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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Non-conference scheduling trends, breakout players and more!

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Also, Oklahoma hosted a talented JUCO DL over the weekend.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

Sophomore running back T.J. Pledger saw his carries limited last season due to team depth and minor injuries during the fall, but he’s since been impressing his coaches with his trimmed down body and newfound focus during practice. Tyler Palmateer with the Norman Transcript takes a closer look at the former IMG back:

With the continued development of Pledger, Kennedy Brooks’ emergence in 2018, and Trey Sermon’s now veteran status, it’ll be interesting to see how RB coach Jay Boulware and Lincoln Riley divvy up the carries this season. Also, with Jalen Hurts’ ability to run, there should be no shortage of players who can tote the rock for the Oklahoma Sooners. If the new-look offensive line can gel quickly, OU’s run game will likely pick up right where it left off.

Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Ronnie Perkins could be a breakout star this fall, others are following OU’s standard of high-profile scheduling, Klay makes fun of Kawhi while being down 3-1 in the series and more!

OU Links

  • OU has set the standard in terms of non-conference scheduling, and Berry Tramel writes about how several prominent teams in the SEC are just now starting to catch up to OU’s method. This is undeniably what the masses crave, and you have the likes of Bob Stoops, Joe Castiglione and Lincoln Riley to thank for the current trend.
  • The Oklahoma Sooners checked in at No. 4 of Lineups’ college football summer power rankings, and after studying their list for a bit, I can easily say that it’s one of the more reasonable and objectively constructed ones I’ve seen. Fellow Big 12 members Texas and Iowa State also made the top 20.
  • There wasn’t a lot of praise to be shared for the Sooners’ defense in 2018, but one of the brighter spots up front was true freshman Ronnie Perkins. Now going into his second collegiate season, David Creekmur from Full Press Coverage has chosen Perkins as his breakout player for Oklahoma in 2019.
  • One of the football camp visitors at Oklahoma in the past week was highly coveted JUCO defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey. With defense being the key ingredient that is still missing from Lincoln Riley’s program, the Iowa Western prospect could be exactly what the 2020 class needs, writes The Oklahoman’s Ryan Aber.
  • OU Insider’s RJ Young covered a couple highly-rated quarterbacks from the 2021 recruiting class, and while the road to their signing day is still well over a year away, it’s clear that Lincoln Riley and his track record is having a tremendous impact on their decision process.
  • Even though Patty Gasso’s team will be without six seniors next season, including four with the starting batting lineup, the entire pitching staff will remain intact. Joe Buettner with the Norman Transcript has more on the significance of retaining the record-setting group in the circle.

Around the Sports World

  • Klay Thompson not-so-subtly mocked Kawhi Leonard’s laugh-turned-meme from last summer during a press conference ahead of tonight’s Game 5 in Toronto. I can hardly wait to see how The Klaw responds.
  • Over the weekend, retired Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz was shot in his home country of the Dominican Republic, but is now considered to be in stable condition. Get well soon, Big Papi.
  • Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin is in his 40th and final season as the head man in Tallahassee, so do you think he’s excited about going to Omaha?
  • After 18 seasons, Tony Parker is calling it a career. Over that span, the six-time All-Star won four NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs. Congratulations, champ! Time to put your feet up.
  • Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor pulled off one of the more exciting plays in baseball when he stole home against the Oakland Athletics. These always give me goosebumps.
  • If you thought Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’ was finally fading into history, think again. Check out the San Diego Padres rocking out to the annoying hit that’s attached itself to people’s ear drums for the last 20 years.

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