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Former Oklahoma DB Jeremiah Criddell returns as assistant cornerbacks coach

Jeremiah Criddell, pictured in 2022 during his tenure as an Oklahoma student assistant coach
Jeremiah Criddell, pictured in 2022 during his tenure as an Oklahoma student assistant coach (Parker Thune)

Jeremiah Criddell couldn't stay away long.

After departing the Oklahoma staff last March, he's coming back to the place that served as the original launchpad for his promising coaching career. The Sooners have finalized Criddell's hiring as assistant cornerbacks coach, a move that's been unofficially official for some time. He rejoined the program at the beginning of June and had been helping out at Oklahoma's prospect camps throughout the summer.

A former four-star signee in the class of 2019 for the Sooners, Criddell played two full seasons in the crimson and cream before a series of concussions in 2021 prompted him to medically retire. He spent the 2022 season as a student assistant coach, earning his degree from Oklahoma in the meantime. In March of 2023, he took a job at USF, where he reunited with former OU assistant L'Damian Washington. After Cale Gundy's unexpected dismissal, Washington had served as the Sooners' interim wide receivers coach for the 2022 season, then left to become the wide receivers coach at USF. Criddell followed Washington to Tampa and spent the 2023 campaign as a graduate assistant on the Bulls' defensive staff.

At season's end, Criddell accepted a position on Jeff Lebby's inchoate staff at Mississippi State as a graduate assistant. Lebby, who had served as OU's offensive coordinator before being named the head ball coach in Starkville, brought with him a myriad of assistants that had previously worked at Oklahoma. That included Criddell, who spent the spring at MSU working with the Bulldogs' cornerbacks. But when his alma mater came calling, Criddell jumped at the opportunity to come back to Norman. Known for his effervescent personality, he'll provide support to Jay Valai and senior defensive analyst Xavier Brewer in sharpening the skills of the Sooners' corners.

And in a bit of a curious twist, one of the players that Criddell will help coach at Oklahoma is super-senior cornerback Woodi Washington, who was a member of the same 2019 recruiting class as Criddell.

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