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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: releases updated mock draft, and Kyler Murray is absent from the first round

Jim Challis of thinks football will keep Kyler Murray from jumping to pro baseball this summer.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, friends and fans of the Oklahoma Sooners! Over the years, Sooner Nation has seen plenty of upstanding student-athletes who have represented this university with class and high character. Trae Young is one of those exemplary individuals who does things the right way off the court, and here’s the latest example of that.

Caleb Freeman is a young Sooner fan who was on his way to watch Trae Young play last fall, but unfortunately was involved in a car accident that left him hospitalized. Young heard about Caleb’s story and reached out to him, and even gave him the pair of shoes he wore during the Northwestern State game. If you recall, that was the game Trae Young tied the NCAA record for the most assists in a single game (22).

Stuff like this is what it’s all about. Kids like Caleb, who look up to these superstar student-athletes, sincerely appreciate gestures like this, and I’m sure this is a huge moment for him. Chalk this up as another win for Sooners everywhere. So keep battling, Caleb! We’re all cheering for you, man.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! A new MLB mock draft excludes Kyler Murray for an important reason, Joe Castiglione gets a raise, Sooner Softball fans will be twirling Twizzlers again this postseason, Nick Collison announces his retirement and more!

OU Links

  • released an updated mock draft, and Oklahoma’s Steele Walker is slated to go 25th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It would be pretty cool to see Walker join former Sooner QB signee Archie Bradley in Arizona. Perhaps more notable is the phrasing used by Callis at the end of his part on Walker, which reads, “His Oklahoma outfieldmate Kyler Murray also would be a first-rounder if he weren’t dead set on playing quarterback for the Sooners”. 2019 could be a different story, but — as has been said before — OU football fans can probably rest easy for now.
  • Rodney Anderson, Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine are among 29 current or former Sooner Football student-athletes graduating this spring. Congratulations to each and every one of these young men for earning a degree from the University of Oklahoma. It’s a tremendous accomplishment that they can use and be proud of well beyond their playing days. Boomer!
  • Sports Illustrated ranks Oklahoma No. 7 in its post-spring rankings, just ahead of the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s an interesting spot to be ahead of UGA considering the result of that Rose Bowl and what each team lost, but that ranking by itself seems about right for now.
  • Athletic Director Joe Castiglione is receiving a raise of over $200,000, announced on Thursday’s Oklahoma Board of Regents meeting. Castiglione has spent the past 20 years strengthening OU Athletics, and is considered one of the top ADs in all of Division 1.
  • Speaking of Joe C., to put in perspective of just how much Oklahoma has won with him as the AD, the next national title won by an OU program will put Castiglione over the hump as far as national titles are concerned. For him to have been the AD for over half of the school’s national championships is quite the stat, and an all-around remarkable feat.
  • Don’t forget, Oklahoma Softball begins its quest for another Big 12 Softball Championship today with a double-header against the Texas Longhorns and the Iowa State Cyclones! Coverage of the first game starts at 2 pm.
  • Bill Ronne, uncle of senior Nicole Pendley, started a tradition of twirling Twizzlers during last year’s post-season run towards Oklahoma Softball’s fourth overall national championship. This time around, that tradition isn’t going anywhere, so keep an eye out for Sooner fans twirling Twizzlers around in the stands.
  • Bookie is drawing comparisons to Roy Williams for his play-making ability in the secondary, and if his career ends up anything like Williams’, Sooner fans have an awful lot to look forward to with No. 44.
  • ESPN now projects Trae Young to be drafted 8th overall, the likely spot for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • When Pete Hughes wasn’t retained last summer, Thomas Hughes, his son, remained on the Sooners’ baseball team. Pete is now in Georgia, so the family is a bit split up, but for Thomas, it was the right decision to stay in Norman with the team he’s become so close to.
  • Adrian Peterson has been posting workout videos, showing the kind of shape and conditioning he’s in. Peterson says he is totally healthy and is ready for any NFL team to give him a call should they need the services of a veteran running back who can still outplay some of the game’s younger backs.

Around the Sports World

  • Oklahoma City Thunder fan favorite Nick Collison has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement from the NBA after 14 seasons. You the man, Nick.

Stick to Sports!

  • A Texas teacher assigned his class to create a resume and a cover letter as if they were a Marvel character of their choosing, and one student chose Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. If you are caught up on your Marvel characters, Groot is a tree-like creature that only speaks the phrase ‘I am Groot,’ so naturally the student’s entire assignment was comprised of nothing but the repeated three-word phrase, and luckily was creative enough to earn them a 95%. Now that’s pretty awesome.

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