Oklahoma DB Jeremiah Criddell is Primed to Build on Big Offseason and Play 'Some Really Good Ball' in 2021
One of the stars of the Oklahoma offseason has undoubtedly been redshirt sophomore defensive back Jeremiah Criddell.
The California native has been a name frequently at the tip of the tongue of both head coach Lincoln Riley as well as defensive coordinator Alex Grinch when noting players who have made significant strides over the last several months.
Grinch had very high praise for Criddell early in the spring, noting that the jump he had made so far was among the very biggest he had ever seen in his years coaching.
“I look back at the entirety of my career,” Grinch said, “and I think back to guys who made a big jump from year one to year two … and I don’t know if there’s anybody that’s made a bigger jump between that first year and second year. Really swimming the first year and the second year, all of a sudden you are saying, ‘Wait a second, if he can make that same jump, now we got one.’”
That early spring praise continued to be echoed throughout camp with Riley offering a similar sentiment once again at last week’s Big 12 Media Days.
“Been really impressed, and I know he didn’t play in the spring game, but really impressed with the spring that Jeremiah Criddell had,” Riley said.
Criddell has been an exciting up and coming player for the Sooners ever since he committed to them in the class of 2019, where he was a 4-star prospect out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA.
Upon receiving the news of his commitment, a video of Riley celebrating went viral on social media. The reaction cemented how badly both he wanted to see him in the crimson and cream and what his addition meant to the program.
The reaction was not lost on Criddell, who saw that as a challenge to live up to even higher expectations.
“When I saw them react, that was just amazing because, you know, they’re ecstatic and I’m seeing like ‘Wow, this is OU and they’re reacting like that about me,’” Criddell said. “That just puts in perspective that I got a lot more things I need to fill out and shoes I need to fill out. A lot more big plays I need to make.”
After playing sparingly and redshirting the 2019 season, Criddell played in 11 games a year ago making one start recording 12 total tackles.
Now, he looks primed and ready to make the jump into a more significant role in Oklahoma’s secondary.
“I think he’s getting ready to play some really, really good ball for us,” Riley said. “We’ve been thrilled with his improvement.”