Before Teddy Lehman became a force in the Big 12, he was a linebacker and running back at Fort Gibson High School in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. As a senior, he led the Tigers to the State Championship game while amassing 151 tackles and 1,252 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Lehman remained in his home state and committed to the University of Oklahoma.
Lehman started at middle linebacker his sophomore season before switching to outside linebacker his junior season. Lehman was extremely skilled and productive, and consequently was a consensus First-Team All-American his junior and senior years. He played in Oklahoma’s first Rose Bowl win as a junior. In his senior season, Lehman recorded 117 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble, and six pass breakups. He received the Chuck Bednarik Award and led the Sooners to a Sugar Bowl Berth. In his career, Lehman finished with 329 tackles, 51 tackles for loss, five interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 17 pass breakups.
The Detroit Lions drafted Lehman in the second round, 37th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He was second on the team in tackles while starting all 16 games as a rookie. He would later get signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Lions again, the Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, before ultimately leaving football. He has since returned to Oklahoma where he hosts a sports talk radio show.
Winner: Chuck Bednarik Award – 2003 University of Oklahoma