football Edit

NFL Dudes on his Wall

HONOLULU, Hawaii - Four-star Rivals100 offensive tackle Josh Conerly was supposed to be playing in a basketball tournament last weekend, but when it got canceled he knew exactly where he was going instead.

Conerly, the top uncommitted offensive tackle in the 2022 recruiting class, used the unexpected free weekend to take an official visit to Oklahoma -- one of his six finalists, along with Michigan, USC, Oregon, Washington and Miami.

"I ended up just having a free weekend so I had to go get it done," he said Friday after Polynesian Bowl practice here in Honolulu.

"Coach [Bill] Bedenbaugh's been asking me to get on campus for a while now, probably the last two years.


"The visit to Norman -- Conerly's second official visit after an early trip to Michigan -- achieved its intent in opening his eyes about the Oklahoma program and the potential he could have within it.

"It's definitely way more than I thought. It's a great place to be, one of the top programs and great atmosphere. I can only imagine it on game day," Conerly said, acknowledging that the experience in Norman did change how he viewed the Sooners in his recruitment."

For sure. I definitely have a lot more interest in the school now."

At a very athletic 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, Conerly, from Rainier Beach HS in Seattle, Wash., is the No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 58 overall national prospect in the 2022 recruiting class.

And he'll likely be the last one to announce his college of choice. Conerly has already said he won't be signing on National Signing Day in February, as he plans to make more visits into March before finalizing a decision. He's also maintained that he's truly remaining wide open about his choices until he finishes all of his visits.

But Oklahoma certainly has his full attention.

"The fact that they win nonstop. A thing that stood out to me when I was there is that they said that 11-2 and is a down year for them. In my eyes, that means the expectations are high and I got high standards for myself," he said.

Bedenbaugh's reputation and track record of producing NFL offensive linemen helps as well.

"As soon as you walk in the [NFL] dudes are on his wall, so that speaks for itself," Conerly said. "...With my athletic ability and with everything they do and the new stuff that they're bringing in, it fits everything I do, and I can feel I can really thrive in that offense."

Conerly liked Bedenbaugh's track record of 'NFL dudes'.
Conerly liked Bedenbaugh's track record of 'NFL dudes'. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Images)

Conerly said head coach Brent Venables was also around throughout his official visit and they had "a lot of great conversations."

When the Sooners' unexpected coaching change happened, he admits he had some uncertainty about the program himself, but no longer.

"Initially it did, but once I found out who they were hiring it was no question," he said.

"Coach V, he's been there and he's already done his thing there and he's coming back just to add on to what he's done. So I feel like he's going to continue to add on to his resume there."