It’s a new day with the Oklahoma offense under offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. Hired in the beginning of January, he spent the final month before signing day trying to put the finishing touches on OU’s 2015 class.
He did just that as OU finished 14th in the Scout rankings, but what it did was put him behind in the search for a 2016 quarterback. Or as it looks like is becoming more apparent, quarterbacks.
The Sooners didn’t take one scholarship quarterback for the 2015 class and that sounds like good news for potential 2016 targets because it appears OU could be taking two this time around.
And one of them could have been at OU’s junior day Sunday in Argyle (Texas) Liberty Christian’s Nick Starkel, who made his first visit to Norman.
“It’s a great campus,” Starkel said. “It was a great atmosphere. I mean what’s not to like about it? The facilities were great, and it was so cool to see the dorms there.”
Starkel was amazed at seeing the plans for the future as OU intends to do major renovations to the stadium and the facilities. Starkel had a hard time believing that because from what he saw, what OU has now is just fine.
Starkel’s recruitment started with offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. He was originally going to visit Starkel in January but was unable to make the trip. Starkel had talked to Bedenbaugh and Riley in the past but only got to meet them for the first time Sunday.
“It was really good to meet him (Riley),” Starkel said. “He’s a really likeable guy. I would love to see him coach on the field. And I’m excited to see him come down in the spring.”
OU had four quarterbacks on campus Sunday. None of them walked out with offers, but it seems like an offer could come from the quartet. The plan is for Riley and Bedenbaugh to come back during the spring evaluation period and see Starkel in person.
That’s something Starkel is pretty excited about.
“I don’t think my film says how good of a player I am,” Starkel said. “I’ve gained some weight, and I have a stronger arm.”
Starkel believes in his talent, but he also wanted to know where he stood with the Sooners before he went back to Texas.
Riley hasn’t offered many 2016 prospects, and though it sounds like some will be get the nod eventually, it’s readily apparent it’s something Riley is going to think a long time about before making a decision.
And hearing where he’s at on the totem pole was definitely a highlight of the trip.
“It’s the best thing a coach can be for a player,” Starkel said. “That honesty – it makes things to a lot smoother.”
Starkel was offered by Oklahoma State last month, and he has seen his profile increase greatly since that time. He said he is considering returning to OU for a spring practice, but he has a west coast trip planned next week before anything else.
As for OU, his mission was accomplished.
“I thought I would just go in and meet the staff and build on that relationship,” Starkel said. “But it was a lot more than that. I really accomplished what I wanted to do and found out just how serious they really are.”