Friday PM Update:
Venables has spent the last week on the road recruiting for the Tigers, not the Sooners. And everything we are hearing leads us to believe that, while Venables may become the next Sooner head coach, the Sooners have other fish in their sites.
In fact, Venables made the trip to IMG to visit Keon Sabb and Jihaad Campbell.
Namely, Luke Fickell, who is preparing for Cincinnati’s conference championship game and a potential spot in the CFP, and Georgia DC Dan Lanning, who like Fickell is preparing for Georgia’s conference championship game.
One of the other names that we are hearing is former LSU DC and current Baylor HC Dave Aranda.
A Baylor win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game likely wouldn’t put the Bears in the CFP.
“There are coaches that we may want to talk to that are engaged with teams that are playing in a conference championship,” OU AD Joe Castiglione said. “And then we'll see if either of those get named as the four (teams) in the College Football Playoff.”
We are also hearing that an announcement is not likely to happen until Saturday evening at the earliest and more likely Sunday or Monday.
As we have learned in 2021, nothing is guaranteed and Venables may very well be the guy to lead the Sooners in 2022, but his name has cooled greatly in the last few days.
Thursday 1 pm Update:
First, let's get the stupid out of the way. Wednesday multiple sites began to shift their "sources" from Venables to Dabo Swinney being the next head coach at Oklahoma—with Venables coming along to be the defensive coordinator. We don't know who these sources are, but they are laughable at best.
Last night, I reached out to SI national reporter Ross Dellenger to see if he had heard anything regarding Swinney and OU, his response: "I haven't heard that, but never say never." Of course, if we have learned anything over the last week it is to never say never, but the likelihood of this being anything more than someone's wishful thinking is slim to none and slim just left the building.
Swinney is scheduled to meet with WR Antonio Williams today, along with wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham. Here is a note from Jason Priester on that meeting:
With Dutch Fork set to play for a sixth straight championship on Saturday and Williams leaving for North-South practice early next week, the 2022 wide receiver's schedule is going to be pretty busy over the next couple of weeks. Makes sense Swinney wants to get the visit in this week. This is the chance to seal the deal.
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As for Venables, these sites have gone from it being a done deal and an announcement that was supposed to happen at last night's basketball game to other names are holding up the process.
Venables has been recruiting all week and he and Swinney met with Clemson commit Wade Woodaz Thursday in Tampa. Venables is also set to visit Clemson commits Daylen Everette and Keon Sabb at IMG, either on Thursday or Friday.
What WE are hearing is that an announcement is not likely to come out of Norman until after the championship games Saturday. We are also hearing increasing chatter about Luke Fickel being "high" on their radar, especially after ND hired their man yesterday. Also, we are hearing that Georiga DC Dan Lanning is on their radar--and will probably get an interview if he has not already.
As we have said, would it surprise us if Venables is the Sooners next HC? No, nothing should surprise anyone any longer. But as of now, he and Swinney are both Tigers and are actively recruiting hard.
Wednesday 1 pm Update:
While we do not want to speculate regarding who, or what, will be announced, we can confirm that Venables was with Dabo Swinney visiting recruits yesterday and we have learned that the duo plan on visiting Keon Sabb Thursday–so take that for what it is worth.
I am not saying that Venables will not be the next HC in Norman, but what we KNOW is that he was out recruiting with Dabo Swinney. Also, many of these sources have cooled their comments about it being a "done deal" in the last 12 hours—with Dan Lanning’s name becoming increasingly spoken. I reached out to Venables, but have yet to hear back from him.
As I said, I am not saying that he will not be coaching in Norman in 2022, but as of right now he is still a Tiger. OU has a BOR meeting scheduled.
With Lincoln Riley agreeing to become the new head coach at USC, multiple reports have now surfaced linking Brent Venables' name to the vacancy at Oklahoma.
One of those reports comes from OU Insider's Parker Thune, who links Venables, along with Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, to the job.
Another report from Cam Marino also links Venables to the opening, citing his close relationship with athletic director Joe Castiglione.
Venables does have ties to the Oklahoma program, serving as an assistant for the Sooners under former head coach Bob Stoops from 1999-2011. He was a co-defensive coordinator for his first four seasons before becoming Oklahoma's lone coordinator and associate head coach in 2003. He began his coaching career coaching linebackers at his alma mater Kansas State.
During his time at Clemson, Venables' defenses have routinely been one of the best in the country. Coming into the 2021 season, the Tigers had led the ACC in scoring defense four times in the past five seasons.
In his 25 years as a full-time assistant coach, Venables' teams have 25 winning seasons, have been to 29 bowl games and have won 10-plus games 21 times. He's coached in eight national championship games, helping Clemson to four berths and two titles and also has a 13-2 mark in 15 conference championship games in which he’s coached. That includes a 6-0 record in ACC Championship Games with the Tigers.
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