Twelve-year-old Rayden Overbay was brought to Norman to watch the Sooners take on Iowa State Saturday night. After the game, Overbay was brought into the locker room to celebrate among the coaches and players.
Overbay, from Yukon, Oklahoma, has special needs and recently went viral after a video of him being bullied surfaced on social media — resulting in many posts sporting the hashtag “StandWithRayden.”
Jalen Hurts showed support to Rayden Overbay after a video of him getting bullied went viral. Hurts assured him that he had a friend in him and @OU_Football 🙌 (via @JalenHurts) pic.twitter.com/QQmZH5AWqh— ESPN (@espn) November 11, 2019
“I mean honestly, Rayden is an inspiration to me,” senior quarterback Jalen Hurts said. “I told him he was a soldier for just how he handled himself. It meant the world to me honestly to meet him. That whole meeting was great for me, and he has a friend in me.”
After the game, Hurts and Overbay shared a moment where Hurts signed a game ball and gave it to Overbay.
“It was perfect timing. After an up-and-down game like that, that did finish on such a high note,” Lincoln Riley said. “There is more to it — sometimes we forget that. I think it was perfect for everybody.”
The moment with Overbay was inspirational for the Sooners after their 1-point win over Iowa State. In a game where it was closer than they would have liked, the presence of Overbay proved that some things are bigger than football.
“I know it meant a lot to our team. They were all very aware of it,” Lincoln Riley said. “To be able to do that was great for a couple of reasons. It puts a smile on his face, and I think it brings awareness to an issue that's important to us.”
The Sooners will return to action in a much-anticipated College GameDay matchup against Baylor at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Waco, Texas.