Happy Monday, friends and fans!
This Wednesday, December 19th, marks the beginning of college football’s early signing period. Recruits around the nation will finally be able to put their verbal commitments in ink. Last year was the first time the early period was in place, and it called for a bit of an adjustment for both coaches and recruits alike. As far as the Oklahoma Sooners are concerned, this year’s recruiting cycle looks to be shaping up quite well.
Before the signing festivities begin this week, here are some of the basics courtesy of The Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer.
Currently, Oklahoma has 18 verbal commits, with nine on offense and nine on defense. Not every recruit is necessarily expected to sign in the early period, most of them will. There could also be a commit/signing at the eleventh hour, as was the case with Michael Thompson in the last season’s February signing period. Will Houston’s Marcus Stripling be that big late addition this time around? It’s looking awfully good for the Sooners.
Now on to this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Oklahoma’s defense is growing confident in its clutch moment abilities, Cody Ford is projected as a mid-first round pick, the Cleveland Browns are still hanging onto a glimmer of hope for the playoffs and more!
- Did OU crack the top 25 of the AP Poll this week? Not quite...
- Back to football — Oklahoma’s offense has carried the load all season, but while the defense hasn’t been stifling, the big plays it’s made in clutch moments give the players on that side of the ball confidence going into the CFP semifinal against Alabama.
- Alabama running back Josh Jacobs is the only player on the Crimson Tide’s roster from the state of Oklahoma. He admits he has watched a good amount of OU football this season, but mostly for self-interest, as he is familiar with a number of Sooners from his days in high school.
- Cody Ford made an appearance in Dan Kadar’s latest mock 2019 NFL Draft, and if the junior does declare early, he could be reuniting with one very well known Sooner signal caller.
- There sure is a lot of OUDNA in this capture. Dede Westbrook and Adrian Peterson met up after the Jacksonville-Washington game.
- Mark Andrews picked up a first down against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and hit ‘em with the Salt Bae. I’m here for this.
- Four-star cornerback commit Jaden Davis is excited about playing in the Big 12. Coming from the state of Florida, he relishes the opportunity to compete against high-flying offenses that throw the ball more than the average team in the SEC or even the ACC.
- SB Nation’s Bud Elliott has been pretty accurate with his predictions as of late when it comes to the top uncommitted recruits in the nation. Check out his latest predictions for eight of the top available prospects, including Oklahoma target DE Marcus Stripling.
- In case you missed it, JUCO DE LaRon Stokes out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M verbally committed to Oklahoma on Sunday.
Around the Sports World
- Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly has been named AP Coach of the Year. It’s the second time the Fighting Irish head coach has been awarded with the honor (2012), with both times coinciding with undefeated regular seasons. After going 14-11 over the last two years, ND has bounced back with a 12-0 record and its first berth in the College Football Playoff.
- The Cleveland Browns need a few football miracles to make the playoffs, but the fact that there’s still a chance this late in the season says it all for how the franchise is turning around.
- Speaking of the NFL playoffs, which teams would be the most dangerous in the postseason if they are fortunate enough to earn their way in?
- New York Knicks owner James Dolan says he is considering selling the franchise if the right offer comes along. The price would likely have to be around the $5 billion range, but so far nobody has come forward with legitimate interest.
- Dirk Nowitzki checked into a Dallas Mavericks home game for the first time this season on Sunday night. It was also just the 33rd game in his career he’s come off the bench. The standing ovation from the home crowd is chill-inducing, for sure. What a scene.
Dirk checks into a home game for the first time this season.— ESPN (@espn) December 17, 2018
The whole arena gives him an ovation pic.twitter.com/iyQPf4PEfS
Stick to Sports!
- Jeff Bridges will be presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at next month’s Golden Globes Award Show. The prestigious honor recognizes those in the entertainment industry who have made a tremendous impact on the community at-large. Past recipients include Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball. The Golden Globes airs live on January 6th. If you ask me, I think this DeMille Award is really going to tie the room together, but that’s just like, my opinion, man.
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