Happy Tuesday, Sooner fans.
C&C Machine was down in the DFW area on Monday for Oklahoma’s turn at Big 12 Media Days, and OU’s representatives didn’t disappoint. But first, here are a few things of note that came to light on Monday:
- Lincoln Riley mentioned to a group of reporters that Will Sunderland — who was charged with felony burglary last month — will not be back with the team unless he is exonerated.
- Additionally, quarterback Chris Robison has not been with the team this summer due to “personal reasons”. He’s expected to be back in the fall, however.
- Finally, an OU spokesman told The Oklahoman that kicker Austin Seibert is not currently enrolled at OU. Fortunately, he’s expected to be back in the fall, and his eligibility will be restored at that time.
Okay, now on to the fun stuff!
Here are some of the highlight’s from Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley’s presser on the big stage:
On the coaching transition:
“Normally, when there's a change in the head coaching position, so much else has changed as well as far as bringing in a new staff a lot of times, getting to know players, starting to develop those relationships. What made this so unique, I think, was the continuity that was kept with the decision. It's made it definitely a lot easier on me when I think about all I've done in the last month. But not having to hire ten new coaches, not having to get to know new players and develop those relationships, people within the program, support staff, we felt like there was so much good going on with Oklahoma football that I think Coach [Bob Stoops] said it best. He didn't want to derail that. He wanted to continue that.”
On his relationship with Bob Stoops:
“He was very, very good to me in the last several years, helped me to feel as prepared, I think, as you could for this position and being a first-time head coach. Spent a lot of time with him, especially this last year, going over as many different things of a program as you could imagine, and he knew eventually that I did want to be a head coach and was so gracious with his time and knowledge. Certainly look forward to using him as a resource, as somebody that I can visit with, bounce things off of here in the future. So he's just been tremendous.”
“Probably the thing I'm most excited about with our team is our overall team leadership. I was telling a couple of guys earlier that I felt like there was really 10 or 12 guys we could have brought to this Media Day day today. It's interesting because a the leaders are really spread throughout the team. Usually, my experience is you have one group that was stronger in leadership than the other, one side of the ball than the other, but it's really spread out through this team. Guys that are very mature. We've got a lot of guys that have played a lot of ball and played very quality ball.”
On replacing Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon:
“On one hand, you lose two great players, guys that were incredibly productive in this league, and I think will both have long NFL careers, but maybe one position, maybe more than any at the University of Oklahoma, over the history that it's always been able to reload is that position.
“We've got kind of a unique group. Rodney Anderson comes to mind. Obviously, he's missed the last two years because of injuries, but he's had to fight through a ton. He's a great, great worker. He stacks up there physically as good as anybody we've had at that position, including Joe and Samaje. We know he's got to prove it on the field. Abdul Adams played some for us as a third back last year, played well when he did. Had a great spring, was one of our most-improved players. I think he'll do well in the mix, as well as Marcelius Sutton, a junior college player we signed, went through spring ball with us. He's a little bit smaller, got a little bit of explosiveness to him.
“And the two freshmen we signed, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks. These are guys that you know if a freshman is going to be ready, but you pop on the tape of those guys, and you see what we've seen physically and you see some hints they may be. We're going to have an open mind about it. It's as wide open as it can be. We'll play the best guy whether it's one guy getting most of the carries, two guys like last year, or even as much as three or four.”
On recruiting at Oklahoma right now:
“Well, it's a great program to sell. It's the best thing about selling something is, if you've gotsomething really good to sell, it's a great start. I don't know that it's anything really different. We had some guys that we thought were close anyways, and I think they recognized the continuity, like I talked about in the opening statement, with the staff and the program and the direction we're going. Been able to start to develop relationships with guys on both sides of the ball, so when we had the head coaching change, it's not like I was the new guy where they did not know me. The same point I made about our current players. There was already that sense of familiarity.
“And then our staff has just done a great job. We've got a little bit of momentum with it. I think our brand-new football facility has been a big part of it, being able to get some guys in there and see that I'm going to walk in here and train and have my locker room and all that in the best football facility in the country. So I think all those combined have given us a ton of momentum.”
On replacing highly productive receiver like Dede Westbrook:
“You know, we had to answer that question a lot last year, and Dede was obviously able to have a great year, really get on a run through the Big 12 schedule. You know, it will be interesting. I think we can replace the production. Will we replace it with one player? I don't know. If we do, that's great. If we don't, if it's a little bit more spread out, that's fine too. I do think, looking at our receiving corps, that it would be more deep and a little bit more talented than we've been across the board than the previous two years that I've been there.
“We've got some guys, kind of like Dede was as a junior, that are right on the verge, Jeff Mead, Mark Andrews, Nick Basquine, those guys that have made some plays that are right on the verge, and then some new exciting players, along with the transfer player Jeff Badet, that we think are -- we've got the right guys in there. Just got to get them in the right spot and just kind of see how they grow.”
As promised, we were able to record some (mostly) good Facebook Live videos during the breakout session. Kartik was also able to ask several questions.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: Obo was the first player we visited with on Monday, and he was able to give plenty of insight. He’s a really sharp dude who people haven’t really heard from enough. However, I imagine that will change during his senior season.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo at Big 12 Media DaysPosted by Crimson And Cream Machine on Monday, July 17, 2017
Orlando Brown: Orlando, who may well be a team captain as a redshirt junior this fall, let us know who took him under his wing as a young player. Now that he’s one of the veterans, it’s now up to him to be a mentor. Orlando also mentioned some of the young defensive guys who have stood out. Note: Please excuse Kartik’s hand at the beginning.
Orlando Brown at Big 12 Media DaysPosted by Crimson And Cream Machine on Monday, July 17, 2017
Steven Parker: The Oklahoma native (as well as the other guys) brought along some bling to show off. Steven is known for being good with the media, and he didn’t disappoint on Monday.
Steven Parker at Big 12 Media DaysPosted by Crimson And Cream Machine on יום שני 17 יולי 2017
Baker Mayfield: The Oklahoma QB and Heisman candidate had been fielding questions on all sorts of subjects throughout the day, but he was still his usual, genuine self.
Baker Mayfield at Big 12 Media DaysPosted by Crimson And Cream Machine on Monday, 17 July 2017
Lincoln Riley: We were able to catch Riley towards the end of the session, and Kartik ended our day by asking a very important question of Oklahoma’s head coach.
Lincoln Riley at Big 12 Media DaysPosted by Crimson And Cream Machine on Monday, July 17, 2017