Happy Friday, friends and fans!
Warning: the following video may induce a sudden urge to run through a series of brick walls. Cornerbacks coach Roy Manning is pure energy, and it’s absolutely contagious.
After the Oklahoma Sooners wrapped up Day 1 of spring practice, Manning was still hard at work motivating the fan base and spreading positivity. It’s quite refreshing to have a coach with his exuberance on the staff, and even in his not-so-storied history as a coach, his track record is solid.
Manning knows how talented the Sooners’ offense is, so his praise of that unit is no exaggeration. He also acknowledges the amount of growth the defense can and needs to make in order to reach championship caliber. I can only speak for myself here, but I think as long as he keeps doing what he does best, his players will be better for it, or should I say, crisp as a Granny’s apple.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Sooners hit the practice field for the first time in 2019, Kyler Murray plans on a full pro day, Russell Westbrook doesn’t like to be tripped and more!
- Details for Oklahoma’s Spring Game have just been released. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m. CT, which is a little later in the day than it’s been in recent years. Also, this year’s musical guest is country music singer Lee Brice. Quick research shows he has over a million followers on Twitter, but this is the first I’ve heard of him, so forgive me if that makes me uncultured (I suspect this isn’t the case in this instance). If you recall, last year Trace Adkins performed on the brisk, windy afternoon, and it went fine. Boring, but fine. Either way, Sooner football is nearly back, and that’s always exciting!
See you April 13th!— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 8, 2019
Spring Sale at 7:30 a.m.
Fan Fest at 9 a.m. (new location)
@leebrice at 1:30 p.m.
Kickoff at 3 p.m.
On sale Monday at 10 a.m.
Details ➡️ https://t.co/i2VNgUFb4Q pic.twitter.com/hdMwkHtDDa
- Jalen Hurts is rocking the No. 1 and the slick visor. I can still hardly believe this guy is playing for Oklahoma, but eventually it’ll make sense in my head.
- Tyler Palmateer of the Norman Transcript talked about Hurts’ noticeable presence on the practice field and how his teammates on both sides of the ball have gravitated towards his leadership.
- I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I’ve been longing for something better for so long, but I already really like what I’m seeing from Alex Grinch. It doesn’t sound like he’s just using a bunch of coaching clichés when he instructs his players, and he’s holding them accountable for the details and if they’re just going through the motions.
Want to know how Alex Grinch teaches/coaches?— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) March 7, 2019
Watch this all the way through. He let’s you know what he wants. pic.twitter.com/8x7omfTpHs
- Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World wrote about Grinch’s first day of practice as Oklahoma’s DC, and while he’s still evaluating the defense’s overall speed, his approach is to cut out the baby steps and go 100% right now.
- The OU Daily’s Vic Reynolds highlighted one of the key aspects that makes an Alex Grinch defense run at the highest level — player conditioning. In order for that to come to fruition, several players have had to trim down in weight, while others have had to add muscle. According to the team, the physical changes are already starting to pay off.
- Star-studded freshmen receivers Trejan Bridges, Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease looked the part during their first ever practice as Sooners. It’s scary to think about how other teams still have to deal with guys like CeeDee Lamb, Grant Calcaterra and Charleston Rambo. Then OU can just throw these young bucks into the mix. Hey, sometimes life’s not fair. Sorry not sorry to everybody else.
- It’s a good thing the Sooners are in such good shape at receiver going into the 2019 season, because someone is going to have to step up and replace Marquise Brown’s production. The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel looks into which player or players are most suited to take over that mantle.
- There was a lot that didn’t go right in Brendan Radley-Hiles first season in Norman on the field, but off the field, ‘Bookie’ felt like he wasn’t the best teammate he could be. Going into the 2019 campaign, the former five-star DB is looking to improve on that. The OU Daily’s George Stoia has more.
- It appears Kyler Murray will not only run the 40-yard dash at OU’s Pro Day, he will also re-measure and weigh in. If he weighs in at over 200 pounds again and still runs a sub 4.4 40, that will be beyond amazing.
#Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray will run the 40 at his Pro Day, along with a regular passing workout, source said. He’s also expected to weigh-in again and get measured... for all the height truthers out there.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2019
- Speaking of Murray, Gil Brandt doesn’t buy the idea that his work ethic is shoddy. I’d say Brandt’s track record is a lot more credible than most in the business.
About this Kyler Murray situation: 1) Only 1 team put him in front of white board. 2) The questions about leadership, study habits run counter to my experience w/ Kyler, who I've known since he was a HS soph. Have known his dad for 30 years. Honestly, it all sounds fabricated.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 7, 2019
- Here’s just a little bit more evidence to negate the outlandish claims reported by Charley Casserly from a few days ago, and this would seem to be a bit more believable based on the fact that a specific team is actually named instead of all that anonymity used before.
The Chargers were one of the 10 teams to interview Kyler Murray at the Combine. Coach Anthony Lynn told me post-interview that Kyler was “impressive”, “sharp” and had great recall at the white board.— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) March 8, 2019
- The No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners host Northwestern tonight at 6 p.m. CT. Like the rest of the home games, the tickets for this one are already sold out, but if you’re not going to Marita Hynes Field, you can watch the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
- Sooner Baseball is in Houston this weekend to take on the Rice Owls, and our very own Jack Shields is down there live and in-person to cover the action. Tonight’s game begins at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Around the Sports World
- Russell Westbrook and Jusuf Nurkic had a little moment during Oklahoma City’s visit to Portland on Thursday night. In the end, the Thunder got the last laugh over the Trailblazers in OT.
Nurkic goes for the trip on Westbrook.— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) March 8, 2019
Russell responds accordingly. pic.twitter.com/Grs7qUd4gu
- In 2017, the FBI intercepted phone calls between LSU basketball coach Will Wade and an aspiring business manager via wire tap, and in their conversations they discussed funding for a recruit. The No. 10 Tigers are tied for first in the SEC this season and poised for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
- The New York Giants are finalizing a trade deal that would send pro bowler DE/OLB Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns for right guard Kevin Zeitler.
Giants closing in on a deal to trade Olivier Vernon to the Browns, per source. Deal close now.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2019
- Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving, 25, announced that he is quitting football after being suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy as a repeat offender.
- In a series of tweets, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger argued his stance on paying student-athletes. Like others have done before him, he makes some fair points that are at the very least worth listening to.
Stick to Sports!
- Depending on your opinion of Modelo beer, this story just might hurt your heart. A semi-truck carrying hundreds of cases of Modelo crashed on a freeway off-ramp in West Covina, California. Fortunately the driver is just fine, but many of the cans did not survive the accident. I’ve got to be honest, it’s a rather sad sight to see.
BOTTOMS UP: A big rig hauling cases of Modelo beer overturned on a freeway on-ramp in Southern California, spilling hundreds of cans across the roadway. https://t.co/jRxFr99zPx pic.twitter.com/5JkUDiGbeI— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) March 7, 2019
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