Happy February, friends and fans!
Now that the month of January is in the rearview mirror, we enter February, aka Black History Month. In the annals of the Oklahoma Sooners, some very notable people are credited for being the first black student-athletes to play football at OU. In 1955, George Farmer Jr., Sylvester Norwood, Charles Parker and Frank Wilson Jr. walked on to Bud Wilkinson’s team and made history.
Before Prentice, there was George, Sylvester, Charles and Frank.— Oklahoma Sooners (@OU_Athletics) February 1, 2019
The story of the first four African-American student-athletes to walk on at OU. #BlackHistoryMonth
Charles Parker is former Oklahoma standout and current Los Angeles Rams practice squad member Steven Parker II’s grandfather. According to the elder Steven Parker, his father and his son are very much alike. Considering the adversity Charles dealt with while breaking through the color barrier, to be such a trailblazer is a testament to his character.
In 1956, running back Prentice Gautt walked on to the team before eventually receiving a scholarship, becoming the first black player to do so at Oklahoma. However, it was the four players in the season before Gautt arrived who paved the way for him and so many others in the decades to come.
Now on to the first February edition of Hot Links! Kyler Murray goes through radio row, Oklahoma has offered another burner from the College of the Canyons, Julius Peppers has something to say and more!
- Kyler Murray is ultra-confident, and he’s not afraid to show it. He’s heard all the criticism on his game, his size, you name it, but at the end of the day he knows who the best player on the field is when he steps in between those white lines.
“I’ve heard it my whole life.— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) February 1, 2019
“I’ve never been the biggest guy on the field, but whether it’s football or baseball I feel like I’m the most impactful guy on the field.”
—Kyler Murray on his height being touted as an obstacle to play QB in the NFL #Sooners pic.twitter.com/iDgZPMWshV
- Iron sharpens iron, and according to Kyler Murray, that’s exactly what happened when he backed up Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma. I bet if you ask Mayfield, he’d likely say Murray helped him just as much. So much respect between these two Sooner stars.
- On Thursday, Murray caught up with CBS Sports’ “Tiki and Tierne” to talk about which sport he loves more and how realistic he felt his chances of making the NFL were before his final season at Oklahoma.
- Stephen A. Smith wanted to set the record straight about Kyler Murray’s height and he owned up to being wrong after finally standing next to the Heisman Trophy winner.
- With Kyler Murray and his people trying to keep his football/baseball decision close to the vest, questions about the topic aren’t going to receive much of an answer. The result for The Dan Patrick Show was some comically gruesome on-air content. It also appeared that Murray was done BS-ing his way through his media appearances for the week.
- In what should be a surprise to no one, Cody Ford has been invited to the 2019 NFL Combine. The offensive tackle could use this opportunity to impress scouts against the top competition. The combine begins February 26th.
When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen pic.twitter.com/Uv3iFVt5Cg— C. Ford (@Cody_Ford74) February 1, 2019
- The Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer wrote about all-everything Sooner gymnast Maggie Nichols and her unique way of spreading positivity. It all started with a simple message somebody told her in passing, and now she pays it forward as the mantra has taken on a life of its own.
- Class of 2019 JUCO wideout Brandon Pierce has received an offer from Oklahoma. The speedster comes from the College of the Canyons, which is the same JUCO that Marquise Brown attended before signing with the Sooners. This guy also has some absolute jets ala “Hollywood”, and with roughly the same build Brown had by the end of his career in Norman.
- This one is as big as it gets for a regular season meet. It’s No. 1 Oklahoma hosting No. 2 Florida starting at 6:45 p.m. CT tonight. Good luck, ladies!
- Blake Griffin is an All-Star for the sixth time in his career, and the first since he’s been with the Detroit Pistons. Way to go, Blake!
- Former Sooner fullback Aaron Ripkowski has been signed by the Kansas City Chiefs on a reserves/futures contract. Rip spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, but was not on a roster during the 2018 season.
#Chiefs have signed RB Aaron Ripkowski to a Reserve/Futures contract.— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) February 1, 2019
- The presence of Sooner Twitter is totally a thing and apparently it’s the most happening college football circle on the popular social media platform. Granted, this is also a reflection of how much national attention the program receives because of guys like Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, which is pretty cool. It’s also nice to see that half of the Big 12 ranks among the top 25 most buzz-worthy college football programs in the nation.
- I don’t know what’s happening here, but I do know that a lot of really great players are featured in this Super Bowl ad. The obvious ones being Baker Mayfield and Tom Brady, but I’m curious as to what Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning and company are cringing about. Stay tuned during halftime this Sunday to find out, I guess.
Around the Sports World
- New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks. I guess the Mavs are going to become really good again with Luka Doncic already making a name for himself around the association.
- Russell Westbrook was named an NBA All-Star reserve, along with several others, including the likes of Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and Klay Thompson.
- Now that Missouri is banned from postseason participation for the next season, seniors may be able to freely transfer to another program. This incident also raises a question about former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant, who transferred to Columbia for what would have been his final collegiate season. Perhaps he’ll seek greener pastures once again?
- How long has it been since (insert state here) has had a five-star recruit? Four-star? I can tell you this, Vermont isn’t cranking out recruiting class headliners like the Lone Star or Sunshine states.
- Future Hall of Fame DE Julius Peppers began and ended his career with the Carolina Panthers, and after 17 seasons in the NFL, he’s finally calling it a career. I’m not going to lie, watching this had me deep in my feels. See you later, JP.
Julius Peppers has something to say... pic.twitter.com/VKGjFmlWum— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) February 1, 2019
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