New Southern California coach Lincoln Riley said Tuesday that he didn’t bring any players from Oklahoma with him to Los Angeles — he got them from the transfer portal.
Riley made the comments during an interview on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”
Cowherd asked Riley if it was sensitive bringing OU transfers Caleb Williams, wide receiver Mario Williams and cornerback Latrell McCutchin to the Trojans.
Riley agreed that it was, but that he didn’t.
“We didn’t take players from Oklahoma. We took players from the transfer portal,” Riley told Cowherd. “Those players and their families had to make a decision to either stay at that university, just like any other player has to make, or to enter the portal where then they can be recruited by anybody in the country. That’s up to those players and their families and we have nothing to do with that.
“But once a player gets into a portal where they are open to any school in the country, we would be crazy not to take a look at and try to help our football team,” Riley went on. “All of a sudden they were good enough for us to take at Oklahoma, but now we wouldn’t give them a chance just because we’re in a new spot? That part never really made sense to me.”
Caleb Williams took over the starting job six games into the 2021 season under Riley at OU and finished the season with 1,912 passing yards and 21 touchdowns against four interceptions. Williams rushed for another 442 yards, scoring six touchdowns.
When he first entered the portal, Williams’ father, Carl Williams, said the quarterback “doesn’t have a destination” picked out.
Mario Williams, who is unrelated to Caleb, caught 35 passes for 380 yards and four TDs as a freshman in 2021.
–Field Level Media