OU football: Lincoln Riley backs Shane Beamer's candidacy; Grant Calcaterra's return; COVID testing data
Riley backs Beamer's candidacy at South Carolina
Shane Beamer, OU’s assistant head coach for offense seemed like a longshot to be South Carolina’s next football coach when the Gamecocks fired Will Muschamp earlier this month.
But Beamer’s candidacy has picked up steam in recent days, though he doesn’t have experience as either a head coach or even a coordinator.
While the legacy of Beamer’s father, legendary Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, makes it easy to see why Beamer would get consideration, his credentials go far beyond that.
“I think Shane’s going to be a really good head coach,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “He’s got great experience, being able to work with several different guys and several different programs, different parts of the country.”
Besides serving as a running backs coach for his father at Virginia Tech, Beamer worked under Steve Spurrier as South Carolina’s outside linebackers coach. Beamer worked under Kirby Smart as Georgia’s tight ends coach/special teams coordinator and as a graduate assistant under both George O’Leary at Georgia Tech and Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee.
Beamer’s candidacy has been endorsed by several notable former Gamecocks, with Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram tweeting Beamer would “bring the culture back” and former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia tweeting that hiring Beamer was “a no freakin brainer.”
Riley said Beamer’s candidacy wouldn’t be a distraction.
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“Because we’ve got guys in here that are professionals and care about this place, care about this team,” Riley said.
OU announces latest COVID testing numbers
For the second consecutive week, OU had a 2% positivity test rate for COVID-19, the school announced Monday.
A total of 260 tests were performed on athletes across all sports and another 119 among athletics staff. Of those 379 tests, eight came back positive.
As of Monday, seven active cases remained among student-athletes and another three among staff. A total of 203 athletes have recovered from the virus, with 22 recoveries among the staff.
The positivity rate went from a high of 9% during initial testing 12 weeks ago, down to a low 0.2% a few weeks ago before trending up before going down to 2% the last two weeks.
Riley happy for Calcaterra
Riley said it was going to be “hard” seeing Grant Calcaterra in another jersey next season.
The former OU tight end, who stepped away from football last season after repeated concussions, recently announced that he would resume his playing career and last week said he would do so for Auburn.
“I’m happy for him because I can tell he wants to do it and I know he’s excited about it and he’s doing it with a great group of guys and coaches over there,” Riley said.
Riley said he did have conversations with Calcaterra about the possibility Calcaterra returning to the Sooners.
“I’m not going to get too far into them, but I am excited that he’s found an opportunity to go play at Auburn,” Riley said. “He’s one of those guys you want nothing but the best for that kid and he clearly wants to play again. That’s not really a surprise knowing him.”
Calcaterra had 41 catches for 637 yards and nine touchdowns for the Sooners from 2017-19.
His most memorable play came late in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game, when he hauled in a one-handed touchdown catch to put away the Sooners’ win over Texas.
Ryan Aber, Staff writer