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Hot Links: Murray generates NFL Combine buzz, softball season begins, and more!

Also, Bob Stoops seems happy to be getting back into coaching.

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

Now that the Oklahoma Sooners know which players have been invited to the 2019 NFL Combine, scouts will further analyze and dissect each prospect as the draft approaches ever-closer. Perhaps the player who will be talked about more than anybody else is Kyler Murray. In fact, five NFL executives were asked about which prospect they believe will draw the most attention at the combine, and three of them think the reigning Heisman Trophy winner will be the one to generate the most buzz.

Already, comparisons between Murray and Michael Vick are being made, and it’s one that I suspect will continue to be used as the draft process goes on. ESPN’s Todd McShay certainly believes K1 is the most explosive QB prospect the NFL Draft will have seen since Vick went No. 1 overall in 2001.

As far as explosiveness goes, it’s hard to argue against McShay’s take. Since Vick entered the league, I’d argue that the only other QBs worth mentioning as far as extraordinary mobility is concerned are Vince Young, Robert Griffin III, and Lamar Jackson. I might even extend it out to guys like Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel, but that’s probably pushing the boundaries of this ‘explosive’ category further than it ought to go.

Murray, on the other hand, absolutely belongs at or near the very top of this conversation. Even still, what makes him truly special hasn’t been the fact that he’s usually the quickest or most elusive player on the field. It’s how dynamic he is in the pocket as a passer. Not many players in the history of football have shown to be as adept at both throwing and running the ball as Murray. Doing it in the league is the final challenge, but up to this point, he’s made it look relatively easy at every level throughout his career.

If he shows up and shows out during the NFL Combine, the comparisons will only ramp up from there. If it goes the way I expect it to, his performance in Indianapolis could vault him straight to the top of the draft boards across the league.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! “Big Canada” likes big weights, Baker Mayfield has an alpha male quality, Rajon Rondo rips the Celtics’ heart out at the buzzer and more!

OU Links

  • Sooner softball starts today with a double-header in the GCU Kickoff Tournament. At 3 p.m. CT Oklahoma opens with Syracuse, then at 6 o’clock Patty Gasso’s squad takes on host team Grand Canyon. Check here for more information on how you can follow the action.

  • ESPN’s Jeff Passan chronicled Kyler Murray’s rise to the powerful position he currently finds himself, with two of America’s biggest professional sports leagues hanging on his every word.
  • Bill Bedenbaugh might be the most underrated assistant coach in all of college football. At this point it just seems like a given that he’s going to produce NFL quality offensive linemen every season and reload any vacancies with more of the same.

  • Neville “Big Canada” Gallimore is one strong man. By my calculations, that’s 585 pounds he’s squatting. Yo.
  • The XFL’s Dallas Franchise is excited about Bob Stoops coming in as its head coach and GM. Just watching all those clips of him at Oklahoma bring back some great memories. Go get ‘em, Coach!

  • Bob Stoops had a great interview with SoonerSports.com about getting back into the coaching world. He feels like the timing is right and the opportunity fits his life right now.

  • Stoops hasn’t coached a football game in over two years, but he’s still bringing that fire when it comes to Texas. He basically threw the Horns down with this verbal shade.

  • Speaking of spring football leagues, the AAF starts play tomorrow. Three former Sooners — Trevor Knight, Zack Sanchez and Jordan’s Thomas — made rosters for the inaugural season.

  • Baker Mayfield didn’t wasn’t named NFL Rookie of the Year, but like everything else in his life he hasn’t won or come out on top in, he plans to use the experience as motivation going forward. Cleveland, you’re in for a real treat with this guy.

  • Speaking of Mayfield, he deserves much of the credit for not only reviving Cleveland’s football team on the field, but also for making the Browns a hot commodity when it comes to coaching opportunities. The reason being — Mayfield’s an alpha male.
  • Oklahoma baseball tweeted out this cryptic photo set hinting at a few possible uniform features for the upcoming season. I want more!

Around the Sports World

  • Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo beat the buzzer for a game-winner over the Boston Celtics. What made this even more remarkable is not only are the Lakers and the C’s rivals historically, but also because Rondo won a championship with Boston in 2008.

  • Russell Westbrook is playing one of the best stretches of his career after recording his eighth straight triple-double. That mark surpasses Michael Jordan’s best run of triple-doubles and is the longest streak in the last 51 years. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder have won nine of their last 10 games.

Stick to Sports!

  • Actress Lauren Ridloff plays Connie in AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series. Not only does her character in the show use American Sign Language to communicate with others, but Ridloff herself is deaf. Recently, Ridloff joined Good Morning America to discuss the progress being made for deaf workers in the acting industry, as well as the areas in which more representation is still left to be had.

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Source: Crimson and Cream Machine