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Oklahoma Football Hot Links: Kyler Murray trending in the right direction, Sooners pick up 2021 commit, and more!

Also, the Red River Shootout is personal for Sooners from Texas.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, friends and fans!

Following Wednesday’s practice, Lincoln Riley explained why senior LB Mark Jackson hasn’t had much playing time this season after making 28 appearances and seven starts in his career. Apparently, the Cibolo, Texas native was in the doghouse for undisclosed reasons, and that’s primarily why others have taken the field ahead of him through five games.

Fortunately for Jackson, he’s now back in the good graces of his coaches. OU Insider’s Joey Helmer shares insight from the Oklahoma Sooners head coach.

If it’s part of a long term plan, Jackson could end up redshirting in 2019 to maintain a year of eligibility for 2020. At this time it seems like that could be the path he’s headed down, but even if that’s the case, he can still play in three more games since he already saw time against South Dakota.

One of the many differences in Alex Grinch’s defense that’s been a game changer for Oklahoma is his steep rotation throughout each game. The Sooners’ DC wants to deploy a number of guys at every level in order to build depth and keep the starters fresh. So far, it’s seemingly paying off, and having Jackson back in the fold can only help in those regards.

Now for today’s Hot Links! Oklahoma picks up a big time 2021 verbal commitment, Texas has been legitimately soft for over a century, the Cards just scored again and more!

OU Links

  • On Wednesday evening, class of 2021 four-star DE Ethan Downs announced his verbal commitment to the Sooners. The 6’4”, 240-pound Weatherford prospect holds offers from LSU, Texas and Texas A&M, and is the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Oklahoma for his class. You can check out his sophomore highlights here as well as highlights against rival Clinton here. OU’s 2021 class now has three commitments, as Downs joins five-star QB Brock Vandagriff and four-star WR Cody Jackson.
  • SB Nation’s James Brady took a closer look at Kyler Murray’s rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals five games in. So far, the results haven’t been that eye-popping, but the product on the field is moving in the right direction.
  • Many Sooners are from the state of Texas, and that’s no surprise. The Lone Star State produces some of the best football talent in the nation annually, especially at the quarterback position. Players like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts all come from south of the Red River, so when it comes to OU-Texas, this game becomes quite personal.
  • Speaking of Mayfield, he addressed the Richard Sherman Handshake-Gate ordeal on Wednesday, and he wasn’t too caught up in the drama. He even made a lighthearted reference to his police takedown in Arkansas from a couple years ago. Noice!
  • In 1905, Texas was so mentally defeated when Oklahoma went up 2-0 against them in the late stages of the contest, the Longhorns literally quit right then and there without finishing the final minute of the game. Basically, UT has been a super soft program for at least 114 years, and now we have documented proof.
  • Make sure you check out this week’s Blatant Homerism Podcast with Allen Kenney and his brother ‘The Skinny’! The two of them are back at it again with their gambling picks for a loaded Week 7 college football slate.

Around the Sports World

  • The St. Louis Cardinals broke all kinds of records with a 10-run opening inning against the Atlanta Braves that ultimately resulted in a 13-1 series clinching win. Just wow.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies have fired manager Gabe Kapler after the team had failed to reach the postseason the second consecutive season.
  • Olympic boxer and world champion Errol Spence Jr. was involved in a single car accident after reportedly wrecking his Ferrari over a median before being ejected from the vehicle. Early reports maintain that the 29-year-old will survive.
  • SB Nation’s James Dator grew up a wrestling fan, and was one of millions who hated Chris Jericho. Little did he know that way back then his life was taking significant shape because of his feelings for one of the most popular antagonists in WWE history.

Stick to Sports!

  • Coming next March is a fairy tale unlike any other. Disney and Pixar’s ‘Onward’ is a fantasy-adventure that combines magic with modernity. You might recognize at least a couple of the voice actors as well such as Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, both of whom worked together in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. This movie feels like it has the all makings for a terrific family film!

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