Oklahoma recruiting: Smooth coaching transition gives Sooners more to sell
Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. Today we look at Oklahoma’s staff stability heading into the final months of the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Smooth coaching transition pays off in recruiting
Most coaching staffs are on the road while the Sooners are cooped up at the Switzer Center. Preparing for the Big 12 title game on Saturday takes precedent.
“We’ll take this,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said.
He has a plan for everything. Including who sees which prospects and when. When it comes to recruiting Riley is, admittedly, a workaholic. He spends Sundays talking in every mode possible. If he can’t see them in person, FaceTime is his go-to tool.
But what separates the Sooners from many schools in the area is the lack of turmoil in the coaching department. The Big 12 may not have a coaching change this season, but the Sooners are the lone team with a settled coaching staff.
Former coach Bob Stoops’ decision to step down in June and hand the keys to Riley for continuity’s sake, looks like the best coaching move in years. The Sooners’ staff stayed in tact. Recruits have no questions about who will be coaching them in the coming years.
Meanwhile, some of the Sooners’ biggest recruiting rivals — about half of the SEC — are going through turbulent times.
Recruits notice the consistency.
“It’s very stable at Oklahoma, which I liked,” 4-star cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles wrote in his recruiting diary following his visit to Norman in October.
The Oklahoma coaching staff will hit the recruiting trail in mass following the Big 12 title game. If it’s after claiming a third straight Big 12 championship and College Football Playoff spot, expect there to be a lot of excitement when they do.
Sooners still working on 4-star safety Jaiden Woodbey
Four-star safety Jaiden Woodbey ( Bellflower, Calif.) remains committed to Ohio State, but the Oklahoma target told 247Sports.com that his commitment is down to “70 percent.”
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano nearly leaving for Tennessee apparently shook him.
“He was the main reason I was staying committed. It kind of messed me up. I thought I might need to explore my options,” he told 247Sports.com. “He didn’t get the job so things changed. But it’s not something I’ll forget. It makes you think about how this is a business. I talked to Coach Schiano about it. It went well.”
The Sooners stayed in contact with the No. 33 player in the 2018 class. There’s still a chance they could get an official visit from him in December.
Woodbey is one of three safeties the Sooners are looking to flip. Four-star Ohio State commit Josh Proctor (Owasso, Okla.) and 4-star Texas A&M commit Leon O’Neal Jr. (Cypress, Texas) that remain on Oklahoma’s board.
It’s doubtful the Sooners can take all three, but they’ll leave the door open for at least one to jump on board.
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