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NFL Draft: Sooners' history with draft helpful for recruiting

NORMAN — Five OU players are hoping to hear their names called during the NFL Draft in the coming days, and that can be just as big for the Sooners’ program as it is for the players.

Having players from OU taken in the draft can be a big selling point on the recruiting trail, especially now while in-person recruiting has been suspended.

OU’s history with the draft and preparing players for the next level is important, coach Lincoln Riley said on a conference call Wednesday.

“Kids want to win championships but also each of these kids have individual dreams and goals and to hear your name called no matter if you are the first pick or the last one,” Riley said. “That means a lot of things went well because every player that puts on a college football jersey has a dream of that and it just doesn't happen for many.”

The Sooners are expected to have two players taken in the first round Thursday night — wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and linebacker Kenneth Murray. If his name is called, Murray would be the first OU defender drafted in the first round since 2010.

“It's kind of half celebration and half time to continue to build your program, your brand and show people that what you are doing is working,” Riley said.

Related Photos
University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley speaks during a press conference at OU in Norman, Okla. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.  [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley speaks during a press conference at OU in Norman, Okla. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c61b2b48332607658682f2208cf7d8c2.jpg" alt="Photo - University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley speaks during a press conference at OU in Norman, Okla. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley speaks during a press conference at OU in Norman, Okla. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>University of Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley speaks during a press conference at OU in Norman, Okla. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Abby Bitterman

Abby Bitterman covers OU athletics for The Oklahoman. She joined The Oklahoman in September 2019 to cover high school sports. A Chicago native, Abby graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2019 with degrees in journalism and political... Read more ›

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