Things haven’t been quiet in Norman, Oklahoma, since Lincoln Riley climbed onto a plane and left for Los Angeles back in November.
That trend continued on Thursday, as the Sooners hired J.R. Sandlin to be their new Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting.
Sandlin spent time at Alabama, Notre Dame, and Tennessee in a recruiting role before becoming the recruiting coordinator at Jacksonville State in 2014, where he remained until Oklahoma hired him in 2022.
Sandlin has seen mounds of success in his time as a recruiter, including helping secure back-to-back No. 1 classes for Alabama in 2011-12, including players like Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Landon Collins, Amari Cooper, Kenyan Drake, and Dalvin Tomlinson; all of whom have had distinguished NFL careers.
Sandlin is Oklahoma’s second official hire this week following Todd Bates, one of the top defensive line coaches in the country who came over from Clemson. The Sooners have made quite an effort to secure one of the top staff in the country and have hit the nail on the head thus far.
Of course, it could be a year or two before we see the results on the field if Oklahoma can’t retain its top player. However, you have to imagine that a staff as talented as the one now in Norman certainly helps the Sooners in the long run, and should set them up to springboard into the SEC in 2023 or beyond.