Lincoln Riley shocked the college football world on Sunday, leaving his post at Oklahoma to become USC’s next head coach.
Riley’s decision to leave Oklahoma sent shockwaves through the college football landscape and dramatically altered its 2023 recruiting class. Five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson, five-star wide receiver Brandon Inniss and four-star running back Treyaun Webb all decommitted from the Sooners hours after news of Riley’s departure broke.
Nelson is the biggest loss for Oklahoma, as he was the crown jewel of its 2023 recruiting class. The Los Alamitos (Calif.) signal-caller is the No. 2 recruit in his class, according to 247Sports, ranking only behind Arch Manning.
“I want to start by thanking all the coaches and staff at OU for seeing enough in me and recruiting me to be a part of Sooner Nation,” Nelson wrote on Twitter. “One of the things that attracted me to most to OU, other than the rich history and amazing fans, was the stability in the coaching staff and their ability to develop the QB position. In light of the recent events and changes, my family and I believe it’s best if I de-commit from OU at this time.”
Inniss backed off his commitment after committing in August, while Webb re-opens his recruitment after pledging to the Sooners in July. Both were viewed as pillars of Oklahoma’s 2023 recruiting class and potentially dangerous weapons for Nelson to work with. Inniss is the No. 20 recruit in the class of 2023, according to 247Sports, while Webb is the No. 149 player in the class.
The good news for Oklahoma is that it still has the third-best 2023 recruiting class in the nation, headlined by five-star Los Alamitos athlete Makai Lemon. The Sooners need to move quickly to find a replacement for Riley to keep their 2023 talent on board, though, as programs around the nation will be flocking to poach Oklahoma’s committed talent.