Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is going to hear his name mentioned a lot in NFL circles over the next couple of weeks, now that the Cleveland Browns have decided to fire head coach Hue Jackson.
Many in the NFL reportedly think really highly of Riley and reports from the offseason suggested that league coaches visited with him to learn about his offense.
So, it makes sense that Riley is already being mentioned as a possible candidate for the Browns' opening.
What has Riley said about coaching in the NFL, though? Coincidentally, FOX Sports 1 analyst Joel Klatt had some details about that this weekend.
Klatt said during Saturday's Oklahoma broadcast that he spoke with Riley about the NFL talk. Riley claims that he doesn't have the itch to make the jump right now.
"I asked him point blank, ‘Do you have that itch?’ And he said…’No.’ And this is the important part, he said ‘I know we can be great here for a long time.’ And that’s the truth, that’s the absolute truth," he said.
Does that change now that the Browns job is open? We'll see.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit had said earlier this offseason that he could see Riley eventually leaving for an NFL job, but he was talking about the Dallas Cowboys.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the NFL, within a few years, knock on his door and try to get him to leave,” Herbstreit told The Dallas Morning News. “He’s as hot as he can be, as not just a head coach what he did with his first year but also as a playcaller. If and when the Cowboys ever need a head coach, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jones group considered him.”
Riley has some more important things to worry about right now, though. His Oklahoma team is right in the College Football Playoff mix. The Sooners are set to play Texas Tech on Saturday.