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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Defensive players figuring out their roles

Caleb Kelly appears to be settling into a position, while Tre Norwood has been working all over the place.

Oklahoma v West Virginia Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Hello once again, everybody!

Marquise Brown is on the road to recovery after undergoing foot surgery following the 2018 college football season. Despite not participating in last month’s combine or OU’s Pro Day, Hollywood still has the potential to be selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. If you’d like to get a special look inside the process, check out ESPN’s Draft Academy feature on him, debuting April 4.

This feature will be available for streaming exclusively on the ESPN+ app.

Now there’s a reason why Brown is still considered a first-round prospect even though he hasn’t worked out for scouts or seen any meaningful game action since he was sidelined in the Big 12 Championship. His tape speaks for itself, and his speed is really about as good as it gets. Combine that with hands like Velcro, and he’s practically designed for today’s NFL.

I know I’ll be interested to hear what he has to say about not being able to show out alongside his teammates last month, as well as his hunger to return to the game. Features like this are unique because they typically reveal a side of players that often goes overlooked. Preparing for the biggest moment of your life has to be stressful, yet the great ones tend to handle it like pros.

Now on to today’s Hot Links! Alex Grinch was not pleased with the defense during Monday’s scrimmage, Cody Thomas is back in the state of Oklahoma, Josh Rosen could be the Giants’ next signal caller and more!

OU Links

  • Oh, this? This is just a sweet picture of 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray chilling and whatnot. You know, no big deal.
  • Senior linebacker Caleb Kelly has moved around the Sooner defense quite a bit over the last year, but new LB coach Brian Odom says he’s starting to settle in and weather the storm. The Oklahoman’s Ryan Aber has more on Kelly as well as updates following Oklahoma’s Monday scrimmage.
  • Speaking of the scrimmage, John Shinn of the Tulsa World was able to catch up with DC Alex Grinch afterwards, and the new shot caller of the defense was not pleased with the overall performance, citing lack of consistent effort and sloppiness.
  • The coaches have been impressed with how true freshmen Trejan Bridges, Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease have looked during spring practice, but don’t forget about tight end Austin Stogner. Riley thinks quite highly of him as well, writes Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World.
  • Tyler Palmateer from the Norman Transcript recently wrote about CB Tre Norwood and how he’s been moving around the secondary this spring. Also, the versatile Brey Walker is playing a lot of guard instead of his more natural position at tackle due to the O-line’s current needs.
  • The OU Daily’s Tarik Masri wrote about the players’ take on Grinch’s aggressive coaching approach. His energy and expectations are welcomed in their minds, and something they constantly preach against is ‘129’, referring to last season’s No. 129 ranked pass defense.
  • Skip Johnson and the Oklahoma baseball team host Oral Roberts tonight at 6:30 p.m. CT. The Sooners will look to get back in the win column after dropping last weekend’s series to West Virginia.
  • Former Sooners QB and baseball player Cody Thomas is now with the Tulsa Drillers. I’ll always remember CT for quarterbacking Oklahoma when Samaje Perine broke the all-time single game FBS rushing record against Kansas.
  • Former OU hoops coach Kelvin Sampson has turned the Houston men’s basketball program into a legitimate force, and it looks like he’s about to get paid handsomely for his efforts.
  • Kartik has another weekly update on the three former Sooners in the NBA. Blake Griffin and Buddy Hield continued to do what they do, but rookie Trae Young is hoarding the headlines with his increasingly efficient play, especially in clutch moments.
  • Don’t forget to check out Allen’s breakdown of OU players with the most to prove before the end of spring football. Naturally, many of the names on the list reside on the defensive side of the ball, but there are a number of offensive players who also still have plenty of work to do.

Around the Sports World

Stick to Sports!

  • Tickets for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame went on sale this morning, and almost as soon as sites like AMC and Fandango opened up for business, the influx of traffic crashed many of the servers and left fans waiting in line for an excruciatingly long time. It should be no surprise, however, seeing how the 22nd film in the MCU is undoubtedly the most anticipated of the entire franchise to date, if not all-time. Early box office estimates predict the movie will easily gross over $2 billion worldwide. I’m just glad I’ve got my tickets secured. And now, I wait.

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