The Key to Landing Lynn

Gabe Lynn has listed no favorites from amongst the nearly two dozen offers he's received. However, the father of the state's No. 1 recruit has said what the key will be to signing the cornerback. Sooners Illustrated spoke with both Lynns to find the answer.

Oklahoma has a lot going for it in its recruitment of Gabe Lynn, the state's No. 1 recruit.

"I like the fact they win consistently. I'd love to play for a team that's going to a major bowl game every year and has a shot at the national championship," Lynn said. "They have a great winning tradition and you know if you go to OU and you play, the sky is the limit."

But that's nothing new. Oklahoma's tradition is one of its biggest selling points to all major recruits, and Lynn is definitely major.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Jenks (Okla.) has 4.5 speed and is the No. 3-rated cornerback in the country and the No. 2-rated player in the Midlands Region.

But it's going to take more than tradition to haul in Lynn.

In fact, one person on the Sooner coaching staff – or any staff - will hold the key to Lynn's signature next February.

For Oklahoma, it's defensive backs coach Bobby Jack Wright.

Sure it seems elementary, but not everyone is recruited mostly by the person who ends up being their position coach.

Lynn's brother Phillip Dillard wasn't and it was a lesson learned for the family.

Dillard, as you'll recall, was an Army All-American linebacker for Jenks in 2004 who is now at Nebraska. He was recruited to the Huskers by John Blake, the former Sooner player, assistant and head coach who is now at North Carolina.

However, Blake wasn't Dillard's position coach. That was Kevin Cosgrove, also the Huskers' defensive coordinator at the time.

As it turned out, although Blake and Dillard got along magnificently, the same could not be said for Dillard and Cosgrove.

"Cosgrove, who is a very nice person, is a very passive person," said Tyrone Lynn, Gabe and Phillip's father. "That wasn't Phillip's style on the field and they didn't always see eye to eye."

Although there were reasons beyond Blake for which Dillard chose Nebraska, the relationship with Cosgrove wasn't as conducive to his Dillard's development as it could have been.

It's a "mistake" that won't happen with Lynn.

"Gabe's primary focus will be developing a relationship with his position coach," Tyrone said.

Enter Wright.

As it turns out, Wright already has done most of the recruiting for Lynn for the Sooners, so they're at least up to par in that area.

The Lynns also got a chance to see how Wright acted when he didn't know as much about Gabe. That was at Oklahoma's Junior Day in early February.

"When we went down there, they really didn't know who he was," Tyrone said. They found Wright and spoke with him.

"That was a good experience, because at the time he didn't know anything about Gabe," Tyrone said. "He's very honest. It was good to see he was straightforward like that; good to see how he is before the recruiting process starts."

Once the Sooners saw tape of Lynn, they immediately offered. Wright and Lynn (with a little bit of Jackie Shipp sprinkled in) have been in more frequent contact ever since.

"We hope to go down there (Norman) after spring break and spend more time with them (OU coaches)," Tyrone said. "We hope to get a chance to speak more with Coach Wright."

So, if the Sooners are going to keep the state's best talent on their roster, it starts with Lynn…and Wright. If the Sooners stand a chance, that relationship will have to be strong.

First impressions?

"He seems pretty cool," Lynn said. "He's an old-school guy, but I like him."

That's a good start.


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