Yukon unable to slow down Lions

By Michael Kinney

MOORE— Yukon traveled to Moore Thursday night looking to pick up its first win of the season. After a bad loss to rival Mustang the week before, they had plenty of incentive to play a much cleaner game.

However, for the second week in a row, the Millers mistakes hurt their chances of pulling out a victory as they fell 49-35 to the Lions at Moore Stadium.

“It’s a little bit frustrating,” coach Jeremy Reed said. “I liked the effort in the second half. Gave up eight points in the second half. Kind of shot ourselves in the foot. A lot.”

With less than two minutes left in the game, Yukon was once again knocking on Moore’s door. Trailing by two touchdowns, they drove deep into MHS territory and were looking to make it a one score game.

From the six-yard line Caden Hernandez took a pitch from quarterback Levi Davis. Hernandez bullied his way down to the one-yard line giving the Millers a chance to score on the next play.

However, as the Lions were getting off Hernandez, he kicked at one of the MHS players, who fell over screaming as he held his groin. Yukon was assessed a personal foul and pushed back 15 yards.

“Until we decide to grow up and be mature, we’re going to continue to get beat because of our undisciplined,” Reed said. “I don’t know what to say other than that is a selfish act.

The next play, Davis just missed hitting Colton Phinny in the endzone for a touchdown. Two plays later, the Millers fumbled and the Lions recovered the loose ball before running out the clock.

Yukon finished the day with 498 total yards of offense. That included 463 yards on the ground.

Cameron Farmer led the charge with 128 yards on 14 carries. Hernandez added 101 yards while Landon Donoho rushed for 90.

However, the YHS defense gave up 575 total yards. MHS had a balanced attack of 267 yards on the ground and 297 through the air.

Moore quarterback Daniel Hishaw accounted for 297 yards on 10-of-15 passing. He also ran for another 91 yards. Wideout Brandon Girard caught 5 passes for 245 yards and two scores. Jayce Gardner tacked on 186 yards rushing on eight carries.

The start of the game was nearly a blur as both teams traded scores in the first quarter. Makari Slaughter who ran through a defender at the goalline to start the second quarter gave Yukon a 14-12 lead.

The Yukon defense couldn’t slow down the Moore offense in the first half. They picked up two more touchdowns and the Millers found themselves trailing 26-14 with six minutes left I the half.

It looked like the Lions were on the verge of going up by three touchdowns late in the half, but Nate Hahn came up with an interception in the endzone to end the threat.

Unfortunately for the Millers, that wasn’t the end of the scoring. Instead of just taking a knee and running out the clock, Yukon attempted to run its offense deep in their own territory. With under 10 seconds left Donoho fumbled for the second time. This time Moore was able to snag it out of the air and return it for a score. MHS held a 41-21 halftime advantage.

Yukon took the opening possession of the second half and drove 80 yards in 13 plays before Slaughter scored off the right side. The deficit was closed to 41-28.

After the Yukon defense forced Moore to punt, the Millers got the ball back on their own 3-yard line.

During the ensuing drive, Slaughter was gang tackled and laid motionless on the ground for more than 20 minutes.  He was put on a stretcher then carted off the field to an awaiting ambulance.

Without Slaughter, the Millers had to find others to step up. That included Isaiah Butler who caught the Miller’s first pass of the night two plays later.

Donoho finished the drive off with a short TD run and cut the to 41-35 with 7:15 left in the game.

“We had a chance,” Reed said. “But we have a long way to go.”

Moore v Yukon football

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

Sooners lock up Coyotes

By Michael Kinney

NORMAN –  After forcing only 11 turnovers in 2018, first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch talked about making that an emphasis this season for Oklahoma.  During the Sooners 70-14 won over South Dakota Saturday, it showed as they came away with three takeaways on the night.

“It was the No. 1 thing we talked about all week defensively,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said. “They were challenged every way possible and we responded.”

The beneficiary of the two was sophomore nickelback Brendan Radley-Hiles. He recovered a fumble and picked off an interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

“It just makes us hungrier. You get one you have to make sure you get another one the next game,” Radley-Hiles said. “I feel as if Coach Grinch emphasized it a lot this week in practice so we went out and made sure we got that for him.”

Despite the lopsided score, the Sooners were not completely happy with their performance. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, who seems to only settle for perfection, said the team still has work to do.

Yet, Oklahoma was still able to rack up 733 total yards. That includes 310 coming on the ground behind Rhamondre Stevenson (104), Kennedy Brooks (69), Trey Sermon (58 and Hurts (57).

“We did some really good things out there tonight and then there are some things that we really need to approve on,” Hurts said.

On the Sooners second possession, they drove 80 yards for the first points of the game. The drive included Hurts throwing to Lamb three times, including a 3-yard touchdown catch in the middle of the endzone.

It was Jeremiah Hall who reached the endzone on the Sooner’s next possession when he grabbed an 8- yard TD pass from Hurts.

Oklahoma didn’t allow the Coyotes’ offense to cross midfield until early in the second quarter. They made their way down to the Sooner’s 23 yard on their first successful drive of the game.

But Neville Gallimore forced a fumble and Radley-Hiles recovered it at the 13 to stop South Dakota’s momentum cold.

Touchdowns from Brooks and Charleston Rambo put OU ahead 28-0 at halftime.

Radley-Hiles started the second half with an interception, which he returned 30 yards for a touchdown.

“Everybody feels good for him, especially because he knows we all know he had a tough year last year,” DaShaun White said of Radley-Hiles. “Just how much he’s put into it this offseason, just seeing him get his chance and make big plays, it makes us all feel good.”

On the next possession, Trey Sermon scored and the Sooners led 42-0 with 11:03 left in the third quarter.

The rest of the night was just about Oklahoma getting in its younger, inexperienced players. Wideout Jaden Haselwood caught his first career touchdown while Stevenson broke open for a 75 TD run. Quarterback Spencer Rattler, wideouts Theo Wease and Trejan Bridges and guard Brey Walker also saw some time.

“I was like a proud father,” Lamb said. “I was watching and screaming all across the sidelines. they did a great job today. Obviously, they all touched the end zone when they needed to.”

Rattler, who was the top-ranked quarterback in the 2019 class didn’t disappoint. He was 4-for-4 for 50 yards and a touchdown pass.

“I was excited when I heard he was going out there,” Lamb said. “I actually gave him a talk. ‘Go do what you do.’ For him to go out there and showcase his potential – the sky’s the limit … All the hype he had going into college is true – he’s above that.”

Hurts finished the night with 259 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-18 passing. Lamb caught six passes for 144 yards and a score.

Oklahoma (2-0) travels to UCLA next week as they look to improve to 3-0.

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

Hurts is on a mission

By Michael Kinney

NORMAN –  Late Sunday night, Jalen Hurts strode to the podium for his first-ever post-game press conference at Oklahoma. Wearing a grey suit vest, a purple and blue striped tie and a crisp white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, he looked like a CEO ready for a hostile takeover.

After being pushed to the bench last season at Alabama, Hurts came to Oklahoma on a mission.  In his first game with the Sooners, he helped engineer a 49-31 victory over Houston while breaking several offensive records in the process.

“I was in a situation or position where I am back to where I am supposed to be,” Hurts said. “I can’t say that I haven’t done it before maybe with a little rust on. But being out there with this team, this group, is very exciting and I enjoyed it a lot.”

Hurts threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-23 passing. He also added another 176 yards rushing and three rushing scores. He became the first Sooner to ever pass for at least 300 yards and rush for at least 150 yards in a game.

Hurt’s 508 yards of total offense were the most by a player in an OU debut. The old record was held by Baker Mayfield, who had 396 yards against Akron in 2015.

“He played good. He played good. Several things he could do better,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said. “I thought he handled the moment good. You could tell out there that he’d been in it, certainly. I’m sure he had some nerves, but he did a good job managing them. I thought he made good, sound decisions and managed the game well.”

OU totaled 686 yards of offense (354 rushing, 332 passing), the most in program history in a season opener. The Sooners also rushed for 300 yards and passed for 300 yards for the 12th time in program history

Hurts first drive a member of the Sooners couldn’t have gone any better. The entire drive took 70 and ended with him throwing a TD pass to fullback Jeremiah Hall.

Two possessions later, Hurts completed an 89-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. He then connected with CeeDee Lamb for a 45-yard touchdown strike to go up 21-0.

“I actually lost him. When I turned around, I didn’t know where he was, I just saw the ball in the air,” Lamb said. “He told me when we got to the sideline that he had to scoot into the pocket, and then that’s when I lost him, because I didn’t know where that was. He did a great job throwing the ball in the run and getting the ball where it needs to be.”

As impressive as Oklahoma’s offense looked, it was the defense that was turning heads. The Sooners didn’t give the Cougars any room to breathe as they attacked from all points on the field.

But that changed midway through the second quarter when Houston quarterback D’Eriq King started to rack up yards with his legs. That set up a pair of scores and OU led 21-10 at halftime.

If not for two missed field goals from sophomore Calum Sutherland, the Oklahoma lead could have been more.

The Sooners started the second half with a 56-yard touchdown catch by a speedy Charleston Rambo and another Hurts TD run to push the lead to 35-10.

That essentially put the game away. Houston was able to tack on three more touchdowns and cut the lead down to 12, but Oklahoma was never in any danger of giving the game away.

Houston racked up 408 total yards, with 255 of those coming after halftime.

“The biggest takeaway that I had from tonight is that we have to be more consistent. We did a lot of great things but, there’s definitely a lot of improvement that we need to do,” said Kenneth Murray, who had 13 tackles. I am excited to get back to work so that we can get all those things reworked and put on a great show.”

The Sooners will host South Dakota Saturday.

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

Sooners set to open season vs Cougs

Photo by Michael Kinney

By Michael Kinney

The wait is over for the Oklahoma football team. With fall camp behind them, the Sooners have now turned their sights toward their season opener which will take place Sunday when they host Houston at Gaylor Stadium.

It will be the first time in Oklahoma’s history that they will play a Sunday night game. For Lincoln Riley, the chance to make history seems to be as good of a reason to do anything.

“It was a decision that Joe Castiglione and I looked at and it made sense,” Riley said. “It was totally our choice. It was either going to be an 11 a.m. Saturday kick or a night kickoff with the eyes of the nation on us.”

Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

The opportunity to have the entire college football landscape all to themselves wasn’t lost on the players as well. Despite playing big regular-season games and making it to the college football playoffs three out of the past four seasons, the Sooners still get excited about a unique season opener.

“I’ve never played a game on Sunday night,” OU tight end Grant Calcaterra said. “It will be different, approaching that game, going through this week. I’m excited. I love playing at night. Sunday night is like a primetime game for football, obviously when the NFL plays. The whole team is excited. So we’re all really looking forward to it.”

Despite the fact that OU lost its starting quarterback, four starting offensive linemen, a No. 1 receiver and changed defensive coordinators, they will enter the game with a preseason ranking of No. 4 in both national polls.

Oklahoma still has the expectations of reaching the playoffs for a third straight year and have taken steps to go even further.

“Our goal every year is to make the college football championship and win it,” OU center Creed Humphrey said. “We have had to do some sort of adjustments this offseason to get to that next step. And I feel like we have done a big part of that.”

Part of that may be having a quarterback under center who has not only played in a title game, but won the championship. Graduate transfer Jalen Hurts was named the starter last week and he brings with him a wealth of experience, leadership and intangibles.

However, there are many who do not believe Hurts has the arm talent to play effectively in a Lincoln Riley Offense.

When Hurts was asked how much he has improved passing the ball since he arrived in Norman, he had a simple answer.

“We will see Sept. 1.”

Fan Friendly

For those coming to Sunday’s season opener, Oklahoma has attempted to make the experience more fan-friendly. That includes bringing WI-FI to Gaylord Stadium so for the first time, fans will be able to access the internet via Wi-Fi during home football games.

“This is an exciting upgrade for our stadium and one that we’ve had on the drawing board for several years,” said Joe Castiglione, vice president and director of athletics at OU. “We are rolling it out at an optimum time as we have been able to secure the latest technology, which will make this system viable for several years.”

Like many of the top college football programs in the nation, Oklahoma has strived to improve the game-day experience.

“Fan experience is a high priority for us,” Castiglione said. “The on-field performance and pageantry of OU football are the best in the nation. Now, we are adding other pieces to the fan experience that make a trip to our stadium even more special and convenient.

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

The consummate showman

Photo by Torrey Purvey

By Michael Kinney

The Yukon Review

It is easy for an artist to perform when things are going great. When the sound system is perfect, fans are into the show and nothing goes wrong, almost any good singer can put on a magnificent show.

But the truly great performers can do it when their surroundings have turned to chaos and the have no control over it. That is when the true showman steps up and performs.

That is what Oklahoma City fans got to see Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Despite thunderstorms, tornado warnings and flash floods rolling through the city, Chris Brown didn’t let the fans down on this leg of his INDIGOAT Tour.

Twice during Brown’s near two-hour performance, the power went out in the Chesapeake as a thunderstorm raged outside.  The power outage caused Brown’s microphone to go out along with some of the lights and video background on stage.

The first time it happened, Brown and his dancers left the stage for about five minutes before returning. Almost 20 minutes later, the same thing happened again. But this time, it took place during the middle of Brown singing “With You.”

But before he could respond the fans picked up where Brown left off and continued to sing the lyrics as Brown danced on stage. For many, that was the highlight of the evening to hear an entire arena perform one of Brown’s biggest hits.

“awwww, this filled my heart when the crowd started singing,” said one fan on Twitter.

That moment seemed to energize Brown for the rest of the night. Even as he roamed around on stage talking to the crowd as the fixed the power problem, it was evident he was ready to get back and put on a show.

I have been to several shows where singers have walked off stage and left when things go bad. To see Brown continue to perform on a Monday night in Oklahoma City in front of just a few thousand fans was impressive.

The one time Brown did leave the stage for an extended period was during the intermission. But that is when the concert-goers showed how much they were really enjoying the show They danced in the aisles and in their seats to the songs being played by the DJ.

The energy carried over into the second half of the show as Brown worked even harder. When he went down memory lane and performed small samples of some of his old classics, the fans once again joined in the singing along with him.

All around it was a good show. But what made it go up another level was how Brown responded to adversity. If this had been L.A. New York or Dallas and the arena would have been packed with 30 to 50 thousand fans, it would be understandable why he stayed and performed. But to do it in what many consider a fly-0ver city on a Monday night, that sets him apart as an elite performer.

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

 

Riley: “He was just slightly better”

By Michael Kinney

For the second year in a row,  Lincoln Riley said it was a difficult decision. That is how Oklahoma’s head coach a starting quarterback for the 2019 season.

Riley announced that graduate transfer Jalen Hurts would start the season opener Sept. 1 against Houston. But on Tuesday during a brief media session, Riley explained his decision.

“I just thought he was slightly better here as it went on,” Riley said of Hurts. “It was probably the closest one we’ve had since I’ve been in Oklahoma. Honestly, all three had days that they were the best quarterback.”

Hurts beat out redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and freshman Spencer Rattler to earn the starting nod. Mordecai will be the backup while Rattler is the No. 3 quarterback.

“It was a good battle without a doubt,” Riley said. “Tanner Mordecai did a phenomenal job, made a lot of big plays during camp. Spencer Rattler showed early control and playmaking ability that’s pretty rare for someone his age. So you certainly get pretty excited about those two and the bright futures they both have for this 2019 team and beyond. But Jalen was just a little bit better.”

For many, Hurts was the favorite to win the starting job after he announced he was transferring from Alabama before the spring. With the Crimson Tide he started 28 games during the 2016-17 seasons.

Hurts also played in three College Football Playoff National Championships games. That includes winning the national title in 2017.

However, Riley says he didn’t give Hurts extra credit for the experience he possesses.

“It had nothing to do with experience. I told myself before it started that wasn’t going to matter,” Riley said. “I just based it purely on performance. I’m not going to sit here and break down, he was just a little bit ahead.”

Riley expressed many of the same sentiments last season when Kyler Murray beat out Austin Kendall for the starting job. Murray went on to win the Heisman and became the No. 1 overall pick for the Arizona Cardinals. Kendall ended up transferring to West Virginia at the end of the season.

Riley made to emphasize that it’s not over for Mordecai and Rattler. Either one of them could see time as a backup or get an unexpected start due to injuries.

Also, because of the transfer portal and the way quarterbacks are flocking to it when they do not start, Riley has to keep his backup signal-callers engaged.

“You’ve got to be ready,” Riley said. “I know we have three guys in there that no doubt can go play and play extremely well right now.”

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider 

Sooners look to fill holes in secondary

By Michael Kinney

Oklahoma made it official this week when coach Lincoln Riley announced that Tre Norwood will be out for the season after tearing his left ACL earlier in fall camp.

The junior defensive back from Ft. Smith Arkansas was considered one of the Sooners best cover cornerbacks. In his first two seasons he started 19 games and played in a total of 28. He also collected 88 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

Norwood’s teammates know they will feel his loss in the defensive backfield.

“He just told us we have to step up,” Brendan Radley-Hiles said. “He told me that especially, being at that (nickel) position. His presence is still there. His leadership factor is still there. We have to step up and play for him.”

Norwood was expected to start at the nickel spot this season. But now that position leaves a wide-open spot that players such as Radley-Hiles are looking to fill.

“I was always a free player playing the strong safety position last year,” Radley-Hiles said. “Bumping down and playing a nickel. You’re always a free player at that nickel position, but at the same time it’s similar as well. Both are high energy.”

Along with Radley-Hiles, look for Chanse Sylvie and Jeremiah Criddell to get their shot.

“Sylvie’s down there a little bit, and there are a number of other guys,” OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said. “We’re kind of by committee. Criddell, a freshman, is getting some work down there. But like a lot of spots, it’s kind of a position to be named later in terms of who that guy is. But at this point, I’ve been pleased with Bookie.”

With Norwood down, the Sooners now have only a few DBs who have experience. They include players such as Parnell Motley, Tre Brown, Jordan Parker, Robert Barnes, Pat Fields, Justin Broiles and Delarrin Turner-Yell.

However, Grinch is looking for more players to step up.

“Probably not as much competition as I’d like at this point,” Grinch said of the safeties. “Credit goes to (Turner-Yell and Fields) in that sense. So there’s some positives. The negative side, I don’t feel the push from that second level… I’d like there to be more competition on the back end, but those guys have done a nice job thus far in fall camp and continued on from the spring.”

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

Bookie says new OU defense fits perfectly

By Michael Kinney

Heading into 2018 there was no bigger name on the campus o Oklahoma than Bookie. The nickname given to Brendan Radley-Hiles, was on the lips of fans, media and coaches.

Despite just being a freshman, Radley-Hiles was expected to have a huge season and help transform the OU defense. That is a lot to put on the plate of a 5-9, 180 defensive back who had yet to play a game. But his coaching staff believed he could handle it.

However, that was not how the season went. Radley-Hiles was unable to find a consistent spot in the rotation and went several games where he was almost invisible or didn’t play. He called it a humbling experience.

Now, Radley-Hiles returns for his sophomore campaign not only with a new mindset, but a new defensive scheme he feels fits him perfectly as he looks to earn a starting spot at the nickel or safety.

“My goals are high,” Radley-Hiles said. “There are a lot of them I’m just going to keep to myself personally. I have them written down somewhere. But they are high. They are higher than what anybody else can put on me. From last year’s statistics to this year’s fall camp, my expectations for myself are very high.”

Radley-Hiles said he has improved in several areas. They include eye discipline, footwork and knowing and understanding concepts.

“Understanding where the ball is going to be is being at the right place at the right time,” Radley-Hiles said.

First-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has already seen improvement in Radley-Hiles since spring football.

“I commend Bookie up until this point,” Grinch said. “There are several guys who have taken leaps from the spring and he would probably be No. 1 on that list. He would echo that. He is just playing more consistently and playing with more technique and fundamentals. I commend him on that.”

Part of Radley-Hiles early-season positive outlook comes from being able to play in Grinch’s defense.

“It’s simple and fast. You have your certain rules. If you understand them you can play fast and downhill and just make sure your eyes are in the correct place and you’ll be fine,” Radley-Hiles said. “It fits me perfectly. Just knowing where I am supposed to be and knowing my assignment.”

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

Thunder schedule released

By Michael Kinney

When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded away Paul George and Russell Westbrook, fans knew interest around the nation might dwindle. But it wasn’t until this week that they got their first glimpse of just how much.

On Monday the NBA released the full 2019-20 season schedules for every team in the league and the Thunder find themselves in an unfamiliar position. Only three of the team’s 82 games will be featured on national television this season.

That is compared to the 27 Thunder games that were shown nationally during the 2018-19 campaign.

The three contests include Denver coming to Oklahoma City Feb. 21 and the Thunder visiting the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 28. Both of those are on ESPN.

But the main game will take place Jan. 9 when Westbrook and the Houston Rockets come to Oklahoma City for a matchup on TNT.

FOX Sports Oklahoma will broadcast 81 of the Thunder’s 82 regular-season games.

But for the first time since 2011, the special Christmas Day game will not be on the Thunder schedule. They were left off this season as other new teams were added.

One tradition that has not ended is Oklahoma City hosting a game on New Year’s Eve. When they take on the Dallas Mavericks Dec. 31, it will be the 11 consecutive season they have hosted the game and third straight against the Mavs.

The Thunder kick off the season Oct. 23 in Utah. Their first home game is Oct. 25 against the Washington Wizards. Then things get difficult for Oklahoma City.

On Oct. 27, the Golden State Warriors come to the Chesapeake Arena. The very next night is the first matchup with Westbrook, James Harden and Rockets in Houston. Two nights later, Portland makes their return to OKC since knocking the Thunder out of the postseason.

The Thunder month-by-month breakdown includes five games in October (three home, two road), 13 games in November (seven home, six road), 15 games in December (eight home, seven away), 17 games in January (seven home, 10 road), 10 games in February (seven home, three road), 14 games in March (five home, nine road) and eight games in April (four home, four road).

Other highlight matchups include hosting Zion Williams the New Orleans on Nov. 2: Lakers coming to Oklahoma City Nov. 22; Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers hit the town Dec. 22.

Former Oklahoma Sooner Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks come to Oklahoma City Jan. 24 while Blake Griffin arrives Feb. 7.

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider

Overcoming adversity is a family trait

By Michael Kinney

The injury bug started biting Oklahoma back in the spring when they lost linebackers Jordan Kelly and Caleb Kelly to knee injuries. And just this week cornerback Tre Norwood went down with an apparent knee injury, according to multiple reports.

While injuries are a part of the game, Oklahoma has had to deal with its share of them over the past few years.

But if anyone on the Sooners needs to find the secret to overcoming devastating injuries, they just have to go talk to wide receiver Nick Basquine. Ever since the redshirt senior walked-on in 2014 he has had to battle serious setbacks and injuries just to get on the field.

But no matter what, Basquine said he has never lost sight of his dream.

“Just know you can set your own expectations,” Basquine said. “It doesn’t have to be defined by anybody else.”

Basquine finished the 2018 campaign with seven catches for 134 yards in 14 games. He has only one other season in which he contributed to the stat box, which was 2016. That year he posted 20 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns.  That same year he was put on scholarship.

But every time it looked like Basquaine was ready to get back on the field and help his team, something else would happen and knocked him back down.

After redshirting his freshman season, the injuries started to hit the next year when Basquine tore the ligaments in his thumb, which forced him to sit out all of 2015.

After coming back and having a breakout 2016 campaign and earning a scholarship, Basquine tore his left Achilles during camp. Six months later he tore his right Achilles.

While others may have folded their tent and called it quits, Basquine was not built that way. He says his faith and his mother (Mary) are the reasons he kept coming back.

“My mom, she is a praying mom. Prayer is real,” Basquine said. “Also just my makeup. Seeing her work, a single-parent home. You know there is going to be obstacles, but you have to just persevere and get through them. Not just get through them but dominate whatever is in front of you.”

Whatever perseverance Basquine has shown in his time at Oklahoma has been directly influenced by watching his mother when times were tough in their home. That includes having to work two or three different jobs to support the family.

“She has been my main constant my whole life,” Basquine said. “I’ve seen her through the good times, I’ve seen her through the struggles. So I’ve learned through her just by observing and also the lessons she tells me.”

Now as he enters his final season with the Sooners, Basquine knows he has on last chance to show people what he can do and what type of player he can become.

“I think (my mom) is really proud, but I don’t think she is satisfied yet either,” Basquine said. “I’m not satisfied either. People think it’s crazy about wanting to go to the NFL and do all these other things, but that’s what I want to do and that’s how I’m attacking this. I want to have an impact season.”

Basquine already says he is ahead of where he was at this point last season.

“I think the biggest thing is obviously being healthy,” Basquine said. “I was rehabbing all last summer. But this year I am actually working out. I came up with a pretty deliberate plan with coach Riley about things I need to get better at. I worked on them every day. I feel pretty good coming into camp.”

Inside receiver’s coach Cale Gundy has been just as impressed with what he has seen out of his veteran wideout.

“He’s come full circle,” Gundy said of Basquine. “He’s been in a lot of situations, a lot of ups and downs through his career. He is a great kid, has great faith, great mom. He is somebody that continues to work constantly. He is always up in the office, always watching film. He is somebody that everybody is pulling for.”

Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider