Lincoln Riley’s USC methods will differ from his Oklahoma methods in specific ways

If you study Lincoln Riley’s recruiting at Oklahoma, you’ll see that while some larger principles and concepts will carry over to USC, you won’t see the same exact methodology.

Sooner insider Kegan Reneau explained on The Riley Files.

“His recruiting approach has a very, very small margin for error,” Reneau said. “Look at the way he recruited wide receivers: One year he’d recruit all these elite guys. It would be set up for them to sit a year and then they would be the stars of the offense; same with the quarterback, same with the offensive line, and even to an extent some of the defense too. That margin for error, if you miss on a guy, sometimes recruiting can be a crapshoot in terms of evaluating the player as well as the person. That goes for NFL evaluations as well. You’ve got to be able to make sure you have plans C, D and E, and specifically at a place like Oklahoma.

“So when things do go wrong and you have your top receiver, your top players, going to jail after spring football in 2021, and you have guys getting kicked off (the team for) other things happening, you’ve purposefully at that point created your own downfall. When you go through those things, Oklahoma is not gonna be as good as what the numbers say. X quarterback not improving happened. It’s why the offensive line not improving happened, and the defense not being as good as what they were a year ago. All three of those things happened. The things that could not (afford to) happen for Oklahoma, that were gonna impede them from getting their (desired) results, happened.”

That small margin for error means Riley has to find ways to increase his margin for error at USC. This is why three-star pickups, while not supremely sexy, matter. USC gets depth pieces behind the five and four-star performers.


The Lincoln Log: Inside Lincoln Riley's first year at USC

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire