The Oklahoma Sooners have given out an award every year since 1982 to the football player that exemplifies excellence both on the field and in a classroom.
Don Key, who was a three-year starter for the Sooners, had his career end short in 1981 when cancer surgery put a stop to his playing days. Besides being a three-year starter, Key also was an All-Big 8 player. It all started with a ruptured kidney that originally sidelined Key, but that ruptured kidney proved to possibly be life-saving: doctors found malignant cancer in the kidney.
In 1982, head coach Barry Switzer established the Don Key Award, which is said by the Oklahoma coaching staff to be the highest award a football player on the team can receive. It is the only individual award the Sooners hand out.
On Saturday before the Bedlam match-up, the award was handed out to DE David King. The last several years the award has been handed out to multiple players. In 2011 it went to Ryan Broyles, James Hanna, Travis Lewis and Corey Wilson. In 2010: Adrian Taylor and Jeremy Beal. The last player to receive it solo was Brody Eldridge in 2009.
King has started in every game in 2012, while in previous years had part-time starts but a huge impact. He not only has stands out on the field, but has stood out in the classroom as well. King was Academic All-Big 12 in 2011 and most likely will receive that honor in 2012 too. He is a human relations major.
Many thought the award would be handed out to OL Austin Woods, who has actually been battling cancer and chemo the entire season. Woods has also been a part of the Academic All-Big 12 team. Most of the time, the award has been given to Seniors, but I imagine the Sooners have something special planned for Woods at the end of the season, since he is only a Junior.