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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: The debut of Hard Knocks (with Baker Mayfield), the return of Nick Basquine, and more!

Also, Oklahoma comes in at No. 5 in the Sports Illustrated preseason top 25.

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Training Camp Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s a night many fans of Baker Mayfield have been eagerly awaiting. HBO’s “Hard Knocks” premiers Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. CT, and as you probably already know, the Cleveland Browns are this season’s subject. Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall draft pick, figures to be a huge focus as the series progresses. Check out this conversation between Mayfield and Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

It’s been well documented here and elsewhere, but nobody plays with more to prove than Baker Mayfield. Jackson gives Mayfield some great advice about putting in extra work on his own time in this exchange. Mayfield is already seen as one of the greatest Oklahoma Sooners of all time, and now he has a chance to further that legacy as a pro.

I know I’m excited for some Hard Knocks! Will the Browns turn it around this season? I’d say Baker Mayfield is the type of guy to make it happen, but they should be a much-improved squad even with Tyrod Taylor as the starter.

Now... on to hot Hot Links! Kyler Murray is as confident as ever about his ability on the football field, AD Joe C. is a Hall of Famer, Ivy League football could be making a comeback of sorts, and more!

OU Links

  • Oklahoma checks in at No. 5 on Sports Illustrated’s preseason top 25 college football rankings. Andy Staples highlights defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe as a key player that could influence whether or not the Sooners maximize their potential.
  • We’re back! That’s also the name of the latest episode of OUDNA, with a special appearance from The King, Barry Switzer. Check out the team as they gear up for the start of fall camp and find out how they stay on top of their game.
  • Kyler Murray spoke with reporters after Monday’s practice about what he’s focused on improving as far as his individual game is concerned and how camp is going for the offense.
  • Speaking of Kyler Murray, the QB says he feels a night-and-day difference within himself when comparing this fall camp and his first fall camp as a freshman at Texas A&M.
  • Rodney Anderson and others practice without pads, Bobby Evans and Cody Ford battle for tackle spots, CeeDee Lamb aims to be better over the top and more notes from Monday’s practice from Tyler Palmateer of the Norman Transcript.
  • Receiver Nick Basquine is coming off back-to-back Achilles injuries, and his return to the practice field is an inspiration to his teammates.
  • Congratulations to Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione for being inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame! The Florida native and Maryland grad is now an honorary Oklahoman for life. Boomer!
  • Du’Vonta Lampkin is getting the rookie treatment pretty good in Tennessee. It still blows my mind how large of a human being this guy is. It’s only fitting that he’s at training camp with the Titans.
  • Gerald McCoy has been to six straight Pro Bowls going into his ninth season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What’s helped McCoy become (and remain) such a dominant force up front is his attitude. McCoy approaches every training camp as though he’s like any other player fighting for a spot on the final roster.

Around the Sports World

  • Cleveland Browns receiver Jarvis Landry says his former LSU teammate Odell Beckham Jr. would be open to teaming up with him once again in Cleveland. If the Browns are able to land OBJ, their already stellar cupboard of skill players would skyrocket.
  • Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Engel robs Yankees first baseman Greg Bird of a home run by going up, up, up the wall. Incredible stuff.
  • The history of the first Madden NFL video game is a lot more complicated than you may have originally thought. It’s been 30 years since the actual beginning of the popular gaming franchise. Boy have we come a long way or what?
  • Once upon a time, the Ivy League reigned supreme in college football, but ever since the 1980s, schools like Harvard and Yale de-emphasized athletics, effectively removing themselves from playoff contention. Now they’re back, and with their batch of quality coaches and resources, they could actually make some noise in the FCS.
  • How about a little winged sprint car action? Check out this driver who reacts at the last second to drive up on the fence to avoid hitting another racer. Talk about an adrenaline rush for the driver underneath him.

Stick to Sports!

  • A hail storm unleashed in Colorado on Monday, raining down hailstones ranging from golf ball to tennis ball-sized. Dozens of car windows were completely blown out, and at the Colorado Springs Zoo, 14 people were injured, along with several of the zoo’s animals. Even in the middle of the summer, stay weather-aware, folks.

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