Oklahoma recruiting: Lincoln Riley finds solace in recruiting momentum
Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we look at how Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley wants to capitalize on the Sooners’ recruiting momentum.
Recruiting momentum is Lincoln Riley’s solace
On Friday, Oklahoma coaches all hit the road again as the recruiting contact period begins through Feb. 3. It’s the one thing that’s brightened Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley’s demeanor since the Rose Bowl loss to Georgia on Jan. 1.
“I can’t wait to jump back into recruiting,” Riley said.
The Sooners are currently No. 7 in the 247Sports composite ranking. Riley sees the chance for Oklahoma to sign a top 5 class this cycle and a couple more key additions for the February signing period are enough to secure it.
But it’s not flash he’s looking for. It seems strange coming from a coach who is building a reputation as one of football’s best offensive minds. The Sooners are done recruiting offensive skill players for the 2018 class. They have the quarterback, running backs and receivers they want. Even the group of offensive linemen is among the strongest haul the Sooners have ever had.
It’s the defensive front seven where Riley is committed to making the biggest upgrades.
“That’s an area where we have to improve — especially defensively,” he said. “Continuing to get great personnel in that front seven. We’ve taken some steps but that’s an area where we have to continue to improve and I think we are. A lot of those guys are young and a lot of the top guys we’re signing are guys that have a chance to have an immediate impact there.
Great skill guys here and there you can find anywhere. The great lines and great front sevens you normally see on the best teams.”
The Sooners signed four defensive linemen — defensive ends 4-star Ronnie Perkins, 4-star Ron Tatum, 4-star Jalen Redmond and 3-star defensive tackle Jordan Kelley — in December.
They added 4-star linebacker Nik Bonitto and 3-star linebacker Brian Asamoah in the early signing period, too. Over the weekend 4-star linebacker DaShaun White gave his verbal pledge.
The Sooners still want to add at least one defensive lineman to the class. Defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin’s early departure to the NFL could mean adding a second if he’s the right fit. Oklahoma’s hope is that last piece is 4-star defensive end Jeremiah Martin from California. He visited Norman in October and remains on their radar.
The Sooners also remain in the hunt for 4-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu. Linebackers coach Tim Kish already had two in-home visits with him. Riley will likely make a trip to California in the coming weeks for an in-home visit. The Sooners expect Tuliaupupu to visit Norman later this month.
Brendan Radley-Hiles thinks big for Oklahoma
Anyone who doubts the confidence of recent 4-star defensive back commit Brendan Radley-Hiles should check out his Twitter account. He made it clear where he expects Oklahoma to be in January of 2019.
@TheKylerMurray Our Turn Bro… 😈
— .44 (@Bookie_44) January 9, 2018
Radley-Hiles sent the message to quarterback Kyler Murray. The Sooners will have a spring and likely August duel between Murray and sophomore Austin Kendall for the starting job.
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