Rivals.com - Ask Farrell: Will Lincoln Riley ever jump to the NFL?
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Ask Farrell: Will Lincoln Riley ever jump to the NFL?

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Lincoln Riley agreed to a contract extension with Oklahoma in January that could solidify his status in Norman for many years. But there were rumors about the Sooners’ coach being tied to NFL jobs this offseason and that chatter just does not seem to want to end.

On a conference call with ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay last Wednesday, he was once again asked about Riley’s future at Oklahoma and a possible jump to the NFL sometime in his career.

McShay certainly did not rule it out.

“I just know a lot of teams have reached out to him,” McShay said. “I asked him about it. He kind of acknowledged that teams have talked to him. If he were to ever make that move, it would be based a lot on, you would have to have a quarterback to succeed in the league. He didn’t tie one thing to the other but when you’re talking about quarterbacks and different things, the NFL Draft that I was curious about, he said you have to have a guy, which everyone knows.

“He could get a job. I haven’t specifically asked him what intention he ever has or anything like that but my guess is just knowing how coaches are, he knows he can get a job. He understands it. It would have to be the right job. It would have to be the right quarterback and situation there.”

There were predictions this offseason that he was a top candidate for the Cleveland Browns job, which would have reunited him with Baker Mayfield. Riley has been visited by numerous NFL teams to pick his brain about the offensive system he runs and how coaches could implement some schemes in the pros.

There’s no question Riley – who is 24-4 in two seasons at Oklahoma but lost both times he took the Sooners to the College Football Playoff – is a hot commodity in NFL coaching circles. But will he ever make the jump to the NFL? We ask Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.


“I think Riley is a college coach and will be for a long time. I don’t see him jumping to the NFL anytime soon. He’s the perfect fit for college because he likes recruiting, he loves developing players and he knows he’s in a great situation at Oklahoma. He will receive some tempting offers but I think he will stay at Oklahoma and the brass there will take care of him. He’ll churn out NFL players but I don’t see him jumping to the NFL.”