With his overwhelming success as the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, Lincoln Riley has earned a reputation as one of the brightest young coaches in the college football world.
So bright in fact that he’s been widely regarded as a potential future NFL head coach.
Each year, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero identifies the top up-and-coming coaches to watch as prospective head coaching options in the league. And yet again this year, Riley has made that list.
“This is Riley’s fourth year on this list, and frankly, he might stay here until he ages off it,” Pelissero wrote. “That’s how good Riley has it in Norman, where he coached consecutive Heisman Trophy winners (Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray) who went No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft, and he might have another in the making with dynamic freshman Caleb Williams.”
While Riley certainly has some juice as a potential future NFL head coach, he seems to be happy with his current position in Norman.
Pelissero said it would take the “perfect job” in the NFL to draw Riley away from the Sooners program.
“Never say never, but it would take the perfect job to lure him away,” Pelissero added.
In addition to NFL coaching rumors, Riley has been linked to the recently vacated LSU head coaching job. When asked about his interest in that position earlier today, the fifth-year Oklahoma leader gave a dismissive response.
“I coach at the University of Oklahoma,” Riley said, per ESPN. “You know how I feel about this place and this program. We’ve all been down this road many times before. You guys know where I stand and that hasn’t changed.”
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