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Hot Links: Oklahoma Sooners Football moving forward with clear future following National Signing Day

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Oklahoma Football has some answers about what next season’s team will look like.

Syndication: The Oklahoman SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Hump Day, Sooners fans!

Today is the less-celebrated of the two national signing days, but with the Oklahoma Sooners in a transitional phase, this turned out to be an important day for this program.

The day began with the signing of four-star safety Gentry Williams out of Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington, who had been committed to OU since mid-October. Following Lincoln Riley’s untimely exit, Williams and his family wanted to get a feel for the new staff before signing an NLI. It’s safe to say that all of his questions were answered.

The Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey caught up with the Williams family, who gave some great details regarding the process and the decision. Riley and his USC staff tried to bring him out west, but the Williamses were not on board with that idea whatsoever.

OU would follow this up with commitment announcements from pass rusher R Mason Thomas, defensive back Jamarrien Burt, defensive lineman Gracen Halton and pass rusher Kevonte Henry, bringing the 2022 class all the way up to No. 8 in the final rankings per Rivals, 247 and On3. Considering the circumstances, this is an incredibly impressive feat for Brent Venables & Co.

  • Henry, a Lawdale, Calif. native who had previously been committed to Michigan, sat down with 247’s Craig Biggins to discuss his reasoning for picking the Sooners. One of the primary factors was a desire to get away from home and challenge himself. It seems as though he’ll fit right in with the new culture in Norman.
  • Speaking of fitting right in, here’s Halton announcing his decision live via 247:
  • Thomas, who up until today was committed to Iowa State, was still considering sticking with the Cyclones as recently as this week. However, he tells On3 that he gave new DE coach Miguel Chavis the call on Monday.
  • When asked about the 2022 roster, Brent Venables stressed that it is still a work in progress. Once the spring rolls around, the transfer portal will begin to rev up once again, creating some new opportunities for this staff on the trail.
  • Jeff Lebby also had plenty to say today, notably that there will not be a fake QB competition this year. Hallelujah!

  • According to this report from Pete Thamel, OU is hiring former Buffalo Bills and Tulane QB JP Losman to a player personnel position. This further illustrates this regime’s commitment to building a stout support staff — similar to what one would see at an Alabama or a Clemson.
  • The day we anticipated finally came to pass for the Oklahoma Sooners Football team. Caleb Williams has picked a destination for next season and it’s on the West Coast, rejoining Lincoln Riley at USC. Williams is the third player to leave Norman for LA, joining WR Mario Williams and CB Latrell McCutchin. ESPN’s Pete Thamel spoke with Williams about the decision, while Barry Tramel explores the effects the Transfer Portal is having on players and fanbases. The Tulsa World’s Guerin Emig explains how Williams finally moving on is actually good for the Sooners fanbase.
  • More news as 2023 4-star wide receiver DeAndre Moore Jr. out of Los Alamitos, CA has de-committed from OU. Moore wants to be able to talk to other schools and explore his options, while Oklahoma would like to assess the WR a little bit more before they honor the previous offer.
  • Also, on Monday’s Hot Links we talked about the Oklahoma ties to Super Bowl LVI. The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson dives a bit deeper into what this game means for the Sooner State.

OU Men’s Basketball

  • Oklahoma Men’s Basketball has lost six of their last seven games, after starting the season 12-3. Barry Tramel shows us how the Sooners recent play might be seriously jeopardizing their postseason hopes.

Other OU Sports

  • OU Softball is a unanimous preseason No. 1 in every poll you can imagine. Should be another memorable season for Coach Gasso and the ladies.