Happy Monday, friends and fans!
The official Oklahoma Sooners spring football roster was released on Monday, and as expected there are a few noteworthy updates to highlight.
Redshirt junior safety Robert Barnes and redshirt sophomore safety Jamal Morris have both been moved to linebacker. With LB depth a concern going into the spring, some kind of player shuffle was to be expected. It’ll be interesting to watch if either of them can make an impact on the team from their new positions.
Also, Navarro College JUCO transfer OL David Swaby is no longer on the roster. The 6’9” Bahamas native redshirted in 2018 and saw no action on the field last season.
Finally, a handful of jersey number changes have also taken place. OLB Nik Bonitto went from wearing No. 35 to No. 11, RB T.J. Pledger went from 22 to 5, LB Jamal Morris went from 15 to 3, and OLB David Ugwoegbu has gone from 34 to 2.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! The next Heisman Park statue will be revealed at the OU Spring Game, Sooner Baseball clinches the SDSU series in extras, the Thunder prove to be the most clutch team in the association once again and more!
- During his Monday press conference, Lincoln Riley announced that Baker Mayfield’s Heisman statue will be unveiled inside the stadium during the OU Spring Game. Fans have long speculated what kind of pose the sixth Heisman winner in Oklahoma history will be immortalized. I’m obviously partial to the flag plant, but whatever it is, it should be glorious.
- Several Sooners will either be limited this spring or held out entirely. The units that appear to be most affected by these developments are within the defensive front, the secondary and running back. Fortunately for Oklahoma there is solid depth in the backfield and the secondary, so this should primarily serve as an opportunity for others to gain valuable reps.
Guys who will be limited early: Nik Bonitto, Marcus Major, Delarrin Turney-Yell and one other(forgot the name).— Kegan Reneau (@KeganReneau) March 9, 2020
Out: Trey Sermon, Jalen Redmond, Theo Howard and Jon-Michael Terry. Riley says they will be full participants when the next offseason training period begins. #Sooners
- Redshirt junior CB Tre Norwood is fully cleared to practice this spring after recovering from a knee injury last August that sidelined him for the entire 2019 season.
"No limitations" on what Tre Norwood will do this spring, Riley said. His return is huge for the secondary.— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) March 9, 2020
- With CeeDee Lamb taking his talents to the NFL, Oklahoma is in search of its next starting punt returner. The Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer recently wrote about how the Sooners will be auditioning several players back there in hopes of finding the next special teams difference maker.
- The latest Bracketology updates from both ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm currently project the Sooners as a 9-seed in the NCAA Tournament. With the regular season wrapped up, it’s probably safe to say Oklahoma will be dancing this month. The one question that remains is the official seeding and everything that follows with it, and that will all depend on whether or not Oklahoma can pick up a win or two in Kansas City.
- OU Baseball wrapped up its series with San Diego State in style by walking-off the Aztecs following a wild pitch to first in the 10th inning. The Sooners are off to a hot start this seaso, and are finding ways to win games in multiple fashions. Boomer!
- Speaking of baseball, the Sooners are up to No. 9 in this week’s Baseball America Top 25 after winning two of three over the weekend (in addition to grabbing a pair of midweek wins).
- 2021 five-star QB Caleb Williams blogged about his recent multi-day visit to Norman for Sports Illustrated’s ‘All on the Line’ series. This wasn’t the first time the D.C. signal caller has been to Oklahoma, and from the sounds of it, there’s a good chance it won’t be his last.
Around the Sports World
- The Oklahoma City Thunder battled back from an enormous deficit yet again to shock the Boston Celtics at home, 105-104. With leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander absent from the lineup, a late steal and bucket from Dennis Schroder put OKC on the high side. Finally, Chris Paul sealed the deal with his defense on All-Star Jayson Tatum. Big Blue is sitting pretty now at fifth in the Western Conference.
Great team win.— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) March 9, 2020
The 48 | Thunder at Celtics pic.twitter.com/uTs5yrk8l9
- The Buffalo Bills have signed veteran CB Josh Norman to a one-year deal. Most recently, the former First Team All-Pro (‘15) suited up for the Washington Redskins from 2016-2019.
- 27 professionals involved in horse racing have been charged in a widespread drug scheme for purposes of increasing the speed and overall performance of their animals.
- Barry Bonds recently told The Athletic that he feels he’s been given the death sentence by the MLB since retiring. The league’s all-time homer run leader only has two more chances to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but his alleged steroid use during his career is what has kept him off many voters’ ballots.
- The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly offered QB Dak Prescott an annual contract extension of $33.5 million. This Thursday is the deadline for teams to apply for the franchise tag, so understandably both sides would prefer to reach a deal before then.
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