Rice University Owls football player O. J. Brigance #57
Black and white copy of article on O.J. Brigance's (class of 1992) induction into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Photograph is of Brigance in Rice Owls football uniform in action. His jersey number is 57. Text describes his football career. Caption reads: The appearance of O.J. BRIGANCE on the Rice football scene coincided with the start of the rebirth of the University’s football program. But it wasn’t easy. In his first two seasons as an Owl, Rice won only twice in 22 games. After playing center at Willowridge High in Sugar Land, Brigance had to adjust to his new position at linebacker. A knee injury also hindered the transition, but he still finished his freshman season with 26 total tackles. Brigance came into his own as a sophomore in 1988, starting all 11 games at inside linebacker and leading the Owls with 128 tackles. All 11 of those games in 1988, however, would be losses and Rice’s 18-game losing streak meant that a new coach, Fred Goldsmith, would be the next to try to revive the Rice program. Brigance would be a leader of the Owls’ resurgence. He led the Owls in total tackles again in 1989 with 104 stops, earning a first-team berth on numerous all-Southwest Conference teams. That team was only 2-8-1, but one of the wins was a 6-3 upset at nationally-ranked Baylor late it the season. As a senior in 1990, Brigance repeated his all-SWC honors, again leading the Owls with 109 tackles. That team finished 5-6 but it came within a failed two-point conversion in the season finale against Baylor of Rice’s first winning season since 1964 and a berth in the Independence Bowl. Brigance ended his career as the Owls’ all-time leader with 367 career tackles. In addition to his two all-SWC honors, he was a three-time winner of a Jess Neely Defense Award as Rice’s top linebacker. He received his degree in managerial studies in 1992. Brigance’s playing career blossomed after his Rice days. He played five seasons in the Canadian Football League, winning all-CFL honors at linebacker. He was the CFL Players Association Man of the Year in 1995 and helped the Baltimore Stallions to a Grey Cup title that same year. Then it was on the National Football League for seven seasons. The first four were with the Miami Dolphins, where he was named a team captain and an NFLPA Unsung Hero. A special teams star, Brigance then joined the Baltimore Ravens in time for their Super Bowl title following the 2000 season. He moved on to the St. Louis Rams in 2001-02, helping that franchise to the Super Bowl in ’01.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame (poor quality original image)
Citable link to this pagehttp://hdl.handle.net/1911/64329
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