When you hear the name Barry Switzer, you probably think of the Dallas Cowboys or the former coach’s arrest for showing up at an airport with a loaded handgun stashed in his bag.
By accident, of course.
But mention the name to Oklahoma Sooners fans and you might get regaled with tales of the former sideline sultan’s national championships in 1974, ’75 and ’85.
When Switzer speaks, the Sooner State listens.
So when Switzer called tailback Damien Williams the best Sooners back since Adrian Peterson, ears perked up all around Oklahoma.
Wait, is he talking about the junior college transfer from Arizona Western with exactly six NCAA Div. I games under his belt?
Throw in the game tape, and you’ll see exactly why Switzer is raving.
The 6-foot, 208-pounder has broken touchdown runs of 65, 89 and 95 yards already this season, and he’s given the Sooners (5-1) the game-changer they needed to complement the Landry Jones-led passing game.
And with 552 yards on only 74 carries (7.5 average), Williams hasn’t even been featured. His season-high 22 carries against the Texas Longhorns produced 167 yards in the Red River rout over Texas.
“He ought to be carrying the ball 25 times again, in my opinion,” Switzer told the Oklahoman. “But those coaches over there, they’re going to have the running back committee and they’re going to get all the backs contributing to do well.
“Who’s the best? Williams is the best. When you have backs that run 70- to 80-yard runs in every game, they (expletive) ought to be out their playing because he has the ability to be out there. He makes people miss. He breaks tackles, and he has the speed to outrun everyone on the field.”
All of that is true.
And Sooners head coach Bob Stoops likely knows it.
Is the Sooners coach just waiting for the right moment to unleash his best weapon full-time? This week would be as good a time as any with
No. 5-ranked Notre Dame (7-0) charging into Norman, Okla., (Saturday, 6 p.m., ABC).
It’s all come pretty quickly for the San Diego native.
“I can’t just say that’s all me,” Williams told the newspaper when asked if he expected to be so successful this early. “The line is doing great. They’re blocking hard and moving guys out of my way. All I’ve got to do is make a guy miss and keep going.”
On Twitter: @SUNMitchell