4 Downs Special: Golden Boys. The Players Behind the Most Underrated Offense in the State

Last time in The Eye of the Hurricane I mentioned that both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are known for their explosive offenses and that Tulsa is right up there as well. I provided the offensive yardage and points in said article but I realized I failed to shed light on the players behind those numbers. So today I set out to right a wrong. Here are just some of the names that made the Hurricanes offense golden.

1. Dane Evans, Quarterback 2013-16

Evans was lightly recruited out of Sanger, Texas despite being a three-star recruit according to Rivals. He held offers from just four schools; Tulsa, SMU, Utah and Utah State. After a redshirt season where he sat behind standout quarterback Cody Green, a Nebraska transfer who led Tulsa to a Conference USA championship, he would split time with Green appearing in eight games throwing for 898 yards with four touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Fortunately, Evans would improve throwing for 3,102 yards and 23 touchdowns to 17 interceptions in his first full season as a starter in 2014. However, it wasn’t until head coach Philip Montgomery and his Baylor style offense arrived that Evans took off. His first season in the new offense he threw for a career-high 4,332 yards with 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions guiding Tulsa to their first bowl since 2013. His 4,332 yards ranks second in program history for single-season passing yards and his 25 touchdowns are eighth-most in a single season. He caped off his stellar career in 2016 leading Tulsa to a 10-3 record and one of the best offenses in the country averaging 42.5 points per game placing them seventh nationally. After his 3,348 yards 32 touchdown year, third-most single season, Evans finished as the schools all-time leading passer with 11,680 yards surpassing Paul Smith’s 10,936 yards that stood for over a decade. As a matter of fact, Evans’s career numbers put him in elite company when it comes to the division one program in the state. Only Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph, and Baker Mayfield have more. Not even Sooner legend Sam Bradford came close trailing Evans by 3,277 yards. His 84 career passing touchdowns are also a school record along with his 11,752 yards of offense. Other notable records:

Three of the top 10 passing seasons in program history

Ninth most single-game passing yards with 438 against Tulane in 2014 and three of the top 10 single-season passing touchdown performances.

His 4,323 total yards in 2015 are second-most in a single season while his 36 total touchdowns are fifth-most and his 94 career touchdowns are third-most.

Is the American Athletic Conference’s sixth all-time leading passer

Evans currently plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League where this season he has thrown for 3,754 yards and 21 touchdowns.

2. Keevan Lucas, Wide Receiver 2013-16

Like Evans, Lucas was a lightly recruited Texan as the 5’9 Abilene, Texas native was a two-star recruit according to Rivals and held offers from just Tulsa and Louisiana Tech. He would make an immediate impact appearing in all 12 games as a freshman making 32 receptions for 442 yards and one touchdown. Unlike most sophomores who suffer the dreaded sophomore slump, Lucas nearly tripled his output hauling in 101 receptions, eighth-most nationally that year, for 1,219 yards, 12th nationally, and 11 touchdowns. His 101 catches are the third-most in a single season and his 1,219 yards are seventh-most in a single season. Unfortunately for Lucas, he would suffer an injury the following year ending his season after four games although he still managed 26 receptions for 409 yards and five touchdowns. He returned with a vengeance as a senior totaling 81 receptions for 1,180 yards and 15 touchdowns which tied him with Washington’s Dante Pettis for seventh nationally. Lucas’s 1,180 yards were good enough for ninth on the single-season list and his 15 touchdowns were good enough for third. When it was all said and done he finished with 240 receptions, second-most, 3,250 yards, third-most, and 32 touchdowns tieing him for first with NFL Hall of Famer Steve Largent and Tulsa legend Howard Twilley. He is currently a free agent.

3. Keyarris Garrett, Wide Receiver 2011-16

The only one of Tulsa’s most recent record-setting trio to be somewhat recruited was Garrett. Standing 6’4 the Dangerfield, Texas native was the 88th best receiver in the class of 2011 and was a three-star prospect according to Rivals. He held 13 offers including power five schools Texas Tech, Purdue and Pittsburgh. Just like Lucas he played as a true freshman but had minimal success finishing with just two receptions for 10 yards in seven games. He rebounded in a big way in Tulsa’s 11-3 2012 season leading the team in receptions, 67, and yards with 845 along with nine touchdowns. After an injury-shortened junior season he received a medical redshirt and returned in 2014 appearing in 10 games totaling 47 receptions for 698 yards and five touchdowns. However, it was his senior season where Garrett really made a name for himself. He LED THE NATION in receiving yards with 1,588, second-most in program history behind Twilley’s 1,779 in 1965, on 96 receptions, ninth nationally and fourth on the single-season list, along with eight touchdowns. He finished his career with 219 catches, third-most in program history, for 3,209 yards, fourth-most, and 22 touchdowns good enough for eighth-most. His stellar senior season earned him a training camp invite from the Carolina Panthers and he spent a year on their practice squad. Most recently Garrett was drafted by the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats. He is the AAC’s sixth all-time leading receiver.

4. D’Angelo Brewer, Running Back 2014-17

Tulsa has a history of producing solid running backs. Examples are Tarrion Adams the second all-time leading rusher, Trey Watts the son of former Sooner quarterback J.C. Watts who had a stint with the then St. Louis Rams and James Flanders the Midwest City product who despite an injury-plagued career holds the programs single-season rushing record with 1,629 yards. Even now, star Shamari Brooks has a chance to etch is name among Golden Hurrican greats. Yet it’s Brewer, an under-recruited Tulsa native, who is perhaps the best of the bunch. Coming out of Central High School in 2014 the 5’9 170-pound Brewer only had one division one offer; Tulsa. He made the most of it playing as a true freshman running for 128 yards and a touchdown on 39 carries. As a sophomore, he improved to 837 yards and six touchdowns on 162 carries. However much like the other three names on this list he thrived under the new offense and after taking a year to acclimate Brewer exploded for 1,435 yards, 17th nationally and fifth-most single season, seven touchdowns on 264 carries, 11th nationally, including a season-high 252 yards against Fresno State the sixth-best single-game total. He didn’t stop there. Entering his senior season 15 pounds heaver then when he arrived Brewer put his newfound power to use by toating the rock 288 times, seventh nationally, for 1,517 yards, ninth nationally third most single season, and nine touchdowns. He departed as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,917 yards 23 touchdowns and at the time was the AAC’s all-time leading rusher. He has since been surpassed and sits at 13.

Honorable Mentions

Paul Smith, Quarterback 2003-07

G.J. Kinne, Quarterback 2009-11

David Johnson, Quarterback 2005-08

Trey Watts, Running Back 2011-13

Damaris Johnson, Wide Receiver 2008-10

Josh Atkinson, Wide Receiver 2012-2016

Justin Hobbs, Wide Receiver 2014-18

Charles Clay, Tight End 2007-10

About Author

Mass communications student at UCO. Rose State College graduate. Aspiring sports writer with a focus in basketball and football. The National Association of Black Journalists member. Writer for thesuavereport.com

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