Ex-Sooners great Everage drowns

Ex-Sooners great Everage drowns

Published May. 28, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Brandon Everage, a safety on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team, drowned while swimming in a Texas river. He was 30.

Milam County Sheriff David Greene said in a news release that authorities were called to the Little River in the western part of the county on Friday evening. Friends said they had been swimming when Everage, a Granger resident, went under water and didn't surface. A dive team recovered his body Saturday morning.

Everage was a reserve on Oklahoma's 2000 national championship team and a starter on the 2003 team that had a shot at the BCS title before losing to LSU in the Sugar Bowl.

Everage was a second-team All-American in 2002, when he had 94 tackles, six interceptions and three sacks. He was chosen as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given each year to college football's top defensive back.


As a senior, he had 60 tackles while starting the final 12 games at free safety for the Sooners, including the 21-14 loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl with the BCS title on the line. He was not drafted and didn't play in the NFL.

Everage finished his career with 285 tackles — the fourth-most by a defensive back at Oklahoma — and 10 interceptions, plus 28 deflected passes. He played on Sooners teams that went a perfect 4-0 against Texas — including a 63-14 win in 2000 and a 65-13 win in 2003 — and won two Big 12 championships.

''Brandon was a favorite in the locker room and a favorite among the coaches. He played football with tremendous passion and had a special spark that inspired everyone,'' Coach Bob Stoops said in a statement.

''We will always have fond memories of him. For now, though, we are deeply saddened for Brandon's family.''