NORMAN, Okla. – It’s no secret; OU quarterback Baker Mayfield and OU head coach Lincoln Riley share a special bond.
Throughout his time at the University of Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley had a profound impact on the young and energetic quarterback.
When Mayfield’s actions on the field were criticized nationally, Riley stood behind his player and became emotional defending him.
“Oh, their relationship is, it’s magical is what I like to say, just because Coach Riley, he zeroes a lot into Baker, but I think Baker as well. I think they just have a bond to where they both kind of grow and they kind of both just get ideas from each other. So that’s why I say magical, just because I feel like they really set each other up as far as growing closer and closer each week,” said OU safety Steven Parker.
At a Rose Bowl news conference, a reporter asked if Riley would have gotten the head coaching job if it hadn’t been for Mayfield.
“If you guys just had a pure football relationship, part of the reason he got the job is obviously because you guys mesh so well,” the reporter said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s just because of me. Oklahoma has had a lot of talented guys. He’s had talented coaches around him. But when it comes down to it, that’s him. He’s climbed the coaching ranks because of how special he is and how well he adapts to his players and the people around him. It’s not the guys that make him, it’s how he adapts to the players around him,” Mayfield said.
Even though it’s a silly notion to think that Riley would have gotten the job just because of Baker Mayfield, it is undeniable that the pair have a special bond.
“Their relationship is very, very unique. Just watching those guys interact with each other in practice and even off the field, it’s hard to find between a head coach and a quarterback, and having that relationship between them has made this team so much better. It’s something I’ve never seen before,” said offensive lineman Erick Wren.