Happy Thursday, friends and fans!
If you’ve paid any attention to the 2019 NFL season through two weeks, you’ve likely noticed the high number of Oklahoma Sooners doing work. Many of those professionals are first and second year players, such as rookies Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown. Speaking of which, those former teammates check in at the top of Rotoworld’s Rookie Report, which ranks the league’s best performing first-year players on a cumulative scale.
While K1 sits atop this list at No. 1, a strong case could seriously be made for Marquise Brown to claim the throne through two weeks of NFL action. Needless to say, both OU products figure to make a strong case for Rookie of the Year honors by season’s end if they can maintain their play throughout the season.
In 2018, Baker Mayfield took the NFL by storm, and although he narrowly missed out on winning ROTY, the impact he’s made in the league continues to resonate across the football world. Also, Lincoln Riley’s job as a recruiter should only become easier when his former pupils are having such tremendous success at the next level.
Now for today’s Hot Links! Oklahoma has been able to develop real depth with its comfortable non-con slate, Alex Grinch likes how the defense is practicing, Nike and AB part ways and more!
- Lincoln Riley and the Sooners have this weekend off, but don’t worry folks, your pals Jack and Kamiar are fully committed to bringing you the latest updates on all things OU on the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast. In this week’s episode, the guys evaluate the team through the first quarter of the regular season. They also take a look at the position groups that are progressing nicely as well as the ones that need to improve sooner rather than later. As usual, this pod contains some NSFW language.
- John Hoover of The Franchise wrote about the one major benefit to a relatively weak non-conference schedule for Oklahoma in 2019 — developing depth. While feasting on cupcakes wasn’t part of the plan when this year’s schedule was originally put together years ago, the way it’s turned out has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise for a coaching staff that wants to evaluate all of its talent and a team that desperately needs the extra competition.
- In case you missed it, Bill Bedenbaugh has earned his fifth offensive line commitment for 2020, this time from four-star prospect Aaryn Parks.
- The Tulsa World’s Bill Haisten reported on some of Alex Grinch’s comments earlier this week and why one of the things he said bodes extremely well for the Sooners’ defense moving forward.
- In case you missed it, the OU men’s basketball team’s complete 2019-20 schedule was released on Wednesday afternoon. There are plenty of important nuggets you ought to catch yourself up on, such as finding out which games are slated for ESPN+. The regular season officially tips off in Norman on Nov. 5 against UTSA.
- Former Oklahoma Softball stars Kelsey Arnold, Fale Aviu, Shay Knighten, Paige Parker and Sydney Romero will be part of the upcoming season’s coaching staff in varying capacities. You can never have enough OUDNA in a program, and this group bring a wealth of invaluable experience to the equation. Welcome back, ladies! Boomer!
Some familiar faces have joined the coaching staff. Combined, they account for...— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) September 18, 2019
⭐ 9 All-America honors
⭐ 17 All-Big 12 honors
⭐ 4 WCWS trips
⭐ 2 National Championships@fale_aviu, @kelsarnold12, @shay_1715, @paigeparker008 & @syd_syd2 are back!
- NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger broke down Kyler Murray’s play from last Sunday’s game versus the Baltimore Ravens. Under Kliff Kingsbury, the Arizona Cardinals’ offense is beginning to take shape, and K1 is doing some extraordinary things on the field to accelerate that process.
- The Cleveland Browns’ offense hasn’t been as sharp as it looks like it could be given the level of talent across the board, and while first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens is accepting the blame for that, Baker Mayfield is also taking full ownership for any areas of inconsistency.
- Don’t forget to check out Allen Kenney’s latest Blatant Homerism Podcast where he makes his gambling picks for some of this weekend’s college football games with his brother and co-host ‘The Skinny’. Even without Oklahoma on the schedule, Week Four has plenty of tasty matchups that could each go a number of ways.
Around the Sports World
- An Iowa State fan had a sign asking for beer money during last Saturday’s College GameDay event, and it’s since taken on a life of its own. Now instead of using the money for himself, he plans to donate it all to the Iowa Children’s Hospital. Great story.
- Arizona State, Florida, Penn State and Washington State will each be followed by HBO cameras for a mini docuseries called ‘24/7 College Football’ this season beginning in October. Wazzu alone makes this must-see TV because Mike Leach is a treasure and is entertainment personified.
- Alabama starting defensive end LaBryan Ray recently had surgery to repair an injured ankle/foot, and is expected to miss at least six weeks while he recovers.
- Nike has ended its relationship with New England Patriots WR Antonio Brown. I’m going to take a wild guess and say 2019 has not been AB’s finest year as a pro.
- Defensive end Taco Charlton, a first-round pick out of Michigan in 2017, has been waived by the Dallas Cowboys and is now a free agent.
Stick to Sports!
- Actor and comedian Nick Kroll was a guest on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and his impression of Jason Statham was the most spot-on impression of Jason Statham you’ll see all week (or ever, I guess). Great stuff from both of these guys.
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