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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Bob Stoops makes XFL coaching debut, Trae Young has another big game, and more!

Also, plenty of big names wished Bob luck before the game.

St Louis Battlehawks v Dallas Renegades Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

Over the course of his 18 years as the Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach, Bob Stoops impacted countless players and coaches around him and his program. During the Dallas Renegades’ final practice before the XFL season kick-off, a handful of those he’s influenced expressed their gratitude towards the winningest front man in OU history. Check out some of the warm wishes for a successful season back on the sideline from the likes of Lincoln Riley, Mike Leach, Adrian Peterson and more.

Even though this series of video tributes dedicated to Stoops is but a fraction of the lives he’s made an impact on during his time as a coach, it really puts into perspective how much the game of football runs through Oklahoma and subsequently Bob. His reaction to seeing a former assistant like Kevin Sumlin or a former player like Tommie Harris sending him good luck looks like that’s what makes it all worth it for the future CFB hall of famer.

It doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly three years since he announced his retirement from college football, but here we are. The best part of how the story has unfolded up to this point is that both Stoops and the Oklahoma program he resurrected and loves so dearly are both in a good place with every opportunity to be great.

Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Patty Gasso’s softballers are off to a hot start, former Sooner hoopsters etch their names in the record books, Bojan buries Houston with an improbable buzzer beater and more!

OU Links

  • Former Sooner WR Jordan Smallwood hauled in an 11-yard touchdown reception for his Los Angeles Wildcats on Saturday. That ties his career total while he was at OU, so he can only move up from here. Boomer!
  • After dealing with a knee issue sustained weeks ago in training camp, former Oklahoma and backup Pittsburgh Steelers QB Landry Jones was available to play but was ultimately kept out during the Dallas season opener. Here he is on the sideline of Sunday’s game talking about being back in a football uniform after trying his hand in the construction field for a spell. Only in the XFL, amirite?
  • Kyler Murray — the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner — took some time out of his schedule to check out the XFL buzz and his former head coach’s team. I’m sure the Arizona Cardinals aren’t worried about him switching football leagues, but how about those Texas Rangers? I’m kidding, y’all. Calm yourselves.
  • The Renegades dropped the season opener to the St. Louis BattleHawks, 15-9. Former Sooner DE Frank Alexander spoke briefly about the outcome and where the team will go from here. Keep attacking, Big Frank!
  • In case you missed it, the complete list of invitees to the 2020 NFL Combine was released on Friday. Oklahoma will be represented by four total players in DT Neville Gallimore, QB Jalen Hurts, WR CeeDee Lamb and LB Kenneth Murray. The annual pre-draft event begins on Feb. 24 and will last until Mar. 1.
  • OU Softball went 4-0 over the weekend in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico to open the 2020 season. The next set of challenges will come in double-header fashion this Friday, Feb. 14 in Tucson, Arizona during the Hillenbrand Invitational.
  • Trae Young has caught fire fast in his short time as a pro. His latest feat puts him in the company of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and they are collectively the only three players to record at least 10 40+ scoring games before turning 22 years old. The Atlanta Hawks PG won’t be 22 until September, so he’ll have a lot more chances to add to that mark.
  • In case you missed it, Buddy Hield is breaking new ground in the NBA for himself as well. Recently, he reached the 800 three-pointers-made milestone sooner than anybody else has in league history. Talk about getting buckets in bunches. The Sacramento Kings are all about that Buddy Love.

Around the Sports World

  • The Utah Jazz stunned the Houston Rockets at the buzzer with this unreal three from Bojan Bogdanovic. Still, I don’t know what’s more entertaining, this shot, or that call from the radio announcer.
  • Retired NBA PG Darren Collison says he’s staying retired after some thought he may have been in the process of returning to the court with the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Matthew A. Cherry, a former Akron football player who later journeyed around the NFL for a brief time, won an Academy Award on Sunday night for Best Animated Short for his production of ‘Hair Love’. If more former pro athletes are going to continue entering the film industry, I am definitely here for it.

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