Saturday, Sept. 5 –
The fields are pristine, freshly painted, well-rested from an eight-month hiatus and anticipating the sensation of cleats, tackles and touchdowns upon its surface, as are we. Empty stadiums eagerly welcome back the noise and college football’s colliding camaraderie and competition. Last year, fans got to see OU running back Semaje Perine run for 427 yards against Kansas, securing the record a week after the almost-15-year best had been broken by Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon; and Oklahoma State’s defensive tackle James Castleman showed the crowd exciting offensive grit during the Cactus Bowl. What does 2015 offer? Oklahoma State signed quarterback John Kolar, who ESPN’s Tom Luginbill called the “most underrated player in the entire class.” OU added power to their defensive roster with Neville Gallimore and Marquise Overton. For the University of Tulsa, freshman Chad President is an exciting recruit, ranked the No. 9 dual threat quarterback in the nation. Kolar, Overton and President join OU hopefuls Joshua Wariboko, Jalin Barnett and Will Sunderland Jr. on the ESPN 300. On the veteran front, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, who Odd Sharks listed in the Top 25 Heisman Trophy Favorites, returns to the snap, and OU’s receiver Sterling Shepard and linebacker Frank Shannon are two anticipated returns. Whether a University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or University of Tulsa fan, college football is back: OU kicks off the season with a home game against Akron on Sept. 5 (www.soonersports.com), as does Tulsa, who will take on Florida Atlantic (www.tulsahurricane.com). Oklahoma State welcomes Central Arkansas to its field on Sept. 12 (www.okstate.com).