NORMAN – Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley met with the media via a Zoom call this afternoon.
Riley touched on a variety of his topics in his relatively short session, so let’s go through the highlights of what he discussed today.
OU Getting hit by Coronavirus
Yesterday evening Oklahoma released their updated COVID-19 testing results, which presented that OU had six new positive cases which took them to 17 active.
But, today, Riley said those numbers improved.
“On a positive front, today was a good day for us. We got eight or nine of those guys back today,” Riley said.
Lincoln went on to say that meant the team was “definitely” now under 10 active cases.
So that’s some good news for Oklahoma, as after they allowed players some time off to leave campus the positive tests started to slowly roll in for the Sooners.
Riley also mentioned a time where a position group, he didn’t specify which, had everyone but one player out due to the virus.
Good to see that hopefully turning back around for the better for Oklahoma.
Chose not to comment on Kennedy Brooks, but did say Opt-Outs could still be around team
Riley elected not to comment on Kennedy Brooks’ well-discussed decision to opt-out of the season, but said that any player who chooses to do that can still be around the team as long as they are engaged.
The example he used was Jadon Haselwood, who suffered a knee injury a while back that currently has him sidelined.
Lincoln said Haselwood has been very engaging in practice and has brought an incredible level of energy for the team – while still preparing mentally as if he were going to be able to play.
Good to hear Haselwood is in good spirits, and if opt-outs approach the situation the same way as him it sounds like they can be a part of the team despite not actually playing.
Offensive Skill Player Question Marks
We all anointed Spencer Rattler the starting quarterback for the 2020 Oklahoma Sooners a very, very long time ago.
But, believe it or not, as we sit here on August 25th the starting quarterback has still not officially been named.
This is normally right in the time of year where it would happen, but as Riley acknowledged, this is not exactly a normal year.
Lincoln admitted that this offseason being so unusual and the season being pushed back and shortened has changed the process and that he is still evaluating.
“It’s been very positive with those two guys,” Riley said. “They’re both mentally in a good place so we’ll continue to evaluate them.”
Another position that has an obvious question mark right now is running back.
As mentioned, Kennedy Brooks opted out of the season.
Pair that with Trey Sermon transferring to Ohio State and Rhamondre Stevenson’s impending suspension and OU is going into the season with an inexperienced group of running backs.
Lincoln Riley, though, was predictably not concerned.
“I’m as excited about that room as any year I’ve been here,” Riley said.
Comment on Jalen Redmond
Jalen Redmond is another tough loss for the Oklahoma defense in 2020, as he was arrested on a DUI charge earlier this month.
Riley uttered his first comments on the matter today.
“Jalen Redmond is a good kid who made a mistake, but it’s a mistake that cannot happen,” Riley said.
Succinct from Riley but just about what you would expect to hear from him.
Kenneth Murray and Neville Gallimore to the draft, Caleb Kelly’s injury, and Redmond’s arrest have opened the door for other young players to try and step up to fill those holes on the Oklahoma defense in the second year under DC Alex Grinch.
Flattered by Biography but didn’t think it was time
Today, a biography on the young Oklahoma coach was released.
“Sooner: The Making of a Football Coach” written by Brandon Sneed dropped today to discuss Riley’s rise to the top of the college football landscape.
Lincoln said he was flattered by the decision for someone to write a biography about him, but he felt he had “a long way to go” before warranting that kind of praise.
Because of that, Riley chose not to be a part of the book-writing process in any way when he was approached about it.
Snead obviously went forward without any input from Riley, and Lincoln said he was fine with it but that he simply didn’t feel like he had earned something like that at this point.
Riley went the humble route here, which is mostly to be expected.
Stay plugged into 107.7 The Franchise both on the air and on the web for all the latest on Oklahoma Sooners football as the season approaches.