Bedenbaugh’s patience paid off
Look, it’s understandable. Everything in recruiting is done earlier and earlier and the calendar has been accelerated by months when it comes to putting together a class.
It was April, and despite the incredible success of Oklahoma’s offensive line during the 2018 season, the Sooners had zero offensive line commitments. Top targets like Turner Corcoran (Nebraska) and Akinola Ogunbiyi (Georgia, then Texas A&M) were falling by the wayside.
Didn’t make much sense then, but to doubt offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh? His track record has proven he’ll get the job done.
He’ll get the job done in recruiting. He’ll get the job done in development. And the ultimate goal, he’s going to send players to the NFL.
Bedenbaugh watched as four of his pupils were selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft (Cody Ford, Bobby Evans, Ben Powers, Dru Samia) the last weekend of April.
Coincidentally enough, the offensive line commitments started pouring in during May and concluded Thursday evening with a fifth four-star prospect in Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy tackle Aaryn Parks.
Count it all up. Five four-star prospects. One Rivals 100 in Parks. Add three more in Rivals 250 with Nate Anderson, Anton Harrison and Andrew Raym and a borderline 250 prospect in Noah Nelson.
Indeed, not bad.
The story: Anderson got the ball rolling. He took an unofficial visit to campus the week after the NFL Draft, and it was a done deal from that point on. Anderson was an under the radar three-star guy when OU made the leap, and now he’s close to being a Rivals 100 guy himself. He has been locked in with the Sooners and doesn’t seem to be any hint of him looking elsewhere.
The story: Nelson took an official visit the same weekend as Anderson. After Anderson had his moment in the sun, Nelson would do the honors a week later. It was down to OU and Michigan for the Arizona recruit, and Bedenbaugh was able to earn another victory. Nelson has made three trip to Norman so far and has ingrained himself with the #20Deep class.
The story: From there, it was Raym. A one-time OU commit, Raym backed off in spring 2018 only to come back home again this summer. It was a battle vs. Georgia here, but Bedenbaugh once again got the job done. Raym might be the most underranked prospect in the group and has a chance to become one of the best linemen to ever come from the state of Oklahoma.
The story: In a holding pattern with Jonah Monheim, but once those eyes went to USC, it opened the door for Harrison and Parks. The duo made their official visit to OU for the first game of the season vs. Houston. You knew it went well, but you didn’t realize how well until the Lincoln Riley eyes started to pop up in waves just days after the visit.