(Photo by Michael Kinney)
By Michael Kinney
Lincoln Riley is one of the few college coaches in the nation with a luxury at quarterback. Despite losing a Heisman trophy winner from last season, he enters the 2018 campaign with two signal callers who he considers more than capable.
While Kyler Murray earned the starting role during preseason camp, Austin Kendall has proven to be a player Riley can trust the offense with if something happened to Murray.
Behind those two are redshirt sophomore Tanner Schafer and true freshman Tanner Mordecai, both who played Saturday.
Not many other programs, especially those who can contend for a national championship, have that situation. And he is a commitment form 5-star high school phenom Spencer Rattler for the 2019 class.
Despite that, Riley said Monday that he is always on the look out for a new quarterback because that is the nature of the college game these days. Past experience has taught him to not be caught off guard when quarterbacks decide to leave.
“You’re always on the market for a quarterback now,” Riley said. “Even if you have four, you may really only have two. We’ve learned that. Obviously, we went through that the first year. We’ve had to be smart about taking care of our guys. That’s just the world we live in you see it all over the place. Guys not winning jobs and leaving, transferring out. Teams losing two or three guys at a time, especially after a competition. I think we’re always going to be able to attract good ones because of the history here, because of what we do, because of the players we can surround them with. I think we’re probably in a better position than most because of that. But the door is never shut on a great quarterback coming in here. I think you’re always on the market.”
Sooners ready for Bruins defense
Despite losing to Cincinnati Saturday, the UCLA defense has the attention of the OU offense. They held the Bearcats to 110 yards passing on 14 of 26 passing. No wideout had more than 29 yards receiving.
The Sooners Marquise Brown had more than the entire Cincy passing attack by himself Saturday.
“They are a very athletic defense,” Brown said of UCLA. “They all swarm to the ball and they have a good secondary. Their whole secondary can play. You can’t take any of them for granted.”
On Brown’s 65-yard touchdown catch against FA, he had to twist his body in order to haul in the pass. He said that is something he worked on in the offseason.
“I worked on that a lot, no matter how the ball is thrown you just have to find a way to catch it,” Brown said. “I encourage them to do that. When you are in trouble, I’m back out there. So just throw it as far as you can. Me and Kyler’s (Murray) relationship has been growing since last year. I was getting most of my reps with him starting out when I got here. We were always clicking. And now we are just keeping it going.”
Oklahoma (1-0) hosts UCLA (0-1) at Noon Saturday.
Myles Tease, Lee Morris, and Drake Stoops are just the latest in a line of walk-ons who found success at Oklahoma. According to coach Bill Bendenbaugh, it’s because of what the Sooners do during the week.
“Everybody gets reps. It doesn’t matter who you are,” Bendenbaugh said. “I’m not saying other places you don’t. But those guys here really get an opportunity. If you walk on here, you’re going to get an opportunity to get reps. Every guy that we have here is getting reps. It’s unique here. I’ve never been a place where we do two groups in practice. This was the first time I’ve ever done it. It started with coach (Bob) Stoops. It’s a great thing. I think that’s another reason some of our guys can play earlier than maybe other places. Because they are getting reps, they are getting coached every day.”
Morris is no longer a walk-on after Riley presented him with a scholarship during practice Monday. Saturday, Morris blocked a punt that led to a touchdown and caught another.
Story ran in The Yukon Review
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider
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