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#pounditSaturday, May 28, 2022

Articles tagged: Oklahoma Football

Oklahoma lands commitment from QB with incredible name

General Booty in an Oklahoma jersey

The Oklahoma Sooners landed a commitment from a transfer, and it’s one with a great name.

General Booty, who starred at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, shared on Saturday that he has committed to Oklahoma.

Yes, General is his real name. His full name is actually General Axel Booty.

“Obviously my name’s an attention-grabber and people like to do headlines with it, but I like to show people with my play that I can back it up, too,” General said in a 2020 article for The Dallas Morning News. “I have done that, I’m going to continue to do that as well, and give them a reason to remember my name.”

Booty’s name should be very familiar to college football fans due to his lineage.

General is the son of former LSU receiver Abram Booty, who had 1,768 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns from 1997-2000. General’s uncles are former LSU quarterback (and Florida Marlins third baseman) Josh Booty, and former USC quarterback John David Booty.

General received scholarship offers from a handful of schools in 2020, but he chose to go the junior college route. He passed for 3,115 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. Now he’ll be going to the big time at Oklahoma, which has a new head coach and a highly-touted transfer at quarterback.

Former Oklahoma DT Du’Vonta Lampkin shot and killed at 25

DuVonta Lampkin celebrates a big play

Nov 11, 2017; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin (57) reacts after making a sack during the first half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Former Oklahoma defensive lineman Du’Vonta Lampkin was shot and killed this week in an incident that remains under investigation.

Lampkin was shot in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday night and died at the scene. The Dallas Police Department announced on Friday that officers responded to a call after a witness went to check on Lampkin because he was not answering his phone. Lampkin, who was 25, was found lying on his back with a single gunshot wound.

Police have opened an investigation and are asking anyone with information to call the department.

Investigators say Lampkin was staying at a rental property while waiting to move into a new apartment. Some of his belongings were missing at the scene.

Lampkin was a defensive tackle at Oklahoma from 2015-2018. He left early to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft but was not selected. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent but did not make the 53-man roster. Lampkin then played for the Massachusetts Pirates of of the National Arena league.

The Oklahoma Football team issued a statement offering condolences to Lampkin’s family.

Oklahoma gets roasted for weird Baker Mayfield statue

Baker Mayfield smiles

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield was a Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma, which entitles him to a statue in the school’s famous Heisman Park. That statue was unveiled Friday, but it did not get the reception the school probably hoped it would.

On Friday, Oklahoma unveiled its bronze Heisman Park statue of Mayfield. There was just one issue: the statue did not look anything like the former Sooners quarterback.

Twitter had a field day with the bizarre-looking statue. It was compared to the character of Dennis Reynolds from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” as well as T-1000 from “Terminator 2.”

Others didn’t have a comparison. They just couldn’t believe how bad the statue was.

The incredibly high hairline is explained by the statue having a headband, but it’s difficult to see. Even with that in mind, it still doesn’t bear any real resemblance to the former Oklahoma quarterback.

Still, this was clearly meant to be a tribute, not an insult. For that reason alone, it’s unlikely to be the biggest sign of disrespect Mayfield has endured recently, at least in his own mind.

Spencer Rattler has harsh comment about leaving Oklahoma

Spencer Rattler holds a ball

Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (7) warms up before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Credit Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman

Spencer Rattler chose to leave Oklahoma for South Carolina earlier this offseason, and he recently offered a harsh comment about his former school.

Rattler was at Oklahoma from 2019-2021 but lost his spot as the Sooners’ starting quarterback to Caleb Williams. Rattler was booed at times by frustrated Oklahoma fans. Then, Lincoln Riley left the program to take the USC job. Williams followed Riley to USC, while Rattler left for South Carolina.

Rattler spoke with ESPN’s Chris Low for an interview and said he left a “toxic situation” behind when he ditched Norman for Columbia.

“A lot of guys don’t get another chance, to start over where they’re really wanted,” Rattler told ESPN. “I was just happy to get away from a toxic situation and get somewhere new.”

The situation was probably toxic for Rattler because he was benched, booed, and the coach left. A fresh start definitely seemed like a good thing for him.

Rattler told Low he felt comfortable with South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer, who previously was a Sooners assistant. The quarterback also said he clicked with offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield.

Rattler entered college as a 5-star recruit but has not lived up to the billing so far. He has passed for 4,595 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions during his career.

QB Dillon Gabriel switches transfer commitment from UCLA to Oklahoma

Dillon Gabriel in UCF gear

Dillon Gabriel is doing a flip-flop regarding his transfer plans.

Gabriel announced on Dec. 16 that he was transferring from UCF to UCLA. However, the former Knights quarterback is changing plans just weeks later; Gabriel will be transferring to Oklahoma instead.

Gabriel’s change of plans are notable and understandable.

Gabriel was recruited to UCF by then-offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Lebby later left UCF for Ole Miss, and he recently left Ole Miss to join Brent Venables’ staff at Oklahoma.

Gabriel had interest in joining Lebby at Oklahoma, but he wasn’t about to transfer there as long as Caleb Williams was around. As soon as Williams announced on Monday that he was entering the transfer portal, Gabriel made his move.

What’s interesting is that Williams never officially said he was leaving Oklahoma. In fact, in his transfer portal announcement, Williams said he was keeping open the option of returning to Oklahoma. Gabriel’s transfer to OU likely just solidified Williams’ move elsewhere.

It’s hard to blame Gabriel for his decision. Oklahoma is a much better program than UCLA; Gabriel knows and trusts Lebby; and now he’s going to a program where he knows they won’t cancel a bowl game hours before kickoff.

In 26 career games, Gabriel has passed for 8,041 yards, 70 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Photo: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams enters transfer portal

Caleb Williams in uniform

Caleb Williams may have played in Oklahoma’s bowl game last week against Oregon, but he may not have plans to remain with the Sooners.

Williams announced on Monday that he has entered the transfer portal. He says that the changes at Oklahoma, including Lincoln Riley leaving for USC, led to his decision.

One important thing to note is that while Williams is entering the portal, he says returning to Oklahoma is still an option. Williams said he is entering the portal to be able to speak with other programs and see what they have to offer.

In essence, Williams is using the transfer portal as a tool to reopen his recruiting. He could still decide to return to the Sooners, though once someone’s eyes begin to wander, it’s unlikely they go back.

Williams seemed to hint at this outcome when Riley first left for USC.

Williams took over for Spencer Rattler and passed for 1,670 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions during the regular season. Rattler has transferred to South Carolina, meaning Williams would have the job to himself if he decides to stay.

Photo: Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams (13) before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

New Oklahoma coach taking classy approach with Clemson recruits

Brent Venables at an Oklahoma press conference

Brent Venables helped Clemson recruit some of the best talent in the country for a decade, but the new Oklahoma head coach is not in the business of poaching.

Venables, who spent 10 years as the defensive coordinator at Clemson, was named the head coach at Oklahoma earlier this month. Several recruits have now decommitted from the Tigers after both Venables and former offensive coordinator Tony Elliott left to take head coaching jobs with other programs. Venables was asked on Wednesday if he will go after some of those players now that they have re-opened their recruitment. He said he has too much respect for Dabo Swinney to do that.

It’s frowned upon in college football for a coach to take committed recruits with him upon landing a new job. In this case, Venables would be recruiting players who no longer want to play for Swinney, anyway. He obviously doesn’t feel comfortable even doing that.

Brian Kelly was asked if he circled back with Notre Dame recruits after he left for LSU, and he seemed insulted by the question. Coaches don’t want to be perceived in that light. Venables has a very close relationship with Swinney, so it’s no surprise he considers any current or former Clemson commits to be off-limits.

Photo: Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman/USA TODAY Network

Lincoln Riley has message for Oklahoma fans sore about his move

Lincoln Riley at a press conference

The University of Oklahoma, Sooners players and their legions of fans are not exactly thrilled with Lincoln Riley. And why would they be following his abrupt departure to USC?

Things have gotten so sour that Senator Bill Coleman of Ponca City even proposed a bill this week that would rename a desolate section of State Highway 325 to the “Lincoln Riley Highway.”

“I felt the State of Oklahoma needed an appropriate goodbye to this former head coach whose sudden departure left many in shock, including a team of young, dedicated college players,” Coleman said in a news release. “I found the tiniest section of our most desolate of highways to pay tribute to Coach Riley’s exit from Oklahoma football and the state. This is only fitting as this is the last three inches one sees before leaving our great state heading west.”

Riley has heard it all and he’s seen it all. It hasn’t stopped him from poaching recruits from Oklahoma, but he remains hopeful that someday bygones will be bygones.

“I hope time will heal that, I really do,” Riley said during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. “I understand they’re disappointed that we left. [There’s] a lot of love for that place. Me and my family poured our heart and soul into that place for seven years. Loved every second of it. Had a tremendous run of championships, success on and off the field. We’ve got nothing but love.

“These things, when you leave a university, they either fire you or you leave on your own accord and neither one of them are easy and we understand it. Our love for that place will never go away. We certainly hope as time goes on, the time over there will be remembered fondly and everybody will remember all the great success we had together.”

Riley’s plea will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears. At least for now.

Interim Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has said he didn’t take Riley’s exit personally and fans shouldn’t, either. That, of course, is easier said than done despite Riley going 55-10 over five seasons with the Sooners, winning four Big 12 championships and advancing to the College Football Playoffs three times.

They say time heals all wounds, but Riley bailing may take a few extra years to get over for some.

Photo: Jul 14, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley speaks to the media during Big 12 media days at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Could Dillon Gabriel transfer to Ole Miss or Oklahoma?

Dillon Gabriel in UCF gear

Dillon Gabriel is one of the top quarterbacks available in the transfer portal, and there are a few schools where he could be leaning.

The former UCF quarterback took an official visit to Ole Miss over the weekend and attended a basketball game at the school.

The visit to Ole Miss led to strong speculation that he could transfer to Oxford to play under Lane Kiffin next season. But there is a twist. Gabriel was recruited to UCF by Jeff Lebby, who left UCF for Ole Miss last year. It’s not a stretch to think that Lebby’s presence drew Gabriel to Ole Miss.

But there is talk that Lebby could leave Ole Miss to become Brent Venables’ offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. If Gabriel wants to play for Lebby, then maybe Oklahoma would be his desired spot.

Gabriel has passed for 70 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his college career. He got hurt early this season and was replaced by Mikey Keene.

Photo: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Brent Venables expected to be named Oklahoma head coach

Brent Venables in a Clemson hat

Oklahoma was dealt a major blow last week when Lincoln Riley left to take the head coaching job at USC, but they are replacing Riley with one of the most respected assistant coaches in college football.

Oklahoma is expected to name Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables their next head coach, ESPN’s Chris Low reports. The two sides are in the process of working out a deal and hope to have it finalized by Sunday.

Venables has spent the last 10 years as defensive coordinator under Dabo Swinney. He had associate head coach added to his title in 2018. The 50-year-old has been given a ton of credit for Clemson’s dominant run in recent years.

Venables also has deep ties to Oklahoma. He was an assistant coach there from 1999-2011 under former head coach Bob Stoops. Venables was co-defensive coordinator on the 2000 Sooners team that won the BCS National Championship.

Former Oklahoma players strongly endorsed Venables for the job this week. While the biggest rumor about the Sooners job involved a current NFL coach, Venables was viewed by many as the obvious choice.

Photo: Oct 2, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables prior to the game against the Boston College Eagles at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports