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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Three Sooners make Outland Trophy watch list

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Oklahoma three returning starters along the offensive line — Dru Samia, Ben Powers and Bobby Evans — made the list.

West Virginia v Oklahoma Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

How’s it going, friends and fans? Over the past several seasons, the Oklahoma Sooners have been known to field some of the nation’s best backfields. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was obviously legendary, and running backs Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and Rodney Anderson have been some of the most dynamic rushers in recent college football history.

I mention all of this because none of those guys would have produced the way they did without the heavy lifters up front. The game of football always has and always will start up front, and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has put together some of the best units in the nation. Today, the watch list for the Outland Trophy was released, and three Sooners were recognized.

A big congratulations to Bobby Evans, Dru Samia and Ben Powers. The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation’s best offensive or defensive interior lineman, so the pool is deep with guys on both sides of the line of scrimmage. There have been five Outland Trophy winners in Oklahoma’s program history, including Lee Roy Selmon in 1975 and most recently Jammal Brown in 2004. Orlando Brown easily could have won it in 2017, but the award instead went to Houston’s Ed Oliver.

Now onto some scorching Hot Links! Bob Stoops sports a beard, Kyler Murray is literally the odds-on favorite to win the starting QB job, Tim Tebow is out for the season and more!

OU Links

  • So Bob Stoops has a beard and the internet is freaking out. Hell, I’M freaking out! It’s like when a toddler sees its father sporting facial hair for the first time and doesn’t recognize him. Having said that, if Stoops doesn’t go full on Grizzly Adams I’ll be largely disappointed.
  • What would it take for Oklahoma’s defense to rank in the top five nationally? Lincoln Riley was asked about that, and he also discussed what he envisions for strong defensive play moving forward.
  • According to the Bet Diamond Sportsbook International, the oddsmakers have tabbed Kyler Murray as the favorite to win the starting QB job over Austin Kendall. SHOCKER!
  • Coach Shane Beamer digs the new look of the football facility entrance. I agree! I think the Jumpman logo is a nice touch, along with the dozens of trophies inside. Boomer!
  • Speaking of Jordan Brand, OU AD Joe Castiglione says Oklahoma’s pairing with the iconic brand has been impactful in ways many couldn’t understand until now. Also, there really hasn’t been much pushback about the subtle changes in the Sooners’ updated uniforms.
  • The junior college route is not the typical path to football stardom, but there are a number of players who not only made it work, they even turned out to be all-time greats. Check out this list of the best players who at one point attended a JUCO. Two former Sooners made the list.
  • Check out this fantastic piece by DallasCowboys.com staff writer David Helman about Charles Tapper and how he’s taken on the role of guardian for his two younger brothers following the death of their mother. It’s a truly inspiring story.
  • It’s been revealed that Oklahoma Basketball will square off against the Florida Gators in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.
  • Oklahoma’s annual Champ U BBQ is coming up quick! This Saturday, July 28, Lincoln Riley and company will host a large number of commits and prospects for a day of food and, well, recruiting! Will there be any commitments? Any surprise commitments? Stay tuned. Last summer’s event surpassed expectations and also changed the complexion of a number of recruiting battles, so this is always something to watch.

Around the Sports World

  • Tim Tebow has actually been pretty solid in the minor leagues this season, but now he has to have surgery after breaking a bone in his hand, effectively ending his season. That’s tough luck, my dude.
  • A tweet from Arizona Wildcats QB Khalil Tate is likely the main reason why Kevin Sumlin was hired as the head coach and not Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo.
  • Rob Gronkowski caught up with SB Nation to talk about why he was the perfect spokesperson to tell kids not to eat Tide Pods. Gronk might be a party animal, but he seems like a legitimately cool dude.
  • Stage 16 of the Tour de France had to be momentarily stopped because wind was blowing pepper spray from a protest down the road into the eyes of the riders.
  • I thought it was impossible, but it turns out you can catch a home run ball with your bare hand while simultaneously holding a baby. Awesome stuff.

Stick to Sports!

  • Titanic director James Cameron is backing a bid by a group of British museums to purchase a collection of about 5,500 recovered artifacts from the real-life sunken ship. Cameron wants the collection to remain together in order to keep it from falling out of the public eye, so a campaign he is part of aims to raise approximately $20 million to acquire it from its current private American ownership.

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