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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Best value picks for the Heisman, the sophomore season for Ronnie Perkins, and more!

Also, there’s hope that the much-needed culture change will result in defensive improvement.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Spring Game Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

How’s it going, everyone?

Going into his third season as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, Lincoln Riley is quite confident in how he wants to run his program. Having true competition makes everyone involved better, and that couldn't be more true than at the quarterback position. Here’s OU’s HC going into more depth about his philosophy for finding his next QB.

First of all, check out Lincoln’s Lincoln. The man certainly knows how to ride in style, and he also knows how to get the most out of his QBs. Although Alabama grad transfer Jalen Hurts is obviously going to win the job, it’s smart on Riley’s part to continue to give guys like Tanner Mordecai, Spencer Rattler and Tanner Schafer a serious chance to make a move because that not only makes them better, it pushes Hurts to be better, as well. In fact, our Allen Kenney wrote something on this very subject.

If there’s one thing no one should ever question Riley on, it’s how he handles the quarterback position. At this point, he’s proven he knows exactly what he’s doing. Until further notice, in Lincoln I trust.

Now for today’s Hot Links! Jalen Hurts receives more preseason Heisman hype, Ronnie Perkins likes what he sees from Alex Grinch, Mike Leach executes an epic belly flop and more!

OU Links

  • College football guru Phil Steele knows a thing or two about odds and trends, so when he names his best value bets for the 2019 Heisman Trophy, you might want to pay attention. With Oklahoma producing back-to-back Heisman winners, Steele projects Jalen Hurts to be the second-best value pick behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. At 10-1, that’s not a bad call.
  • The much-needed defensive culture change appears to be in full effect, and that alone should give fans a glimmer of hope for improvement in 2019.
  • True freshman TE Austin Stogner had a strong spring and appears to be picking up where he left off this fall. If he continues on this trajectory, I don’t think there’s any way Riley will be able to keep him off the field, even with a veterans like Grant Calcaterra and Lee Morris ahead of him. What a great problem for the Sooners to have.
  • OU Insider’s Joey Helmer wrote about defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux’s honest assessment of the DL and how they’ve underperformed in recent seasons. The potential on this unit is there this year, but only time will tell if they take the next step and become a strength rather than a liability.
  • Ronnie Perkins was one of the few bright spots on Oklahoma’s defense in 2018 as a true freshman, and now he’s motivated to do even more in his second go-around, writes Bruce Campbell of the Enid News & Eagle. The St. Louis native also feels great about the system DC Alex Grinch is implementing.
  • The NFL is being taken over by Sooners. Check out Dede Westbrook of the Jacksonville Jaguars catching up with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens. So much star power in one photo.
  • This is a pretty neat stat regarding former Big 12 players in the NBA. Oklahoma’s trio of Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young are the highest scoring triplets out of other former conference players. Young and Hield might explode on the court next season, so this number could go way up.
  • Let’s get to know a little about 6’7” freshman forward Jalen Hill out of Las Vegas, Nev, shall we. He has great range and takes pride in locking up his man. Looks like Lon Kruger has another good one waiting in the wings!
  • In less than three weeks, college football will officially be back! If you’re not just a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners, but also of this amazing sport in general, you ought to do yourself a favor and sign up with SB Nation’s FanPulse Top 25! It’s a new poll that is reliant solely on informed fans of the game who follow their teams with a passion. Each week you’ll be surveyed to determine which teams should be ranked and where. Check it out and make your voice heard!

Around the Sports World

  • I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to truly dislike Washington State head coach Mike Leach. He’s a national treasure that must be protected at all costs. Check out his sweet form off the board!
  • Running back Ezekiel Elliott and his camp are planning to hold out through the upcoming regular season unless he can come to a contract extension agreement with the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Sticking with the NFL, what are some of the biggest beefs that will be handled on the field this season? Some of these matchups come with an extra helping of spice due to some drama-filled disputes.
  • Vince Carter has agreed to return to the Atlanta Hawks to play what should be the final season of his 22-year career. What I found most interesting is that if he makes an appearance in any game once the calendar switches over to 2020, he’ll be the first player to play in four different decades. Wow.
  • Many of the NBA’s top superstars have opted out of joining this year’s Team USA. That has presented a major opportunity for players like Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. The games begin later this summer.
  • Excellent sports moment captured right here. Miami Marlins rookie Isan Diaz recorded his first MLB hit with a home run off Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom while his father was being interviewed in the crowd. Papa Diaz’s instant reaction is so priceless. Amazing stuff.

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