On The Riley Files, Oklahoma insider Kegan Reneau very simply explained how Lincoln Riley built trust and established the right reputation to bring recruits to Norman.
“Oklahoma’s definitely a unique situation, right? You leave the campus of USC and within three hours of driving, you can probably field your entire team and have a very talented college football contending team, as well as you would have at Miami. Ohio State’s been nationally recruiting since Urban Meyer took over in Columbus. So it’s a little bit different, but I think the big thing they were able to do in Year 1 was establish and identify (a strategy) early on,” Reneau said.
“Lincoln Riley takes over at Oklahoma in 2015 (as offensive coordinator). By 2017, they have their best recruiting class they had signed. In over five years, that 2017 recruiting class was very, very highly regarded. They didn’t have a top-10 class in 2014, 2015, 2016. They had a number seven class in 2017.
“The most important thing is they had identified early, they built relationships early, you have the Oklahoma background, right? You also have to have proof of concept, like 2015, right? They win the Big 12 title. They go to the College Football Playoff. In 2016, they have two Heisman finalists at the ceremony in New York. Oklahoma was able to cash in on a lot of that early success Lincoln was able to have. So you have the ability to identify and evaluate, the two (pillars of) roster construction.”