One time 5-star linebacker recruit Caleb Kelly made an immediate impact upon arrival at the University of Oklahoma. The Fresno, California native (Clovis West High School) played in eleven games for the Sooners in 2016, with six starts, as a true freshman. During the season he recorded 36 total tackles, with three being for loss, a quarterback sack and a pass break up. Now he may be looking to help the offense out a little bit by putting a good word in with a friend back home.
On Monday Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley was in Kelly’s hometown to talk with one of his former high school teammates. With the recent decommitment of Cameron Rising, Riley is looking at Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez to fill a void in the 2018 class.
Having not looked at the quarterback position since offering Casey Thompson almost a year ago, Riley was forced by circumstance to go back to the recruiting board and he likes what he sees in Martinez. After visiting with the 4-star prospect on Monday, Riley offered him on Tuesday. Now it’s up to the Sooners to convince him that Norman is the place to be rather than Knoxville, Tennessee and an established relationship with Caleb Kelly may be the key to making it work.
Rated at the nation’s #7 dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports, Martinez had been committed to California until late last month. Riley jumped on the opportunity and is now going toe-to-toe with Tennessee for landing the highly coveted prospect who currently holds 24 scholarship offers.
Both the Sooners and Volunteers currently have four quarterbacks on their rosters but what Oklahoma has going for them is an open spot. Tennessee already has a commitment from Michael Penix (Tampa, Florida) and is looking for another. Penix committed to the Vols just before Martinez decommitted from Cal and the timing could just be bad for Tennessee because the quarterback position is wide open in Oklahoma’s 2018 class and whoever the Sooners pick up will most likely be THE guy at that position.
The other thing that OU has on their side is Kelly. Fresno is a long way away from both Norman and Knoxville, but with Kelly already being on campus at Oklahoma the Sooners can at least offer a little piece of home. And that could end up being the biggest factor of all.