You knew the spring evaluation period was going to start to shine a light for Oklahoma and its search for a 2018 quarterback. Had no idea it would happen so quickly.
Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley didn’t waste any time at all in offering Newbury Park (Calif.) High four-star quarterback Cameron Rising on Tuesday evening.
Rising, who says he’s around 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, didn’t see the offer coming, or at least not as fast it did.
Rising knew Riley was going to watch him Tuesday, and Rising said he had one of his best days of throwing in a long time. He said nearly every throw was on target. After about 45 minutes, Rising said Riley left. Then within an hour after that, boom, the offer was made.
“I was just shocked, had the biggest smile on my face,” Rising said. “He said he had watched my tape before and loved it. He saw me being a Sooner, and he just wanted to make sure I lived up to the hype in person and held myself like a quarterback.”
The last part might give you an indication of just exactly what Riley is looking for in any of his quarterbacks. Common thread between Austin Kendall, 2017 commit Chris Robison and now Rising? Unshakeable confidence.
Rising even said it. The thought of Riley coming to watch him practice didn’t rattle his nerves. All it did was keep him even more focused for someone who says he thrives under the pressure.
Being from California and with OU just being another offer in the books, it would be easy to speculate this one won’t matter too much. But Rising said he grew up a bit of a Sooners fan, and there’s no doubt in his mind a trip to Norman is going to be warranted.
“I loved Alabama, OU and Oklahoma State,” Rising said. “I really don’t know why. The one thing with OU was the guy that was helping me become a quarterback and developing me when I was younger was a big OU fan. He was showing me the days of the triple option. I loved it.”
The game has obviously evolved from the triple option days, and that’s not what Rising would be asked to do if OU is the choice, but it’s good for the Sooners to have one foot in the door with Rising already.
Rising has called the process surreal so far. Never expecting to have one offer at this time, Rising is trying to wrap his head around having offers from all over the country.
Rising could go to the east coast and North Carolina. He could head north to Michigan. He could go south to LSU. Stick to the Big 12 with OU and OSU. Or stay home on the west coast with schools like Cal or Washington State.
Rising said it was a special moment Tuesday with Riley at the high school. Not only was it a chance to show Riley and OU what he could do, but Rising said it was the first time ever a Sooners representative had visited Newbury Park.
“That’s something that’s really amazing, you know,” Rising said. “I love my high school. I played three sports last year. I’m playing two sports this year. I love playing sports at this school, and it means a lot to me that a school like OU would come here.”
Rising admits he doesn’t know too much about the Sooners. He talked with Lincoln Riley just one time before Tuesday where Riley said back then he liked what he saw from Rising. Rising said he picked the Sooners to win the national championship in basketball and enjoys watching Baker Mayfield play.
OU does have a little bonus with Rising because his great uncle lives in Ada, Okla. Although not the shortest trip to Norman from Ada, it gives the Sooners a nice, easy connection in case Rising is able to visit the state this summer.
And if OU makes the cut, Rising is certainly going to make the trek. He said there is no way he is going to make any sort of decision until he sees every school he is extremely interested in. When? To be determined, but if Riley continues to make the impression, the Sooners will stay in the hunt.
Rising’s brother is 6-foot-5 so he’s hopeful he has one more growth spurt in him, not just for his football career but for bragging rights.
When it comes to describing himself as a player, Rising immediately jumped to the confidence aspect once again.
“Playing with confidence,” said Rising about his best asset. “When you are playing with confidence, it gives the guys around you a lot of confidence. If they know you believe, they believe, too. It’s something you can’t show on tape.”
What Rising said you can show on tape is his versatility as a passer. He said he can throw it hard in tight quarters just as much as he can put touch on the ball as well. He also said he has no problem extending plays out of the pocket.
Quarterback offers at OU are few and far between. Riley might have his targets set on a few others, potentially, but it’s clear right now the Sooners have made the right initial impression with Rising.