Oklahoma Coach Lincoln Riley Clarifies Obi Obialo's Status

The former Marshall transfer could never get fully healthy and, Riley said, decided to leave the program and "hang up the cleats."
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Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley on Thursday clarified the absence of former Marshall transfer wide receiver Obi Obialo from the Sooners’ 2021 roster.

“Yeah, Obi came to us kind of midway into the spring semester and, you know, told us that he thought that his career may be coming to a close,” Riley said during a video press conference Thursday. “And, he made the decision to leave the program.

“And my understanding at that point, and I don't believe anything's changed, is that he was ready to hang up the cleats and move on to the next phases of his life.”

It was reported on April 19 by 247 Sports' Parker Thune that Obialo was no longer on the Sooners' online roster. 

Obialo, originally from Coppell, TX, has battled injuries since high school. He first walked on at Oklahoma State, the transferred to Marshall, where in 2018 he caught 42 passes for 505 yards and four touchdowns.

He spent just over a year with the Sooners but played in just two games in 2020 and didn’t catch a pass.

“Hate that things didn't work out better for him here,” Riley said. “If they had just — it’s one of those things, especially with the injuries, it just never really timed out. But he was a really good kid here and, you know, wish him the best as he jumps into his next chapter in life.”