Hot Links: Riley responds to supposed concerns regarding Murray

Amid scuttlebutt regarding Kyler Murray’s commitment to football and the role of his father in his decisions, Lincoln Riley decided to chime in.

What’s up, my good people?

I think I’m experience a little déjà vu, because I’m pretty sure it was this time last year when there were some far-reaching takes questioning if former Oklahoma Sooners QB Baker Mayfield could seriously commit to being a professional in the National Football League. Fast-forward to the present, and we’ve got another stretch of a storyline involving Kyler Murray and the purported potential of him packing his bags to the baseball field if things don’t totally go his way. Check out what NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said recently that brought this whole thing on.

Another thing that has been brought up is the role of his father, Kevin Murray, who has certainly rubbed people the wrong way in the past. The elder Murray has been close by his son’s side throughout this entire process of choosing to play football over baseball (and throughout his career in general), but even he has stated that it’s his son who is ultimately the one making his own decisions in his life. In fact, Lincoln Riley himself made that completely clear in a direct response to Pelissero’s report, stating that he never encountered football-related issues with Kevin.

It’s no surprise that Riley is openly sticking up for his player, because that’s the kind of coach he’s always been. Just as he did with Mayfield last year when some NFL folks labeled him as immature or “Manziel 2.0”, he’s doing so now with Murray. The more things change, the more things stay the same. Even Kirk Herbstreit chimed in on this little discussion.

Content has to come from somewhere, which means stuff like this will occasionally take center stage. I’m just ready to see what Kyler Murray does in Indianapolis, because no matter how it turns out, there will be plenty of conclusions prematurely drawn at this year’s NFL Combine.

Now let’s dig in on some fresh Hot Links! Rodney Anderson plans to bench at the combine, Ana Llanusa sets a new Sooner record, Doc sends Dirk off in style and more!

OU Links

  • In keeping with the subject of Kyler Murray and the NFL Combine, SB Nation’s Charles McDonald believes that K1 is the QB with the most to gain at this year’s event.
  • Dan Patrick discusses a report about Kyler Murray’s hand size and what that could mean for his draft stock. Side note: I could listen to Dan talk all day. He has a way of putting silly takes in their place, and I particularly love the “paralysis by analysis” line.
  • Two Sooner softballers were honored with Big 12 weekly awards on Tuesday. Senior Sydney Romero was named Big 12 Player of the Week and junior Giselle “G” Juarez was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. So far, an Oklahoma pitcher has won each Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honor this season, as Mariah Lopez won the first two.

  • Marquise Brown spent some time with the Hollywood, Fla. Police Athletic League and local children for a workout. I’m going to miss this guy juking hapless defenders out of their cleats and sprinting into the end zone.

  • Rodney Anderson is expected to only participate in the bench press drill this weekend at the NFL Combine, but could do more field drills during his own personal pro-day in April.

  • Former Sooner Unanimous All-American offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. wants the people making draft decisions to not put so much stock into what happens at the NFL Combine when it comes to linemen. He speaks from personal experience, after turning in one of the poorest performances in the event’s history last year, only to become a reliable starter for the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie. He also had this to add:

  • 2019 defensive end signee Marcus Hicks recently won a Kansas state championship in wrestling, and OU Insider’s RJ Young reports that the main reason why Hicks started wrestling was to improve his game on the football field.
  • Choctaw, Okla. native Ana Llanusa became the first Sooner women’s basketball player to score 20 or more points in six consecutive games in Monday night’s 75-66 Bedlam win over the Oklahoma State Cowgirls.

  • Former Sooner standout receiver Malcolm Kelly has been making his rounds as a coach in just the last month and change. After joining the Stephen F. Austin staff as the receivers coach, he was soon hired for the same position at Arkansas State. Now he’s coming back to the Big 12, and is slated to become TCU’s outside receivers coach.

Around the Sports World

  • James Harden’s streak of 30-point games ended at 32, and he was just two points shy of extending it for another game in the final seconds against the Atlanta Hawks. Instead, he elected to just kill the clock. I’d say that’s some solid gamesmanship for The Beard.

  • In the latest happening on Dirk Nowitzki’s farewell tour, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers called a timeout and encouraged the fans to show the 22-year veteran some love with a proper send-off. Nicely done, Doc.

  • Demarcus Cousins has a reputation of being an emotional guy, but I totally disagree with the ref assessing him a technical foul for tossing a shoe off the court. It’s a bit harsh, and if that’s the rule, it needs some changing. It certainly seemed like the reasonable thing for Boogie to do at the time.

  • After being away from the ring for three months, WWE superstar Roman Reigns announced that his leukemia is now in remission. I’ll admit, I got chills from the crowd’s reaction. Great stuff, and welcome back, Big Dog.

  • I worked arms yesterday, but if I could feel them right now, they’d be in pain after watching this. It’s too next level for me, man.

Stick to Sports!

  • In an effort to remove confusion on movie review scores, Rotten Tomatoes has changed its Audience Rating System. The biggest change is that it will now only be made available after a film is released in theaters, rather than during the pre-release period. I think it’s a good change overall. If you’re a lifelong Rotten enthusiast, it shouldn’t hurt your movie-going experience at all. You could also be more inclined to see films you otherwise wouldn’t if you’ve been deterred in the past by the sometimes puzzling ratings system.

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