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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: The Big 12’s offensive weapons, OU’s potential breakout defensive players, and more

Also, Lincoln Riley has had to earn his place every step of the way.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

We are living in the quietest time period of the year when it comes to college football. No winter workouts, no spring ball, just summer training behind closed doors, so to speak. Fall practice won’t begin for another six weeks, but until then, it’s fun to speculate on which teams will yield the best production.

Chuck Carlton from the Dallas Morning News assessed the Big 12 offenses in 2019 and ranked the 10 teams in terms of skill position talent. After the track record Lincoln Riley has built for himself, it’s hard to argue for anyone else other than the Oklahoma Sooners leading the way.

Around expected starting QB Jalen Hurts is a deep list of athletes who have already proven themselves capable on the field. Guys like CeeDee Lamb, Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks, Grant Calcaterra, Lee Morris, Nick Basquine, T.J. Pledger, Mykel Jones, Charleston Rambo, Brayden Willis and A.D. Miller show how deep this roster is.

That’s all without even mentioning the players who have yet to make their mark on the program. I’d be willing to bet Jadon Haselwood, Trejan Bridges, Theo Wease, Jaqualyn Crawford and Austin Stogner will each have something to say about who has the greatest collection of offensive skill talent in the conference, if not the nation, before it’s all said and done. Is it football season?

Now let’s move onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Lincoln Riley earned his way to the top, keep an eye out for LaRon Stokes this fall, the USWNT is off to a record start at the Women’s World Cup and more!

OU Links

  • Safety Delarrin Turner-Yell caught his coaches’ and teammates’ attention last year after coming on in the second half of his true freshman season. Now in a new defense, DTY is still turning heads and is looking to make much more of an impact, writes Tyler Palmateer of the Norman Transcript.
  • Bill Haisten from the Tulsa World checked out Lincoln Riley’s office for the first time over the weekend, and his major takeaway from the impressive digs is how the young head coach didn’t reach this stage in his career on a whim nor did he have it handed to him. Instead, Riley has had to earn his status every step of the way. Through his efforts, OU football benefits.
  • DE LaRon Stokes signed with the Sooners after a stint at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, and the OU coaches are increasingly impressed with his performance. OU Insider’s Collin Kennedy has more on this diamond from the JUCO rough.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. has proven himself as one of the top receivers in the NFL today, but can Baker Mayfield actually make him better?
  • Former Mackey Award winner Mark Andrews has stood out during practice going into his second year with the Baltimore Ravens.

Around the Sports World

  • The U.S. WNT is on a roll and on a mission after running out to a scintillating 2-0 start in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Check out highlights from Sunday’s 3-0 win over Chile. Veteran Carli Lloyd has been at this for a long time, and clearly she still has the right stuff.
  • Gary Woodland, a former college basketball player at Washburn, won the U.S. Open by three strokes to capture the first major victory of his career. Check out all the highlights from his impressive Sunday at Pebble Beach.
  • Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce was pulled from minicamp practice early because of concerns about his conditioning. Both coaches and trainers recognized Pierce was significantly heavier than his 340-pound listed playing weight.
  • Washington State went 11-2 in 2018 and quickly became a media darling in the college football world. Now QB Gardner Minshew is no longer in the fold, but Mike Leach’s team returns a plethora of experience elsewhere on offense. So what could the upcoming season look like for the Cougars? Bill Connelly previews Wazzu.
  • In the opening round of the CWS, Mississippi State rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to beat Auburn. What a rollercoaster of emotions this game was.

Stick to Sports!

  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins became a worldwide phenomenon for its readers and subsequent movie goers alike. In 2020, another story will be added to the popular YA series. Collins has worked on a prequel set 64 years before the events of the first book, meaning it’ll be 10 years into the dystopian concept of the ever-captivating reaping system. I’m sure discussions for a film adaptation are already happening, but nothing concrete until the books hit the shelves.

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