When Roy Williams left the University of Oklahoma, he took with him one of the most dominating playmaking abilities in college football.
Roaming the Sooners secondary for two season, Williams became one of the most decorated players in Sooners history racking up All-America honors as well as the Nagurski and Thorpe trophies, not to mention leaving the legacy of his own position the Sooners call the “ROY” position, which is best explained as a hybrid linebacker/safety.
Since his reign in Norman, the Sooners have seen a plethora of great safeties in Brandon Everage, Donte Nicholson, Brodney Pool and a mixture of Reggie Smith every now and then but none were able to match Roy.
Now as the Sooners enter a new season and quest for their eighth national championship, another youngster is earning raves from the practice fields while drawing comparisons to the one called Superman.
Tony Jefferson, a 5'11" and 185 pound true freshman, looks to be everything Williams was during his career at OU.
Jefferson, who enrolled in January has been able to go through spring ball and get the necessary snaps and reps in order help the Sooner secondary.
His speed and cover abilities are what the Sooner coaches and teammates drooled about during spring practices and two-a-days.
"He usually goes 100 miles per hour," starting defensive back Jonathan Nelson said. "Even if he messes up, he's going to do it full speed."
Oh, and did I mention the kid can hit too. Built like a cover defensive back, Jefferson has the heart and passion of a middle linebacker, a mirror image to Williams.
If you were to start the season today, you would see Jefferson lined up in the “ROY” position for the Sooner secondary, a secondary which lost its two starting corner backs and looking for a hero to fill the shoes of the great defensive traditions of the past.
The freshman from California has the talent and mentality to do big things for the crimson and cream in 2010 but it is his work ethic that will allow him to be great.
"I came here wanting to play, I just had to work for it," Jefferson said. "I didn't know I was going to get a boost to where I am right now. But I'll take it."