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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Reports - OU hiring Arizona State’s Jamar Cain

Cain will coach outside linebackers at OU, stepping in for Ruffin McNeill.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Oklahoma Sooners have hired Jamar Cain as outside linebackers coach.

Cain served as defensive line coach for the Arizona State Sun Devils in 2019, his only season as a member of coach Herman Edwards’ staff. Prior to his arrival in Tempe, Cain spent two seasons overseeing the defensive line of the Fresno State Bulldogs. He was at North Dakota State for three years under Chris Klieman before that.

Super reporter Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports broke the news of OU’s hire, and he noted that Cain is seen as a “rising star” in the football coaching community. SunDevilsSource.com later confirmed Feldman’s initial report.

It should come as little surprise that Cain has been hailed for his prowess as a recruiter. He played a key role in selling some of the top prospects in the Sun Devils’ 2020 class on ASU.

Cain’s reputation in the California likely caught the eye of OU coach Lincoln Riley, who seems fixated on boosting the Sooners’ talent pool. In addition to his stint at Fresno St., Cain hails from Sacramento. One of his children is named Cali.

Recruits from the Golden State are heading outside its borders in droves as the state’s top programs struggle to find their footing. Of 247Sports.com’s top 15 recruits in the 2020 class in California, two are heading to in-state schools. With teams such as USC and UCLA flailing, national powerhouses like Alabama and Clemson are starting to flex their recruiting muscles around the state. The Sooners, however, have seen their brand wane there in recent years after a fruitful decade of landing big-time California talents.

On the field, Cain is stepping into an attractive situation in Norman following the departure of veteran assistant Ruffin McNeill. The Sooners developed a steady duo at RUSH LB early in the season between junior Jon-Michael Terry and redshirt freshman Nik Bonitto. When JMT went down with an injury in the middle of the season, rookie David Ugwoegbu showed flashes of greatness once pressed into service. Additionally, blue-chip recruit Joseph Wete from the 2019 class redshirted during his freshman year.

In an interview with Michelle Gardner of azcentral.com, Cain described the opportunity to coach at OU as “too good of an offer to pass up.”