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Also, in spite of obstacles, the defensive line’s potential is as high as it’s been in some time.

Happy Thursday, friends and fans!

On Wednesday morning, the Oklahoma Sooners ’ Lincoln Riley was named to the 2020 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award preseason watch list.

The 2020 #DoddTrophy Preseason watch list is here!

This year’s list features 1⃣3⃣ of the nation’s top coaches who will be playing during the fall season.

https://t.co/NfFWxMQpL2 pic.twitter.com/CJ7wAl28gr

— The Dodd Trophy (@thedoddtrophy) September 3, 2020

Named after legendary Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Bobby Dodd, this award has become one of the collegiate game’s highest individual honors since its inception in 1976. In that span, Bob Stoops (2003) is the only OU coach in program history who has received the prestigious award.

Anything can happen in 2020, and given the unprecedented nature of the upcoming college football season, Riley should absolutely be considered one of the early favorites. Given how masterfully he’s handled an especially difficult offseason, if his team takes care of business on the field, he’ll have as good a case as anybody to bring home the hardware.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! The Sooners’ O-Line is primed for a huge season, Oklahoma’s Beamer talks special teams, Brooklyn welcomes Steve Nash and more!

OU Links

Now that Oklahoma’s QB depth chart is sorted out, 247 Sports’ Chris Hummer gives Tanner Mordecai a high confidence rating as a backup option for Lincoln Riley’s offense. The same can’t be said for every legitimate national contender, as Georgia and LSU are now in tough spots from a QB depth perspective.

With so much returning experience up front in 2020, Oklahoma’s offensive line play should be even better than it was a season ago. That bodes well for the team’s production as a whole, writes Sooners Wire’s Steven Plaisance.

On the other side of the trenches, defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux recently spoke about his group’s potential with so many newcomers expected to play . He also touched on the importance of the team’s march in solidarity against racial injustice, writes the OU Daily’s Chandler Engelbrecht.

Since Shane Beamer was hired onto Lincoln Riley’s staff in 2018, he’s had a hand in coaching up special teams. Ever since then, the unit’s improvement has been noticeable. Recently, he spoke about redshirt sophomore kicker Gabe Brkic ’s growth as an impact player , as well as his unique nature to handle his role, writes SI Sooners’ Parker Thune.

Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the RufWriter Podcast with your usual hosts, Kamiar and Stephen. This time around, the guys shared their thoughts on Lincoln Riley officially announcing Spencer Rattler as OU’s starting QB, the expectations for Bill Bedenbaugh’s experienced O-Line and other news around college football. As always, be aware that this pod does contain some NSFW language.

Around the Sports World

The Brooklyn Nets have hired former two-time MVP Steve Nash as their next head coach . Since retiring as a player in 2015, this is Nash’s first gig as a head coach. From the jump, he’ll have the luxury of stepping into a situation with NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving .

OFFICIAL: The Brooklyn Nets have named Steve Nash as the 23rd head coach in the franchise’s NBA history. pic.twitter.com/SG8OoN3a8g

— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) September 3, 2020

Former Wake Forest Demon Deacons QB Jamie Newman transferred to the Georgia Bulldogs this offseason, but has reportedly decided to opt out of the 2020 college football season in preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft .

On Tuesday, the Iowa State Cyclones announced that fan attendance would not be permitted for the season opener on Sept. 12. Originally, the plan was to let up to 25,000 fans attend the game.

After being waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars , RB Leonard Fournette has agreed to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers .

15-year veteran placekicker Stephen Gostkowski made his fame with the New England Patriots , but this season he’ll be kicking for the Tennessee Titans after agreeing to terms following a physical evaluation .

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