NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is best known for quarterbacks _ he’s had back-to-back Heisman Trophy-winning passers in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
His offenses have developed some star pass catchers, too. This year, the Sooners feature the combination of junior CeeDee Lamb and rising sophomore Charleston Rambo.
Lamb is coming off a 185-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 55-16 win over Texas Tech. He’s climbing Oklahoma’s career charts and ranks seventh in yards receiving (2,379) and is tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns (24).
“CeeDee is a great player,” Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts said after the Texas Tech game. “He’s a baller. He makes plays. What quarterback wouldn’t want a guy like that on his team?”
For the season, Lamb has 16 catches for 414 yards and six touchdowns heading into the sixth-ranked Sooners’ game at Kansas on Saturday.
Rambo has filled the role of deep threat vacated by Marquise Brown. Rambo has 13 grabs for 373 yards and four scores this season, including two catches for 122 yards against Tech.
Rambo says he has a friendly rivalry with Lamb, similar to what Lamb had with Brown last year.
“Just at practice, he’s doing one-on-ones on one side and I’m doing something on my side, just to match him,” Rambo said. “It’s just making us both better, competing with each other in the receiving room and just being great together.”
Lamb feels he won the battle against Texas Tech. He said he and Rambo are roommates who talk about their goals before and after games.
“Next week, we’re going to see who had the day,” Lamb said after the Texas Tech game.
Riley was Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016 and became head coach in 2017. In 2015, Sterling Shepard was the star, and Dede Westbrook was the speedster alongside him. Shepard is with the New York Giants and Westbrook plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The next year, Westbrook won the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s top receiver and tight end Mark Andrews finished second on the team in touchdown receptions.
In 2017, Andrews won the Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end while Marquise Brown took advantage and stretched the field and Lamb was a steady threat. Andrews and Brown both play for the Baltimore Ravens.
Brown, known as “Hollywood” for his flashy play and speed, was a first-team AP All-American in 2018 while Lamb led the team in touchdown grabs.
Now, Lamb is having another strong year and Rambo is the next man up in the speedster assembly line.
Another receiver is developing behind them _ Jadon Haselwood. The 6-foot-2 freshman ranks third on the team with 12 catches and 192 yards.
“He’s been a good practice player, but tends to be even a little bit better in games,” Riley said. “He’s a confident kid when he steps on the field and a competitor. So he’s done a nice job. All those young guys have. He’s had some opportunities to make some plays, and he’s made the majority of them.”
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