahoma field goal, and the other two both
Sooners co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops calls Cody the most
improved player on his defense. "He's always had natural
speed-rushing instincts, and now he's added technique," says
Stoops. "He's gone from good to great."
Cody doesn't get as much recognition as some of the Sooners'
other defensive stalwarts--including tackle Tommie Harris,
linebacker Teddy Lehman and defensive back Derrick Strait--and he
certainly wouldn't think of calling attention to himself. Asked
for a description of his first sack, he said, "The offensive
lineman fell down, or forgot to block me, or something."
While his teammates are sure to gather individual awards at
season's end, the only hardware that Cody is interested in are
the Big 12 and national championship trophies. "Those are the
only ones that really matter," he says. However, Cody did get to
take home one individual award after his outstanding play on
Saturday--a game ball. --Phil Taylor