Happy Friday, friends and fans!
It’s that time of year! The early enrollees will be arriving to campus this weekend to move into their new digs and officially begin their journeys as students at the University of Oklahoma. It’ll be a great head start for the nine signees to become more acquainted with the playbook, the coaching staff, and the ins and outs of daily life in Norman, Okla.
The #NewWave19 mid-year crew is rolling into #ChampU this weekend- & they’re here to STAY.— Annie Hanson (@Annie_OUFB) January 10, 2019
Welcome our boys HOME! @trejanbridges@felix_finley@derekgreenn@KinngMorris @Perkiooo @austin_stogner@Saint__LaRon @_TheoWeaseJr@jadon_haselwood pic.twitter.com/gT346D6Ym1
The newcomers who will be moving in this weekend are as follows: WR Trejan Bridges, JUCO OL Finley Felix, DT Derek Green, WR Jadon Haselwood, DB Jamal Morris, LB Jonathan Perkins, TE Austin Stogner, JUCO DE LaRon Stokes and WR Theo Wease Jr.
What’s especially exciting is the immediate influx of receiving talent. Haselwood, Wease, Bridges and Stogner are four of the top five signees for the Oklahoma Sooners, so spring ball will be especially intriguing to follow with those guys added to the mix.
The one player who could have taken this crop of early enrollees over the top would have been QB Spencer Rattler, but he won’t arrive until the summer, along with the rest of the 2019 class. Still, this is a great group with tons to look forward to. I know I’m just about ready to see what they all can do on Owen Field.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Alex Grinch wants his defense to believe they can win, Sooner Softball looks to run roughshod through the Big 12 once again, Hunter Renfrow stealthily brings to light an issue with Alabama’s coaching tactics and more!
- Check out this exceptional piece from ESPN about what makes the decision facing Kyler Murray the toughest one of his career thus far, yet at the same time he can’t go wrong, for whatever he chooses will be his destiny.
- If Murray were to end up an Arizona Cardinal with Kliff Kingsbury, the franchise could quickly become a college football dream in an NFL world. Will it happen? Probably not. Can it happen? We can dream.
Should the Cardinals target @TheKylerMurray in the draft after hiring @KliffKingsbury as their head coach? Well, do they want to transform from the worst team in the NFL to the best team in the Big 12? #BeRedSeeRed @rodger: https://t.co/Vs3w7XPvlC— The Ringer (@ringer) January 11, 2019
- Tulsa World’s Bill Haisten explored Alex Grinch’s mission for the Oklahoma defense, which is to instill a winning mentality. That speaks to the kind of culture Lincoln Riley was looking for in his search for a DC.
- Cody Ford and Marquise Brown both cracked the top 20 in Joe Tansy’s mock 2019 NFL Draft for Bleacher Report.
- News OK’s Joe Mussatto wrote about Oklahoma’s Jamuni McNeace and Kur Kuath getting closer to full strength after dealing with ankle and back issues, respectively.
- Oklahoma softball leads the way in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll for the seventh year in a row, this time by unanimous choice. The Sooners need to replace a lot of talent in the pitcher’s circle, but are stacked with quality depth at every other position. Also, Patty Gasso is still at the helm, and she’s proven to be one of the best — if not the best — in the business. The season gets underway Feb. 8.
For the 7⃣th year in a row, the #Sooners have been picked No. 1⃣ in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll.— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) January 10, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/VK57wTaRIN pic.twitter.com/XBzjcyNsmb
- According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, Lon Kruger’s basketball program is hosting an important 2019 prospect this weekend in Anyang Garang. UPDATE: According to Evans, OU has earned a commitment.
Oklahoma is hosting 2019 NBA Global Academy forward Anyang Garang this weekend for an official visit, a source tells @Rivals @SoonerScoop— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) January 11, 2019
Per @coreyevans_10, 2019 NBA Global Academy [Australia] forward Anyang Garang will visit Norman this weekend.— OUHoops (@ouhoops) January 11, 2019
The video in the link below tells the story of his journey and gives a look at his game.
FULL VIDEO ➡️ https://t.co/Zxhp6tZEbX#BoomerSoonerpic.twitter.com/LitA89RNjc
Around the Sports World
- Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow subtly threw some shade Alabama’s way for the Tide’s notorious overutilization of coaching analysts that push them well beyond the limits of the number of coaches a team can field.
- In 2013, Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson taunted the Auburn student section, and a glorious GIF was born. Here’s the story of how it unfolded, told by those who are featured in the endless loop of hilarious madness. I encourage you to watch this gif several times whilst looking at a different face each time.
- Britain’s Andy Murray has been a superstar in the world of tennis for quite some time, but in an emotional reveal, he is fearful that his latest injury could force him to retire from competing professionally for good following the Australian Open.
- New Mexico State broke Grand Canyon’s heart with this improbable buzzer-beating shot from beyond half court. That shot was absolutely bonkers.
WATCH | WINNNNERRR!!!! @mccantsjohnny23 with the GAME-WINNING !!!— NM State MBB (@NMStateMBB) January 11, 2019
Aurrecoechea: 20pts (10-14 FG), 11rebs
Brown: 15pts (4-5 3FG)
McCants: 16pts (7-9 FG)
Jones: 12pts, 5rebs
Harris: 9pts, 7asts#AggieUp | #PanAm50 pic.twitter.com/PWQhQgnEQ8
- Murray State’s Ja Morant is destined to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and possibly even a top-5 selection. Here’s just one reason why he’s received so much attention. Wow.
Cleared it. #JAdropper #SCTop10 pic.twitter.com/40prN1Fu6B— Murray State Sports (@MSURacers) January 11, 2019
Stick to Sports!
- Besides Rocky Balboa, the most iconic character Sylvester Stallone has ever played is John Rambo, the special forces soldier who has zero patience for nonsense in the jungle or forest. Recently, Sly teased the release of the fifth and final installment of the Rambo franchise with this black and white photo from the movie. Rambo: First Blood came out in 1982, and the 37-year saga will be completed this September. I can dig it.
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