From commitments, to new hires, to long-haired country music stars, there’s been plenty to talk about this spring. Here are the 10 things we’ll take away from the past several weeks.
1. MISS YOU, BAKER
Yes, we do.
Yes, we knew we would.
Yes, we’re doing fine at quarterback. Kyler Murray and Austin Kendall looked like we thought they might on Saturday. It was windy as hell, so we can take it all with a grain of salt. Also, it was a spring game. You can basically throw the QB numbers out the window. But all the same, we miss you, Baker.
Yes, I emailed the NCAA to find out if there’s some sort of loophole for us to pay Baker as a professional to be our all-time quarterback.
Waiting to hear back.
2. CORNERS CAN COVER
The corner position could be the deepest unit on the field next year on the defensive side of the ball. We saw why junior Parnell Motley and sophomore Tre Norwood earned starts in the Rose Bowl. They are two of the best corners the Sooners boast. But I was reminded we all but Forgot About Tre.
Sophomore Tre Brown played quick, agile and angry. He wrapped up when he came downhill to stick a wide out who stayed stuck, fam. But the only turnover of the game came from early enrollees Miguel Edwards who showed instincts enough to jump a route and earn a little spring game clout.
“I’m proud of Miguel for making the play on the big stage,” Riley said.
3. BOOKIE IS THAT DUDE
Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles lived up to the hype. He’s energetic, everywhere, unafraid and ready-made. When matched up against bigger, stronger tight end Grant Calcaterra, he made a play most significantly-shorter men would not have made.
“It’s not normal for a freshman to come in like that, and I think he’s taken some tremendous strides throughout the spring,” Calcaterra said.
I’LL say, Grant.
4. FEWER 3-MAN FRONTS?
We rarely saw a 3-man front. We saw outside linebackers on the line creating a 4-man front and, sometimes, a 5-man front. Whether it’s the new presence of defensive analyst Bob Diaco or defensive coordinator Mike Stoops’ studying my videos for tips, this was a most welcome surprise of the spring game and, possibly, fall camp.
5. OKLAHOMA FANS ARE TOUGHER THAN YOU ARE
52,102 Sooners fans showed up to be serenaded by the dying cats sounds of Trace Adkins in weather that was COLD and WINDY. What matters most here is not that Oklahoma didn’t reach its goal of virtually selling out a spring game, but that the Sooners fans organized enough to DESTROY the previous spring game attendance record.
In a bar fight, you better pick the Sooner. We’re tougher than you are.
6. HOLLYWOOD WILL GHOST YOU IN PADS
The best part about Marquise Brown’s 50-yard sprint was when he didn’t come up holding his hammy because the weather was TRAAAAASH.
The second-best part was watching him coast the last five yards over an OU student who DEFINITELY acquitted himself well under the circumstances. I still think he could do with a real race. And why don’t we add Dede Westbrook to the starting line, too?
7. KENNETH MANN AND ADDISON GUMBS ARE MONEY
Those two looked all but unstoppable when Stoops didn’t ask them to drop back into coverage. They’ll probably start 2018 as at strong side defensive end and JACK linebacker, respectively, against FAU.
Wait on it.
8. TRACE ADKINS GOT PAID $115,000
During a 45-minute concert.
And I don’t even care.
(See, No. 9.)
9. BEST RECRUITING WEEKEND IN OU HISTORY?
And it might not even be close. What Riley orchestrated over the past four months paid dividends most couldn’t imagine it would. The Sooners vaulted in the Rivals team rankings from No. 12 to No. 1 in 24 hours and landed two Rivals five-star commitments in the process. Oh, AND THEN THEY GOT AN EXPERIENCED GRAD TRANSFER.
It’s hard to point at any one thing that put the Sooners over the top for the recruits who committed away incredibly impressed, but the overall commitment to excellence at Oklahoma was on display for all to see.
10. NO, NO, NO THURSDAY HOME GAMES AT OU!
For several years now, Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione has had to reiterate to many what Sooners fans have tattooed on their foreheads when it comes to Oklahoma Sooners football playing a Thursday night game in Norman.
”We won’t and we can’t,” he told Carey Mudock of SoonerScoop.com. “In addition to our preference to keep Football on its traditional day, obviously with our stadium in the center of campus, we would not ever try to have a ‘game day’ while the University is in session.”