April 7, 2013

Dalton: 'It Was Everything I Could Ever Want'

Troy, Ohio offensive lineman Alex Dalton knew he was interested in Oklahoma, interested enough to know that he wanted to visit. But following his trip to Norman on Tuesday it's pretty clear that that interest was almost completely based on his long-time relationship with Oklahoma's new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.

In fact, Dalton gushed about how the setup in Norman could be 'perfect' for him.

"Just looking at it, every thing is perfect, it was everything I could ever want and ask for and more," Dalton said. "The coaches, they are great. I like their mentality and the facilities and stuff, they are great, everything is in the same area, in terms of locker room practice fields, that type of deal, the facilities connect right to the stadium.

"I think I could really fit in honestly. They win a lot and that's kind of what I'm looking for - I want to win and you're not guaranteed but you have a pretty good chance at winning something when you're at Oklahoma."

The physical setup of things in Norman clearly caught his eye, but like any football player it's the chance to play that may be as noteworthy as anything else.

"In terms of playing, there is a great shot of playing there. What coach Bedenbaugh said is that they graduate like nine offensive lineman in the next two years, that's a pretty large number," he admitted.

While every school loves that a player would spend his own money to visit. However, the most notable downside of an unofficial visit, for the host school, is that the visiting prospect doesn't get the same opportunities to spend time around the current players to get a feel for how he might fit into the group dynamic.

Though it wasn't perfect to get a feel for the Sooners offensive line unit, Dalton got to watch the offensive line group from afar and even talked to one fellow native Ohioan.

"At practice and stuff, I got to talk to them while they were in drills and they seemed really personable and caring. You can tell at practice they are all together and are a big family, I guess you could say," he said. "I talked to (Sam Grant), from Ohio, he said it wasn't even a problem to transition from Ohio to Oklahoma."

One guy who hopes he'll believe in Grant's pitch is Sooner head coach Bob Stoops, who Dalton says was a near constant element of his time in Norman.

"I would say that, I talked to him - not just as much as any other coach - but for a great amount of time he was with us following us around on the tour and my dad and I got to talk with him and we got to spend a lot of time with him," Dalton said.

"I think my dad think a lot of the same things that I did. We got to talk to an academic advisor and everything like that. The degree, everything that I want to get is there and I'm kind of excited about that."

With all this being said, the one part of the visit he came in with a knowledge of was his respect and affinity for Bedenbaugh. After a day around the first-year Sooner assistant, nothing has changed.

"Like I said, coach Bedenbaugh is great. Obviously I've known him through Facebook and West Virignia, but seeing him down there at Oklahoma was great. I like the coaching style and everything he does," he said.

"He told me that I would play the center or guard position so I was watching those guys a bit."

So with a visit just a few days later to Stanford, how does Dalton see things prior to his trip to Palo Alto?

"I guess I could just say that Oklahoma is definitely a strong choice in the commitment process. I'm just looking at them a lot more."

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