Bob Przybylo/Scout

OU coach Lincoln Riley makes OKPreps statement with Ron Tatum commitment

You want a statement by Lincoln Riley? Not too many bigger than landing Ron Tatum as first commitment.

Lincoln Riley has proven to be one of the brightest offensive minds in college football in quite some time.

In his two years at OU in that capacity, the Sooners have rewritten the record books and had some incredible success.

But a head coach has to be more than that. With Riley taking over following the retirement of Bob Stoops last week, Riley is off to a great start.

All the yards, all the points, all the offensive production. And who is the first commit for Riley as the head coach at OU? Ron Tatum.

Yep, the OKC Putnam City defensive end is the one to kick off #RileysReign or #ReignOfRiley or whatever alliteration you want to use with the name Riley.

You want to make a statement coming out the gate? Doesn’t get much bigger or much better than having Tatum as the one to signify the change.

No doubt a lot of credit goes to defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux and Tulsa Union commit Patrick Fields. Following Tatum’s initial pledge to Texas in late April, Thibodeaux and Fields led the charge to bring Tatum back home.

Riley has to be a closer, has to show he has the chops to make it as a head coach at a program like OU at just 33 years old.

Not mission accomplished with one recruit but a statement to the rest of the Big 12, rest of college football that Riley is coming.

And coming for the state. April was a down time for OU recruiting within Oklahoma with Tatum and Casey Thompson going to Texas. Owasso safety Josh Proctor going to Ohio State and Bixby offensive lineman Bryce Bray going to Oklahoma State.

That just doesn’t happen. Not on OU’s watch. The Sooners do not miss out on top in-state prospects when they’ve made a concerted effort to have them wear the crimson and cream.

OU has moved on from Thompson and Bray so there’s a qualifier there. But OU never gave in with Tatum. It hasn’t given in with Proctor. And Midwest City defensive end/outside linebacker Jalen Redmond is a mega-target for OU.

The Sooners have that history. Freshmen Creed Humphrey (Shawnee), Levi Draper (Collinsville) and Tyreece Lott (Ardmore) were all committed to other schools before the Sooners brought them home as well for the 2017 class.

Humphrey – Texas A&M. Draper – Oklahoma State. Lott – TCU.

One thing Stoops always said was how important the state of Oklahoma was toward the success of the Sooners. Riley agrees, and he’s acting the same way.

Texas coach Tom Herman is coming. Riley is not going away. Landing Tatum is his way of saying you’re not coming over here without a fight.

The battle has begun. The Red River Rivalry is here again. And Riley is ready to lock down the borders in OKPreps.

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