Happy Friday, friends and fans!
This morning, Lincoln Riley joined the crew of ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ show to talk about his stance on bringing players back to campus. Currently, the Oklahoma Sooners, as well as every other major college football program, are restricted from accessing their own athletic facilities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. OU’s head coach has remained firm with his belief that this process should not be rushed while every precaution is taken.
Lincoln Riley was on @GetUpESPN Friday morning to talk about his comments on the need to be patient with players returning to campus.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) May 15, 2020
"We're constantly learning more and more about this virus, and why we would not advantage our time is beyond me."#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/w8rvX8Diep
Riley also discussed how his team and staff would respond if one of his players does test positive for the coronavirus after players are allowed back on campus. With over a hundred individuals, mostly consisting of student-athletes, he admits such a scenario would be challenging, but manageable.
Lincoln Riley on @GetUpESPN about what happens if a player tests positive.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) May 15, 2020
"Who all would be exposed, who all you would have to quarantine is a tricky question that I think a lot of the schools and medical personnel are working through right now."#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/cVnaF8b0Qp
Finally, if push comes to shove and some schools absolutely cannot compete in 2020 while other are able to, Riley believes “some football is definitely better than none.” As much as it would pain me to see some teams play and others on the sidelines, I personally agree with the coach on this one.
Lincoln Riley on @GetUpESPN on some schools not playing this fall.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) May 15, 2020
"Certainly hope we can get to that place where everybody can play."
"But if it has to be done without a school or two, my opinion is that some football is definitely better than none."#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/tE6C11962z
The logistics of the game as far as travel and scheduling are concerned would obviously have to be heavily adjusted, but if there’s any chance at all for football in 2020, the powers that be ought to heed Riley’s advice and remain ultra patient every step of the way.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Lincoln Riley meets with the media, Spencer Rattler gains momentum, the NBA is replacing Spalding for Wilson and more!
- Just after 11 a.m. CT in Oklahoma, the Sooners picked up a huge verbal commitment from 2021 WR Mario Williams out of Plant City, Fla. The dynamic athlete also has his sights set on playing for Skip Johnson and the OU baseball team ala Kyler Murray, Cody Thomas and incoming freshman Cade Horton. According to multiple recruiting services, Williams is rated as a five-star prospect. Oh, and the day is FAR from over.
- Speaking of which, keep your eyes peeled throughout the day.
- On Thursday during a virtual press conference with members of the media, Lincoln Riley confirmed that sophomore WR Jadon Haselwood suffered a lower leg injury that could affect his availability should the 2020 season kick off as originally scheduled.
Lincoln Riley confirms WR Jadon Haselwood suffered a lower leg injury and will miss the start of the 2020 season. Said it was a "freak" non-football, non-workout injury.— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) May 14, 2020
- Also in the same presser, Riley shared that he still has no updates on the status of the suspensions for DE Ronnie Perkins, WR Trejan Bridges and RB Rhamondre Stevenson stemming from last December ahead of the Peach Bowl semi-final. Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau has more details.
- John Hoover for SI Sooners recently wrote about how Lincoln Riley is taking advantage of the virtual meetings and film study with his quarterbacks since he’s currently unable to coach them in person. It turns out that the method actually has its perks.
- Junior safety Patrick Fields is one of a select group of student-athletes on the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, and an issue he recently brought to light was the critical need for more interaction between players and their strength coaches during this time.
SOURCES: One takeaway from the NCAA Football Oversight Committee call on Thursday. The student athlete reps on the committee, including OU safety Pat Fields, spoke eloquently on the need for more interaction with their strength coaches. That’s limited now per legislation.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) May 15, 2020
- According to 247Sports’ Kevin Flaherty, Oklahoma returns 16 qualified starters from 2019, which ties the Sooners with the Texas Longhorns for second best in the Big 12. The Oklahoma State Cowboys lead the conference with 18 returning starters, including the three-headed monster of Spencer Sanders, Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace.
- College football analyst Joel Klatt stans Spencer Rattler already and he hasn’t even been named the starter yet (eye roll emoji). Seriously though, it seems like it’s all there in front of him to be the next breakout star, especially given OU’s offensive track record under Riley.
Spencer Rattler— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) May 14, 2020
Have you checked who he plays for and what position...pretty sure those guys always have great seasons
The @OU_Football QB has finished in the top 4 in @HeismanTrophy voting every year since 2015 with two wins. https://t.co/LQwzAb6wIG
- On Wednesday, Jalen Hurts revealed that he’s going back to wearing his original No. 2 for the Philadelphia Eagles. Those Philly edits are fire. Boomer!
- Check out Marquise Brown having a little fun while showing off his freakish acceleration. Man, I wish I had wheels like this.
Around the Sports World
- The NCAA is extending its NBA Draft withdrawal deadline that was originally set for June 3. The relatively new clause allows college players who have declared for the draft to return to school without risking a year of eligibility.
- Wilson will replace Spalding in manufacturing game balls for the NBA beginning in 2021. Spalding has been the association’s basketball manufacturer for 36 years, but Wilson originally produced the rock before that.
- Who are the best returning playmakers at each position heading into the 2020 college football season? CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee offers his takes.
- A kid in Arizona snuck into an empty baseball park and found out the doors weren’t locked, so he sat down in an office and recorded a message on a computer for the owner to eventually find. Nothing was damaged or stolen, the kid was just really bored. Sports, man.
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