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Sooner Report: Student Appreciation Day
August 22, 2014

OU Football Student Day a Hit 

The energy in Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium was high Thursday evening as OU students filled the stands during OU Football Student Day, where they had the opportunity to see the inner workings of a practice and interact with some of their favorite student-athletes.

To start the event, OU students watched approximately 30 minutes of practice, during which head coach Bob Stoops had an open microphone as he talked through all on-field activities. Winners for raffle prizes of official Oklahoma Football gear, including helmets, footballs and jerseys, were chosen throughout the event.

At the conclusion of practice, the students were invited to participate in drills on the field and meet and take photos with the football student-athletes. The event ended with a group photo that included the coaching staff and student-athletes with dean of students Clarke Stroud serving as emcee/referee/cheerleader.  

Afterwards the players were very grateful to see all the students show up

“It’s fun to see how many students came out on this hot day because it was a hot day today,” said wide receiver Durron Neal. “Just to see them come out and support us and to give them a little sneak preview of what it’s going to be on Saturday is great and I’m happy that they came out.”

The students were also thankful for the rare opportunity to get a look at the team before the games begin.

“I kind of felt like we were getting a little sneak peek into practice,” said junior broadcast journalism major Brooklyn Hill. “We probably weren’t, but I just thought it was cool to see them run drills. I’m from Texas, and football was a big part of how I was raised, so it was cool. I kind of felt like part of the team.”

President Boren, OU Coaches Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the nation and social media by storm in August and the Oklahoma coaching staff along with University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren were up to the challenge following Thursday’s practice.

With head coach Bob Stoops and Boren front and center, flanked by many of the OU assistant coaches, a number of giddy players doused the coaches and president with full Gatorade containers of ice-cold water to help raise awareness for ALS.

The players thought it was cool to see the coaches and president get drenched for such a good cause.

“It was fun,” said senior tight end Blake Bell. “It's all about spreading awareness for ALS and having fun while doing it."

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge originated earlier this summer when former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who is diagnosed with the disease, challenged some friends to donate $10 and pour a bucket of ice water over their heads or donate $100 instead. Frates’ coach at Boston College was current OU head coach Pete Hughes, who has brought his 19 Ways program to Norman to help benefit ALS.

As of Thursday, August 21, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $41.8 million to the fight against ALS. If you would like to donate go to alsa.org.

Fans Invited to Participate in new “Walk of Champions”

Starting next Saturday, Sooner fans will have a chance to welcome the football team to Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium by participating in the “Walk of Champions.”

Two hours before each home game, head coach Bob Stoops and the Sooners will disembark from the team buses at the intersections of Lindsey St. and Jenkins Ave. A pep rally, conducted by OU Spirit and OU football alumni, will be held 15 minutes prior to the team’s arrival.

Fans are encouraged to cheer on the team upon arrival and watch as Coach Stoops, the squad and past Oklahoma letterwinners walk the final yards to the Switzer Center. Fans may begin lining up on Jenkins Ave. starting three hours prior to kickoff.German Fans

German Visitors Revel in Sooners Practice

Some new faces were spotted in the normal media throng following the Sooners practice on Thursday, as Felix Heller and Markus Leitzgen from Germany took in the drills and reveled in meeting and having their picture taken with OU standouts Trevor Knight and Sterling Shepard.

“We both play football back in Germany and it’s pretty nice to see how things are run in the United States where the big famous American football is played,” said Heller.

Both Heller and Leitzgen became fans of the game around four years ago after studying abroad in the United State.

“The first time I was in the states was in 2010 and there was a dad throwing a football with his kid and I thought ‘Ok, what is the deal with throwing this ball from one side to the other’ because I grew up playing soccer,” said Leitgen. “And then I started gaining a keen interest for the sport and found it very challenging because you have to be fit physically and mentally.”

Both visitors are huge fans of the game on the professional and collegiate level and have their favorite teams.

“The first time I watched the Super Bowl was when the New York Giants won so I follow them definitely,” remarked Heller. “Of course I follow the Sooners now.”

Leitzgen also follows the Sooners and an NFL juggernaut in the New England Patriots.

“I like the New England Patriots because a German guy, Sebastian Vollmer, plays left tackle for them and I like Tom Brady because he was drafted so late and turned out to be a great quarterback. I like Oklahoma and LSU and I hate Alabama. But I follow pretty much the Sooners. I like Landry Jones, Kenny Stills and Jalen Saunders, I like him a lot.”

Stadium Policy Reminders

Fans attending University of Oklahoma Football home contests should begin planning now to ensure they are fully prepared for stadium policies, which will remain the same as 2013. There have been no additional changes to the policies this season. To see a full list of allowable and non-allowable personal items, click here.

Plan Ahead For Season Opener vs. Louisiana Tech

The Main Street exit off I-35 is now open, but fans are still encouraged to allow themselves plenty of time to get to Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium next Saturday for the opening game of the 2014 season. Fans should plan for an alternate route in case of traffic delays and have multiple potential parking options.

Pay-Per-View Details

As previously announced, OU’s matchup with Louisiana Tech will be televised on a pay-per-view basis. Since the game was not selected for over-the-air broadcast or cable television coverage, this allows fans the option to watch a game they otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.

It will be available on a dedicated pay-per-view channel on participating Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas program providers, and nationwide via participating satellite and Telco distributors. Viewers outside the state of Oklahoma (based on IP address) can purchase a live stream of the broadcast on SoonerSports.tv. The online pay-per-view price is $54.99 or can be paired with an annual subscription for $109.99.

For full pay-per-view details and current program providers, click here.

SiriusXM to Re-Air Camp Tour Stop

On Wednesday, SiriusXM was in Norman to talk with the Sooners as part of its Camp Tour series. Fans can tune into Sirius XM College Sports Nation, Channel 91, from 3-6 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug. 22, to catch a re-air of the show.

Up Next

We have just one more Saturday this fall without Oklahoma football. Let that sink in for a minute. With that, the Sooners are set to practice again on Friday before having one final weekend off prior to the start of the 2014 season. On Monday, the Sooners’ attention will turn to their contest with Louisiana Tech as they start game-week preparation. 

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