By Michael Kinney
Lincoln Riley is getting everyone ready. The Oklahoma football coach is giving everyone fair warning that this year’s spring football game will be unlike any that have come before it.
With concerts, celebrity coaches and contents involving fans, Riley is looking to raise the level of the soring game to more than just a glorified practice.
“It’s created a little buzz throughout the building,” Riley said. “They are starting to talk smack back and forth. They definitely want to win. So, they are pretty excited about the competitive nature of it. It will be exciting for our fans. It’s not a complicated scoring system for our fans. They can follow it just like they would in a game. Get some of the exciting situations and competitive situations that you want.”
Riley has brought a little star power to this year’s spring game, which is at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, by having a couple of Oklahoma legends taking over on the sideline. Free Agent tailback Adrian Peterson will be coaching the White team while Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams is taking over the Red squad.
There’s such a great and strong tradition of excellent players here,” Riley said. “Our former players are so gracious about coming back that we wanted to include them in the game. We came up with this idea, pitched it to a few of our NFL guys and they were probably even more excited about it than we were. I think it will be fun for our players, our fans, the NFL guys, everybody.”
Their assistant coaches include Super Bowl champion from the Philadelphia Eagles Lane Johnson and Baltimore’s Tony Jefferson. This has got the current Sooners even more excited about getting on the field Saturday afternoon.
“It’s great, honestly,” Wideout CeeDee Lamb said. “I get to meet all the legends who have been through here before me. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s my first spring game and actually playing in it. I was here last year, but it’s going to be better to be in it.”
Riley said they would have loved to have had a draft, but because of the new limited hours rule “you can’t do fun stuff like that, which stinks.” The coaches did their best to separate the teams evenly.
Lamb is part of Team Williams. His quarterbacks include Austin Kendall and Tanner Schafer.
Also on Team Williams is Charleston Rambo, Rodney Anderson, Mark Jackson, Bobby Evans, Neville Gallimore and Jalen Redmond.
Team Peterson consists of players such as Kyler Murray, Amani Bledsoe, Marquise Brown, Parnell Motley, Marquise Overton and Dru Samia and Ronnie Perkins.
“It’s not an easy process,” Riley said, “Not only do you have to consider offense and defense, you also have to consider being able to do what we want to do on special teams and being able to get into our different packages. We may have a few guys who will have to play on both teams. The injury situation also factored in just a little bit. Other than that, we just tried to make it as competitive and as even as possible.”
Other highlights of the day include the Bob Stoops statue dedication, students attempting to kick field goals to have their tuition paid for by Riley, a pre-game concert with country music star Trace Adkins and Brown taking on fans in the 50-yard dash, with a 10-yard head start.
Even though Brown has become a fan favorite, don’t expect him to take it easy on anyone who steps up to the line to challenge him.
“I think it’s going to be fun,” Evans said. “It’s going to be electric.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Writer with EyeAmTruth Media