NORMAN – Oklahoma football players Delarrin Turner-Yell, DaShaun White, Creed Humphrey, and Charleston Rambo all met with the media via a Zoom call on Friday to talk about the latest with the Sooners team.
Here are some of the highlights touched on this afternoon:
The Uncertainty Around the Season Has Made Things Tough
It has been hard for everyone involved with college football to push forward in preparation for a season that may never even get off the ground.
That is especially the case, obviously, for the players.
“The uncertainty of what has been going on has made the transition back into football kind of difficult,” Turner-Yell said.
“It is hard to commit yourself to something when you don’t know if it is going to happen,” DaShaun White said.
This is completely understandable.
As much as work as these guys put in, it would be impossible to not constantly have the question in the back of your mind of ‘is this all for nothing?’
Both Turner-Yell and White did go on to say similar things regarding the coaching staff doing a great job to get the team into the proper mental state to stay focused on the task at hand.
Make no bones about it, the team wants to play – it is just sometimes to difficult to always be all in.
“It’s definitely been a weird time,” Creed Humphrey said. “At the end of the day, this team wants to play and we’re going to do whatever it takes.”
Masks at Practice Becoming Easier
It has been incredible to see how well Oklahoma’s protocols regarding the Coronavirus have worked to this point.
Other than the nine positive tests that came back after the team had some days off, it has been completely smooth sailing for the Sooners in keeping the guys virus-free.
This has been in large part to the system OU has put in place as well as the coaches and players staying disciplined in following every rule set in place.
“If you have your mask down for more than two seconds someone will tell you to pull your mask up,” White said.
Playing football in a mask sounds like it would be quite difficult to do considering the amount of energy these guys have to exert and the high temperatures of August in Oklahoma that they are working in.
But, by all accounts from the players today, they have simply gotten used to it despite it being so foreign at the beginning.
“None of us have ever played a game of football with a mask over our face,” Turner-Yell said.
But Delarrin, as well as all the other guys, went on to say they don’t really even think about it any more.
Which is good considering Lincoln Riley had mentioned earlier this week the possibility of Oklahoma players wearing masks during actual games.
The Team is All-In
While the uncertainty has made it hard to stay focused at times, this team wants to play in 2020.
One of the biggest question marks for OU players on if they would consider opting out of the season was Creed Humphrey – being as he is a projected first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Despite the risk, Humphrey made it clear he wants to play the season.
“I never really thought about opting out,” Humphrey said. “We definitely want to play this season.”
One Sooner who did opt out of the year was starting running back Kennedy Brooks, which has left an undeniable gap in the offense heading into the start of the season.
Despite the tough blow to the roster, Brooks’ teammates support his decision.
“He has his reasons. But we just got to go with the flow and what we have,” Charleston Rambo said. “He’s still our brother, regardless.”
Another interesting aspect to the motivation of the season is the fact that the games will be played with little, if any, fans in the stands.
Oklahoma is used to having a sold-out crowd of 85,000+ every single week – it would have to be so strange to instead play in front of a fraction of that.
The team will be responsible this season for providing their own energy, which is something Charleston Rambo is sure won’t be an issue.
“Sideline is going to be hype, regardless,” Rambo said.
Amazingly, the Oklahoma football season opener against Missouri State is slotted to be played exactly three weeks from tomorrow.
Stay plugged in to 107.7 The Franchise both on the air and on the web for all the latest on Oklahoma Sooners football as the season quickly approaches.