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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Caleb Kelly makes Butkus Award watch list

Also, Kyler Murray is learning to manage his money.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas Christian vs Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

Another day, another watch list announcement. Junior linebacker Caleb Kelly has been named to the Butkus Award watch list. In the past, Kelly has been seen in the SAM linebacker spot for the Oklahoma Sooners, but this season he’s moved over to the WILL, which seems to be a more natural fit for his strengths.

Here’s Kelly talking about his time at Oklahoma up to this point, and what he wants out of the upcoming season:

If Kelly can have his best season yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him earn some form of national or conference recognition later in the year. Sophomore MIKE linebacker Kenneth Murray could very well also receive some attention if he takes the next step. Either way, congratulations, Caleb, and good luck this season!

Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Kyler Murray is learning about taxes, Mike Stoops wants to use more nickel, Francesco Molinari wins The Open and a whole lot more!

OU Links

  • Nice, very nice, and I’m digging that wood grain. Oklahoma’s shoe game is going to be far better than anybody else's in the Big 12 (or the nation) this season and for the foreseeable future.
  • In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out some of the notes about Lincoln Riley’s presser. Riley revealed that four players (some of who were not surprises) have been ruled out for the 2018 season for various reasons, among other news of note.
  • With the reality of being paid nearly $5 million by the Oakland Athletics, Kyler Murray is working with his family to manage his money. However, Murray insists he isn’t focused on anything else other than football right now.
  • Lincoln Riley could become the next head coach at Oklahoma to win it all in his second season, but if he does, he’ll be the first to do so without a returning starting QB.
  • Kyler Murray and Austin Kendall have taken similar paths up to this point (with obvious exceptions) as the 2018 season looms. While many on the outside believe the starting QB job is Murray’s to lose, those inside the program still insist it’s a competition that won’t be decided until sometime during fall camp.
  • Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and the rest of the defense are going to have their hands full in the month of September. With three uniquely different styles of offenses from the non-conference slate, Oklahoma’s defensive adaptability is going to be tested unlike any other.
  • Sticking with Stoops, he subtly mentioned that the Sooners will be running a lot more nickel looks, which would allow more of Oklahoma’s talented (but young) defensive backs to see the field and make plays. Hey, whatever works, as long as it works, right?
  • One of those talented defensive backs is Brendan Radley-Hiles aka ‘Bookie.’ Stoops and other players on defense have continued to praise the former five-star recruit for his natural ability and his coachability. The time to see just how much of an impact Bookie can have on the defense is coming fast.
  • Marquise Brown spoke about what his nickname ‘Hollywood’ means when he hears it and how he’s developed physically since he first arrived in Norman.
  • Speaking of Hollywood, he agrees with Rodney Anderson that Oklahoma’s offense this season will be better than it was in 2017, even with the departure of Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. Anderson points to the offensive line as a primary reason.
  • All those smiling faces on both sides of the table are why Oklahoma Football is about more than just a game.
  • Meet the Sooners Day is one of the most special days of the year because for the children who get to meet the football players and receive their autographs, it’s a moment that they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
  • This group has been building something special over the last few years on the recruiting trail. Stay tuned, because Oklahoma isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
  • Class of 2020 five-star dual-threat QB Bryce Young says he will be making his commitment announcement this Wednesday. It is believed Young will be choosing between Oklahoma and USC, although the Trojans appear to have the momentum when it comes to landing Young’s commitment. Young attends SoCal high school football powerhouse Mater Dei, and one of his teammates is Darion Green-Warren, a four-star Oklahoma commit from the 2020 class.

Around the Sports World

  • Francesco Molinari won The Open Championship, and this shot on the 18th had a lot to do with that. The top of the leaderboard was crowded for most of the day, but Molinari’s consistency ultimately prevailed.
  • I wonder if this changes his plans for the future?
  • As the month of July winds down and the NFL preseason approaches, which NFL players are still holding out and why?
  • Renowned daredevil Andrzej Bargie climbed to the top of the world’s second tallest mountain, which is impressive enough. Then he did something nobody has ever done — he skied down the treacherous peak. Insane stuff.
  • A ball boy at a Chicago Cubs game tossed a baseball to a little boy, but the ball got away from the boy in the process. Then, this fully grown adult man snagged the ball and kept it. C’mon, dude, that’s like unwritten rule No. 1. He ought to be ashamed of himself.
  • Fortunately, the Cubs caught wind of this, and righted all the wrongs by giving the boy two baseballs, including a ball signed by Cubs infielder Javier Baez. Score one for humanity.
  • If you plan on getting married in SEC country, you might want to prepare yourself for some wedding cake-pranks, because recently there has been a wave of brides pulling a fast one on their husbands-to-be.

Stick to Sports!

  • Quentin Tarantino is writing and directing the first R-rated Star Trek film. Tarantino’s films are known to push the boundaries when it comes to portraying graphic scenes, and Star Trek has long been considered a moderately family-friendly franchise. I’m not sure how well this will go with life-long Trekkies, but I’d say Tarantino has made enough quality films to deserve the benefit of the doubt.

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