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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Lincoln Riley meets the media ahead of fall camp

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Riley touched on realignment, health and more on Thursday.

Oklahoma Spring Game Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, friends and fans!

Entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, Lincoln Riley addressed the media in a press conference on Thursday to mark the official start of preseason fall camp at OU.

Below are highlights from today’s presser.

  • On Thursday, Riley said that nearly every player is coming out of summer workouts healthy, including sophomore wideouts Jadon Haselwood (missed most of 2020 with knee injury) and Theo Wease (missed spring camp). Also, sophomore WR Trevon West is reportedly back with the team after entering his name into the Transfer Portal this past February.
  • It remains to be seen if Bedlam will be part of the Sooners’ future non-conference schedules when the dust finally settles on this round of conference realignment, but now you can add Lincoln Riley to the list under AD Joe Castiglione and OU president Joe Harroz as those who are on record in hoping to see the rivalry with the Oklahoma State Cowboys continue.
  • It’s no secret that on average, teams from the SEC generally recruit at a higher clip than those from other leagues, especially when it comes to prospects on the defensive side of the ball. Riley touched on the potential this development has for his team now that a move to the Southeastern Conference is officially imminent.
  • After Creed Humphrey was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, a significant hole needs to be filled at the center position. Riley named Chris Murray, Andrew Raym, Ian McIver, Nate Anderson and Robert Congel as guys who are in competition to take over that key spot that anchors OU’s offensive line.
  • According to Riley, most of the team (coaching staff and players) have received their COVID-19 vaccinations during this offseason, but he is also fully aware of the rising concern surrounding the Delta variant.
  • With Spencer Rattler having the starting QB job on lock, the backup roles are not as definite, although Riley did admit that five-star 2021 signee Caleb Williams is in the lead going into fall camp.

Now for today’s Hot Links! Initial pay-per-view details are revealed for OU’s home opener, Gerald McCoy is headed to Sin City, the NFL preseason kicks off tonight and more!

OU Links

  • On Thursday, redshirt sophomore QB Spencer Rattler was named to the 2021 Manning Award Watch List. This honor is the only national quarterback award that factors a player’s postseason performance into consideration before naming its recipient.
  • SI Sooners’ John Hoover recently expounded on three things he’s watching for during OU’s fall camp, including a couple key players as well as the growing concern surrounding the COVID-19 Delta Variant.
  • Also from SI Sooners, Josh Callaway wants to use this preseason camp to gain a clearer picture on OU’s backup QB situation, the running back pecking order, and the potential impact of the late transfer additions.
  • It’s official. Oklahoma’s 2021 home opener (second game on the schedule) against the Western Carolina Catamounts is set for a pay-per-view broadcast. The Sept. 11 kick-off will be available for Cox cable subscribers for $39.95. A start time is still to be determined.
  • On Thursday, Sooners Wire’s John Williams provided his list of Oklahoma’s top 10 pass catchers going into the 2021 season. Keep in mind, not everyone listed is a wide receiver, and that should be some very exciting news for Heisman hopeful QB Spencer Rattler.
  • Redshirt senior H-back Jeremiah Hall plans on having surgery after the upcoming season to correct the alignment in one of his fingers, but first he’s focused on finishing his Sooner career on a high note. The Oklahoman’s Ryan Aber has more.
  • On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Raiders signed former OU standout and six-time Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy. Let’s go, GK!
  • Less than two months ago, Patty Gasso hoisted her fifth national championship following a remarkable, record-breaking run with her historic softball team. This week, the Hall of Famer returned to her original home out west where she tossed the first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Like I always say, it’s never too early for gift shopping. If you’re out here looking for ideas, look no further than this Sooners themed bobblehead from FOCO to commemorate Oklahoma’s 2021 Softball Championship. Boomer!
  • In case you missed it, former OU men’s basketball guard Austin Reaves signed a two-way player deal with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week. Currently, he’s competing in Summer League play for LA. Congratulations, AR-12!

Around the Sports World

  • Tonight, the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers kick-off the 2021 NFL Preseason in Canton, Ohio’s Hall of Fame Stadium. You can catch all the action starting at 7 p.m. CT on FOX.

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