Oklahoma Sooners vs Kansas Jayhawks

Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray is one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s top linebacker. He leads the Sooners in tackles with 55. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Murray a Butkus semifinalist

Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray is a semifinalist for the annual Butkus Award honoring the nation’s best collegiate linebacker, the Butkus Foundation announced Monday.

“It feels good (to be a semifinalist),” Murray said. “Obviously, it’s been one of my goals all season. To be named a semifinalist is just another step closer to achieving my goal.

“Definitely proud of that, but I definitely know there’s a lot more work that needs to be done. I’m truly excited to attack these last four games and really play our best football as a defense.”

Murray, who was also named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (which goes to the defensive player of the year), is one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award.

He leads the Sooners in tackles (55) and tackles for loss (7.5) while accounting for 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups and three quarterback hurries.

Looking ahead at quarterback

The Sooners have two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster who are eligible to be back in 2020: redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and freshman Spencer Rattler.

Asked whether he plans to sign a quarterback in the Class of 2020, coach Lincoln Riley declined to say.

“We evaluate every position and think about the future,” he said. “I think we look at every position the same: Do we feel like we have what we need next year and in the coming years to win championships?

“If the answer is yes, then sometimes we stand pat. If the answer’s no, then we move. But yeah, from a strategy standpoint don’t know that I’d want to go any further than that.”

Another night game

After five consecutive morning kickoffs, Oklahoma will have back-to-back night games. Next week’s game at Baylor will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on ABC.

Kelly Hines



Twitter: @KellyHinesTW

Sports Writer

Kelly has been the University of Tulsa football and basketball beat writer since 2014. She grew up in Moore, was valedictorian at Christian Heritage Academy and graduated from Oklahoma State University. Phone: 918-581-8452