Athlon ranks the 10 greatest Oklahoma State players since 1967.
Robinson was the school’s all-time leader in total offense — before his senior season. So his 12,033 yards are leaps and bounds ahead of current head coach Mike Gundy’s 7,749 yards. His 10,175 passing yards are nearly a full season ahead of Gundy’s 7,997, the former record. His 66 passing touchdowns are a school record. He took over as the starter as a sophomore, and all he did was set a school record for total offense with 3,671 yards (later broken). He led his team to three straight bowl appearances, and he finished with 1,858 yards rushing and 22 rushing TDs to go with his prolific passing numbers. He was 24-13 as the starter in Stillwater.
After being the first pick by the New York Yankees in the 2002 MLB Draft, Weeden returned to college to lead Oklahoma State to two of the program’s most storied seasons in history (11-2, 12-1). After a record-setting junior season in 2010, Weeden returned to Stillwater and shattered all of his own single-season school records. He owns the single-season school record for passing yards (4,727), passing touchdowns (37), total offense (4,625), completions (408), attempts (564) and completion percent (72.3%). Weeden also broke his own single-game passing record with Oklahoma State’s only 500-yard effort (502 yards against Kansas State). He finished his career with a 23-3 record as the starter and brought the first Big 12 championship to Pokes fans — it was the school’s first conference title since the 1976 Big Eight crown.
Best known for his 520 tackles and 80.0 sacks for the Steel Curtain Super Bowl defense of the mid-'90s, Gildon is also the career sack master of Stillwater, Okla. His 35.5 career QB sacks are a school record — as were his 16.0 sacks in 1991. He finished his career with 266 career total tackles, landing him in the top 20 of all-time as well. Gildon was a third-round selection by the Steelers in the 1994 NFL Draft. The three-time Pro Bowler played 11 seasons in the league.
Miller left Stillwater as the program's all-time leading rusher with 4,581 yards on 848 carries. The two-time All-American has the third-best season in Pokes history with a 1,680-yard performance in 1977. Miller posted back-to-back 1,500-yard seasons, rushing for 1,541 yards and 21 TDs in 1976 — the 21 scores were, at the time, a school record. His 43 rushing scores are good for second all-time in school history. In 1977, Miller finished second only to the great Earl Campbell in the Heisman Trophy voting. Miller was the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
Blackmon burst onto the scene as a sophomore when he set an Oklahoma State record with 1,782 yards receiving (an NCAA record for a sophomore), 20 touchdowns and 111 receptions. He also set an NCAA record with 12 straight games of at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He became the Pokes first-ever Biletnikoff Award winner that year — all while missing a game. He returned to Stillwater in 2011 and broke his own school record for receptions (121) and posted 1,522 yards and 18 more touchdowns as a senior. He was named to his second straight consensus first-team All-American and joined Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree as the only two-time Biltenikoff Award winners. He ended his career with as the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl — the only BCS bowl win in school history. As part of a team that won 23 games in two years and the program’s first conference championship since 1976, Blackmon is arguably the most productive receiver in program history.
It is hard to look at an Oklahoma State record book without seeing the name Woods pop up a few hundred times. His 107-catch, 1,695-yard, 17-TD season in 2002 set all three major single-season receiving records (until Justin Blackmon in 2010) for the program. His career numbers of 293 receptions, 4,414 yards and 42 receiving TDs not only set Oklahoma State records but also Big 12 conference benchmarks. His seven receiving TDs against SMU in 2003 are still an NCAA record. Prior to Woods' career in Stillwater, only one Cowboy had ever topped the 200-yard mark receiving even once (Curtis Mayfield, 208). Woods broke that record three separate times with 223-, 226- and 230-yard performances. The talented receiver topped the century mark 20 times in his illustrious Pokes career. Woods was the 31st overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
It took less than a month for the big freshman hog molly to get into the starting lineup. Okung started the final eight games of his first season and was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team. Upon being moved to the most important position – Zac Robinson’s left tackle – Okung started all 13 games as a sophomore. The line allowed a league-best five sacks in 2007. The big fella finished his junior season with a 34-straight start streak intact after 71 knockdown blocks and all-conference honors. Okung dominated some of the NCAA’s best, holding Von Miller, Sergio Kindle and Greg Middleton without a sack. He was an Outland Trophy finalists (losing to only Ndamukong Suh) and was a consensus All-American. He was also given Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year honors before being selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. Okung started 47 straight games as an Oklahoma State Cowboy.
O’Neal simply refused to lose, and his career at Oklahoma State was highlighted by his work ethic and dedication. The three-time all-conference performer set the OSU sack record in 1984 with 14.0 QB sacks. The conference Defensive Player of the Year came one tackle for a loss shy of setting that record as well (17.0 TFL in 1984). In fact, three of the top 11 TFL seasons in school history were posted by O’Neal — 15.0 in 1985 and 15.0 in 1983. He ranks fifth all-time in tackles with 353 total stops, topping the 100-tackle mark in each of his three starting campaigns. He is second all-time to Jason Gildon with 32.0 career sacks — a number that was a school record when he left for the NFL in 1986. The Chargers drafted the Lombardi Award runner-up in the first round, and he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after 82 tackles and 12.5 sacks. O’Neal was a six-time Pro Bowler and earned Comeback Player of the Year honors after a devastating knee injury.
A part of the most talented backfield in NCAA history, Thomas is the Cowboys’ all-time leading rusher with 4,595 yards on 898 carries. He topped the 100-yard mark 21 times and tied a school record with 43 career rushing touchdowns (which was broken one year later). The two-time All-American finished seventh in the Heisman voting in 1987 after 1,613 yards and 18 TDs, leading the Pokes to a Sun Bowl win over West Virginia. His No. 34 is one of three Okie State numbers to be retired. Thomas was drafted in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Bills — a team he helped lead to an unmatched four straight Super Bowls. He was inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Arguably the greatest running back to ever carry a football. Sanders' 1988 Heisman Trophy campaign very simply might be the greatest season in the history of college football by any player at any position. Sanders waited patiently behind Thurman Thomas before exploding as a junior — leading the nation in kick return yards in 1987. In his first, and only, year as the starter he rushed for an NCAA-record 2,628 yards and 37 rushing TDs. His 7.6 yards per carry and 238.9 yards per game easily led the nation. His 39 total TDs, 234 points, 3,248 all-purpose yards and five consecutive 200-yard efforts are all also NCAA records. What is more astounding is the fact that his 222 yards and five TDs in three quarters of Holiday Bowl action did not even count towards those totals. Sanders earned the Doak Walker Award in ’88 as well. Sanders is fourth all-time in school history in rushing, only because he left early for the NFL following his Heisman season. His 48 career rushing TDs are a school record. All Sanders did after being selected with the third overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft by Detroit is rush for 15,269 yards and go to the Pro Bowl in all ten NFL seasons. Had Sanders played a few more years in the NFL, he likely would have become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
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