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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Will Sterling Shepard take the next step in 2018?

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NFL training camps are underway, and storylines on former Sooners are aplenty.

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What’s going on, friends and fans? So today we’ve reached the end of July, aka the final college football-less month on the calendar. There are still a few weeks of talking season left to go, but what do the experts think about the upcoming season for the Oklahoma Sooners?

Sooner Sports TV caught up with a number of experts during last week’s ‘Meet the Sooners Day,’ and a lot of interesting information was revealed. You absolutely have to check this out. It’s pure gold.

Now I’m actually curious... does Lincoln Riley have a stronger arm than Baker Mayfield? And will the offensive linemen get open more often than CeeDee Lamb or Hollywood Brown? Also, if Kyler Murray runs the 40-yard dash in 20 seconds, and he’s one of the fastest players on the team, should Oklahoma just go ahead and hang it up right now?

Honestly, it’s a real joy to watch and hear from these young Sooner fans. They love this program as much as any of us — the only difference being they have the luxury to do so without all the cynicism.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! Baker Mayfield continues to receive rave reviews during training camp, Caleb Kelly is hulking out, Steven Adams smelled Greg Popovich’s hair and more!

OU Links

  • Rookie hazing for Baker Mayfield has been a little outside the box compared to most other rookies. As many of you are aware, Mayfield was instructed by the veteran QBs on the roster to purchase an RV, so he did. Now ‘The Shark’ is the most exclusive RV in the NFL, and I’m laughing as I type all of this.
  • Speaking of Mayfield, former Cleveland Browns QB Tim Couch has watched Mayfield practice during training camp, and he likes what he’s seen from the Heisman Trophy winner. Still, Couch would ideally like to see the Browns introduce Mayfield to the game gradually. If anyone understands the challenges of being considered the future of this particular franchise, it’s him.
  • Receivers coach Dennis Simmons talked about what each of the receivers brings to the equation and how they have improved from last year to this year.
  • Defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux says Oklahoma’s D-line has a lot of the same amount of talent as some of the more dominant units in the past, but the next step is to put it all together. A strong defensive line could be all that’s needed to bring respect back to the Sooners’ defense.
  • Allen Kenney over at Blatant Homerism wrote up a fascinating piece about Bookie and the kind of impact he could potentially have on the Oklahoma defense this fall. South Carolina was in a similar position last season with a comparable player in Jamyest Williams, and the Gamecocks flourished on D.
  • Several football players teamed up with the Grow U program and helped out at the OU Food Pantry, and Caleb Kelly is looking massive. Between he and Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma’s linebackers might be more physically gifted this season than they have been in a long time. The dude’s a monster!

Around the Sports World

  • The Piesman Trophy is for the offensive and defensive linemen who seize that magical moment of scoring a touchdown. Check out this list of some of the all-time greatest moments in Piesman history.
  • It’s confirmed, folks, Greg Popovich’s hair smells lovely. Also, Steven Adams is a treasure to the people of this earth.
  • So Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh advises against eating chicken because it’s ‘a nervous bird.’ In case you were wondering, he’s also totally serious and not joking about this at all.
  • TCU is redoing its basketball court. Don’t worry, it’s not actually going to be blue, but the horned frog pattern lives on.

Stick to Sports!

  • It’s July 31st, which means it’s Harry Potter’s birthday. The fictional ‘boy who lived’ turns 38 today. Author J.K. Rowling’s first novel in the popular seven-part series was first released 21 years ago, and became a worldwide phenomenon. Man, I feel so old right now.

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