Greatest Sooner Quarterbacks-Number Ten (tie): Julius Caesar Watts Jr.
To qualify this ranking of quarterbacks at Oklahoma, I have included only players that I have personally seen in person at the stadium or live on television. I began watching Sooner football in 1958 and my remembrances go back to 1961. With that, I have not included any player before 1961. This is the second part of a series of greatest Sooner football players by position. You can find my list of best running backs at this blog in the search box and the post will pop up). Please comment on my lists and argue your best Sooner players. There are no right or wrong rankings. Statistics, abilities, awards, accomplishments and overall significance to the OU football program are all included in picking the ten, but when all things are equal, my personal preference is the tie breaker. I have a specific rating for each quarterback and will publish the total point list when I have finished with my top OU quarterback later in the year.
(Note: In rating my top Sooner quarterbacks I ended up with a tie for 10th. JC Watts was tied with my next entry which will posted very soon.)
JC Watts was one of the best pure athletes that played the position for Oklahoma. Unlike many of the previous wishbone signal callers that came before him in the early to late 1970’s, Watts was equally successful running the ball or stepping back and finding a receiver to make a play in the passing game. That was pointed out when Watts was to display his skills in the CFL after his career was over in Norman. He led his Ottawa Rough Riders to one Gray Cup Title game in Canada.
Watts, a Ironhead from Eufaula, OK, followed the Selmon brothers to OU after graduation in 1976 and after a spotty year as a freshman, became a winning quarterback in his junior and senior years, posting two Orange Bowl wins over Florida State, becoming the first two time MVP in that historic bowl game in back-to-back performances and was a key cog (with Billy Sims) as OU fed the monster. Watts started all 24 games in 1979 and 1980 and finished with a 21-3 record, two undefeated Big Eight championships, and two third place finishes in the National Polls (AP and UPI). He spent his sophomore season backing up Thomas Lott.
No doubt that Watts was one of the greats in OU history, and some have him rated as high as the 7th best quarterback in Sooner history. With the recent additions of Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, and Kyler Murray, I have Watts still in my top ten.
Secodary photo: Oklahoma’s J.C. Watts leaves Nebraska defensive end Jimmy Williams sprawled in his tail… and Sooner guard Terry Crouch eliminates Husker linebacker Steve Damkroger with a block.
Nov. 21, 1980
Nebraska 17 – Oklahoma 21
Feature Photo: FOOTBALL OU UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA 1980: Caption reads “OU quarterback J.C. Watts eludes a final would-be tackler to complete his first-quarter, 42-yard touchdown run Saturday.” Photo taken by Doug Hoke. Photo taken 10-31-1980. Photo was published in The Daily Oklahoma