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Former Sooners All-American Dies

October 5, 1999

SPIRO, Okla. (AP) _ Rod Shoate, a two-time All-American linebacker for Oklahoma, has died after a long illness. He was 46.

Shoate died Monday at his home. Services will be Thursday at Mt. Triumph Baptist Church in nearby Fort Coffee.

Shoate was an All-American in 1973 and 1974. He later played with the New England Patriots and in the United States Football League.

At Oklahoma, Shoate had 420 career tackles, ranking him third on the school’s career list. He led the Sooners in tackles in 1972, 1973 and 1974.

He played for Sooners teams that went 29-4-1 and won the 1974 national championship. Shoate finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior in 1974 and was one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award that year.

During Shoate’s playing days, former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer called him ``the best linebacker to don a Sooner uniform.″

In 1975, Shoate was drafted in the second round by the Patriots. Shoate was traded to the Chicago Bears in 1982 and released before the start of the season. He played in the USFL for New Jersey in 1983 and Memphis in 1984.

Shoate is survived by his parents, Levester and Lula Shoate of Fort Coffee, five sisters and five brothers.

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