Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has been floated as a candidate for several NFL jobs, and his former Sooners’ quarterback seems to think he’s ready.
“Lincoln’s been ready,” Mayfield told reporters in Cleveland on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Pat McManamon. “Just who he is, how he coaches, the respect level he’s had from all of his players. How detailed he is. He’s ready. But that’s his decision.”
Mayfield, who played in Riley’s offense for three years in Norman, didn’t lobby for him to get the vacant Browns job, though. In fact, he seemed to indicate Riley’s potential move to the NFL could still be years down the line.
“He’s got something special there (at Oklahoma),” Mayfield added. I don’t think anybody’s going to blame him if he stays there for the next 20 years.”
The Sooners have won four straight Big 12 Championships since Riley’s arrival in 2015 and have made the College Football Playoff three times in that span. The year before Riley was hired in Norman, Oklahoma went 8-5. Since then, the Sooners are 46-7.
Riley’s offense has been admired by NFL franchises, especially with more spread attacks starting to have success, particularly in Kansas City, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
Current OU quarterback Kyler Murray could also be on the way to delivering a second-straight Heisman Trophy to Norman. Murray and Mayfield would become the first duo of quarterbacks from the same school to win the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back seasons.
Riley doesn’t figure to be headed to the NFL this offseason, but the 35-year-old would find success whenever he decides to make the leap, per Mayfield.
“Right now I’m not going to speak for him,” Mayfield said. “But he’s ready whenever that time comes.”
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