Happy Monday, friends and fans!
The final piece of the Oklahoma Sooners’ 2020 recruiting class puzzle is now in place as four-star JUCO safety Justin Harrington has finally arrived at OU. John Hoover of SI Sooners has more details on the magnitude of this development and the potential impact it could have on the defense going into year two under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
On Monday, Harrington reportedly checked himself in. For those who have been following his recruitment, especially since he signed his National Letter of Intent last December, this news comes with a major sigh of relief. Optimism for JUCO products to end up on campus must typically be met with caution, but OU and Harrington are thankfully past that stage.
Not only does Grinch lead OU’s defense as its DC, he also coaches the safety group himself. From a size and body type, Harrington’s frame is exactly what Grinch wants roaming around his secondary. At 6’3, 214 pounds, there aren’t many defensive backs in the Big 12 as physically imposing as the Raleigh, North Carolina native. Having said this, there’s a bit of scuttlebutt suggesting that he’ll get a look at corner, which is also intriguing.
Even though he’s arriving about six months later than originally expected, Harrington should have no trouble adjusting to the physical side of the competition. Learning his role in Grinch’s scheme, whether that’s at nickel or elsewhere, will likely take some time, but there’s no denying the natural abilities he brings to Oklahoma’s Speed D equation.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! A pair of former Sooners ink their rookie deals, another pair of OU ballers team up as sponsor mates, ‘The U’ chooses its next starting QB and more!
- In his latest blog entry for SI’s ‘All on the Line’ series, OU 2021 five-star QB commit Caleb Williams mentioned that he’s continuing to recruit a number of high-profile Sooner targets, and he’s even keeping in touch with long-time Texas Longhorns four-star WR commit Billy Bowman, who is currently rated as the nation’s No. 31 overall prospect. Could the future Oklahoma signal caller pull off a Red River flip for the ages? Stay tuned.
- Over the weekend, LB Kenneth Murray signed a four-year rookie contract with the Los Angeles Chargers worth $13 million. Chalk it up as another boom for K9.
- In other OU pro signing news, rookie DT Neville Gallimore has reportedly inked a four-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys for $4.7 million. Congratulations, Big Canada!
- Arizona Cardinals QB and Oklahoma’s 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray has made his first career appearance on the NFL’s top 100 players list, checking in with a debut at No. 90. Something tells me he’s going to be a lot higher before too long.
- Speaking of Heisman winners, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young joins fellow former Sooner in Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield as pro athletes sponsored by Body Armor sports drinks. Boomer!
Around the Sports World
- The Miami Marlins have canceled its season opener against the Baltimore Orioles after a reported COVID-19 outbreak has caused a domino effect to temporarily halt a number of teams around the MLB either directly or indirectly involved in this ongoing development.
- In other news out of South Beach, the Miami Hurricanes have officially named its new starting quarterback in Houston Cougars grad transfer D’Eriq King. Time will tell if the dynamic dual threat can lift ‘The U’ back into national relevance.
The is ready for the throne. pic.twitter.com/XqjOKMJSJm— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) July 27, 2020
- Also from the college football front, the Kansas Jayhawks have added Southern Illinois to its 2020 schedule in place of its previously arranged meeting with New Hampshire, and are also moving the game up a week to Saturday, Aug. 29.
- Six players from around the NFL have been placed on the league’s new reserve/COVID-19 list. Appearing on the list does not constitute an admission or disclosure of a positive coronavirus test, nor does it eliminate a possible return later in the season.
- With a number of WNBA players choosing not to play the 2020 season for personal, health or other reasons, Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has put forth $1.5 million of his own earnings to start a fund that will help support those athletes so they can comfortably sit out without worrying if they’ll be paid or not.
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