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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Trae Young gives back, Kyler Murray is a soccer star in another life, and more!

Also, Marquise Brown might not suffer a blow to his draft stock following surgery.

NBA: All Star-Rising Stars Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up, everybody?

This time last year he was the talk of college basketball in his lone season with the Oklahoma Sooners, and today he’s finding his way at the highest level the game has to offer. Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young grew up in Central Oklahoma, so what better place to start a program that helps kids become the best players they can be than his old stomping grounds?

That’s precisely what Young has done. The Trae Young Elite Youth Basketball Program is up and running at the Santa Fe Family Life Center in Oklahoma City and is intended to help refine the skills of young basketball players of all experience levels. The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto has more on Young’s philanthropic endeavor.

Ever since the hometown Young committed to Oklahoma, he’s represented himself, his family, and his university incredibly well. The 20-year-old basically saw his fame skyrocket overnight, and after his role in last weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities, his notoriety continues to grow. Still, no matter how his life has evolved, he manages to maintain his humility and generosity. He might be just a kid from Norman, but him giving back is going to provide life-changing opportunities for other kids from all over the Sooner State.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! Experts still expect Marquise Brown to be one of the first receivers selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, Kyler Murray may not throw at the combine in Indy, the AAF is (barely) here for another week and more!

OU Links

  • Guerin Emig from the Tulsa World wrote about Marquise Brown’s foot surgery that’s going to keep him from participating at the NFL Combine and at OU’s Pro Day. What are some of the draft experts saying about Hollywood now? Is this development enough to drop his stock from a first round grade?
  • Sticking with the topic, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay discussed what makes Brown so special as a prospect and if they believe this setback will ultimately hurt him on draft night.
  • Kyler Murray’s place among the past winners of the Davey O’Brien Award is now set up, and I must say, he sure looks like he belongs.
  • Speaking of Murray, when it came time to inform the Oakland A’s about his decision to make football his primary focus, he admits that the decision was quite difficult because of how much time and effort the Athletics invested into him. The Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer has more.
  • While his go-to receiver in 2018 will not be running at the NFL Combine next week, Murray himself has also not yet decided on if he’s going to participate in any throwing drills. It’s not unheard of for players to withhold from passing until their respective pro days, so if that happens it shouldn’t be a concern.
  • From 5’8” to 5’10”, you’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask about Murray’s height. The Heisman Trophy winner is on record of saying he’s 5’10”, but all shall be revealed in Indianapolis next week. Still, no matter what the number comes out to be, it doesn’t change the fact that he has the potential to completely turn a struggling NFL franchise around once he’s given the opportunity.
  • Now I’m imagining Kyler Murray on the soccer field and oh my word he’s faster than everybody and blasting balls past hapless goalies.
  • According to BetOnline, Jalen Hurts currently has the third-best odds in the nation to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy. I’ll chalk this up to the Lincoln Riley effect.
  • Once again, the Sooners’ ace pitcher Mariah Lopez was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. The junior righty is now 4-0 on the season and recorded her second career solo no-hitter against Florida Atlantic.
  • In case you missed it, the Oklahoma baseball team was originally scheduled to travel to Texas to play Dallas Baptist today, but with inclement weather in the forecast, that game has been moved to Norman on Wednesday. As a result, the game between OU and DBU on March 5 will now be played in Dallas instead of Norman.
  • Since retiring, Tony Romo has become one of the better color commentators in all of football. It looks like he’s also a super awesome dad because one of his sons is wearing a Baker Mayfield OU jersey in this Romo Family home video. Nice job.

Around the Sports World

  • The Alliance of American Football (AAF) started just last week, and reportedly it already reached the brink of financial collapse. Fortunately, a last-minute $250 million investment has helped stem the tide, but how long can this budding league operate this way?
  • Four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner Manny Machado has agreed to sign a deal with the San Diego Padres.
  • Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was found to have conspired in fixing games with the calls he either made or didn’t make. He pleaded guilty in ‘07, but until now, how much money was made and with whom that money was exchanged was unknown.
  • Alex Chu is a freshman lacrosse goalie at Wheaton College, but he hasn’t been able to see the field because there isn’t a helmet large enough to fit onto his head. In high school, he had a helmet custom-made out of two separate helmets that were fused together to form a bigger one. Somebody get this man a helmet!
  • NHL analyst Pierre McGuire’s face was literally inches away from being completely blasted by a hockey puck screaming past him. I’ve held a puck before, and those things have to be made out of depleted uranium, because they’re unnaturally dense. What a fortunate guy.
  • We’ve got an early candidate for Flop of the Year. Just watch, after this poor acting job, this kid will grow up to run Hollywood ala Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Les Miles.

Stick to Sports!

  • The Bill & Ted movie franchise saw its first two films released in 1989 and 1991, and 30 years later, shooting is about to begin for a third and presumably final installment. Actors Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter will reprise their excellent roles in Bill & Ted Face the Music. In the past, we’ve watched these two go on epic journeys together through time and space, so it’ll be interesting to see where their next adventure takes them. Am I excited for this movie? Yes way! Okay, maybe not that excited, but I had to say it. If you know, you know.

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