Lincoln Riley: Quarterback Guru

Lincoln Riley Quarterback Guru
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 01: Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 warms up while head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners watches before the game against the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Cougars 49-31. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Lincoln Riley quarterback guru.  The Oklahoma Sooners have one of the leading candidates to win the Heisman trophy this year. If Jalen Hurts should win the award this season it will be the unprecedented third straight year the Oklahoma quarterback has won the most prestigious individual award in college football.  If Hurts should win the award, he will follow in the footsteps of previous Oklahoma winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray

Lincoln Riley: Quarterback Guru

Quarterback Styles

In comparison, these three quarterbacks each have a little different skill set. Mayfield is more of a traditional drop-back passer with the ability to extend plays. Mayfield was clearly the vocal leader on the field.

Murray, in contrast, was a constant threat to make big plays on the ground with sprinter speed as well as with his arm.  With that being said, Murray was less of a vocal leader.  Murray was more of a quiet, just doing my job kind of leader.

Hurts possesses a little different skill set. The 2019 signal-caller at Oklahoma brings more of a combination of the previous quarterbacks to the table. Hurts is an above-average passer; he is also a threat on the ground. While Murray had breakaway speed, Hurts is more of a power runner with the ability to break tackles and get that extra yard.  The current signal-caller is more of a leader in that he leads by example. The younger players understand Hurts has been through the rigors of the SEC conference as well as the College Football Playoffs. He knows what goes into winning a national championship as he has with Alabama.

Commonalities

Even though there are distinct differences, these three quarterbacks have two big commonalities. All three quarterbacks have transferred from other programs where they were unappreciated. Coincidentally, they all were or are coached by the best developer of quarterbacks in the country in Riley, the quarterback guru.

The Quarterback Whisperer

Riley seems to have a way of relating to young quarterbacks. High school kids, especially quarterbacks, are drawn to Riley. Many of the high school talents talk about how much they like the style of offense that Oklahoma plays. More often than not, after interacting with Riley, high school juniors and seniors talk about how he is so personable and relatable. With respect to football, this is more than just about playing football at the University of Oklahoma. Riley relates to these kids as young men and they respect him for that as much as his coaching expertise. Even the kids that don’t commit to Oklahoma say the experience with Riley was great.

Recruiting

Without question, as long as Riley is at the helm at Oklahoma the Sooners will have a pipeline to most of the top high school quarterbacks in the country. To be clear, every young football player wants to be a part of a championship. With that being said, kids want a chance to play at the next level and win national awards. Obviously, that is happening under Riley. Riley has produced back to back unprecedented Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks and number one overall NFL draft picks. At this point, Hurts is one of the leading candidates to be the third Oklahoma quarterback in three years to win the Heisman.

Will Riley stay at Oklahoma?

As is the case with most successful college football coaches, at some point the NFL will come calling. With Riley, the most predominant rumor is the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones. With respect to the financial benefits, why would Riley move on to the NFL?

Riley pretty much has autonomy at Oklahoma. Nothing would be further from that in Dallas. Clearly, Jones runs the football team and the coach is merely a figurehead. There’s no chance Riley would give up what he is building in Norman, Oklahoma for that.

That being said, a great success at the college level doesn’t guarantee success in the NFL.  Case in point, arguably one of the best coaches in college football history is Nick Saban. Saban was woefully unsuccessful in the NFL.

The Final Thought

In conclusion, Riley is building a dynasty at Oklahoma. The Sooners have won four consecutive Big XII championships and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon. Without question, championships start with a great quarterback. The Sooners will be loaded at quarterback as long as Riley is at the helm.

The top high school quarterbacks want to play in Riley’s system and want to learn under his tutelage. But, what’s more important, kids like and respect Coach Riley.

The bottom line is this…Riley is a Quarterback Guru!

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