Back to drawing board for Sooners with OL

The Sooners have come so close but so far with many top offensive linemen targets in the last couple of months. Where does OU go from here?

All the recruiting momentum it felt like Oklahoma had built left almost as quickly as it arrived. The Sooners nabbed one big-time commitment Friday but missed out on a huge target Saturday.

OU fans were expecting at least one commitment this weekend but nobody expected it to be from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain four-star wide receiver Mark Andrews.

The prevailing thought was OU was going to have to wait patiently until around 6 p.m. Saturday when Dallas Skyline four-star offensive tackle Ty Barrett would choose the Sooners in a public ceremony.

But there was no crimson and cream. Sparked by a secretive trip to TCU last weekend, Barrett went from being the cornerstone of OU's offensive line class to now donning the purple with the Horned Frogs.

This isn't a doom-and-gloom scenario for the Sooners, but it is a significant blow. OU was the first school to look into Barrett following his freshman season. Then-OU offensive guards and center coach James Patton started talking with Barrett and developing the relationship.

When Patton and then-OU offensive tackles coach Bruce Kittle left the program in February, many wondered how that would impact Barrett's recruitment.

In reality, it did nothing. OU hired Bill Bedenbaugh as offensive line coach and Bedenbaugh was actually the first coach to offer Barrett back when Bedenbaugh was at West Virginia.

Bedenbaugh and OU first-year tight ends coach Jay Boulware aggressively pursued Barrett throughout the last six months and many thought their hard work would culminate with the pledge Saturday.

Now that it didn't, it's a setback for OU. It's a setback for the offensive line class. And it's a setback for the Sooners recruiting in the Dallas Metroplex area.

OU pegged two tackles in the area as top priorities in Barrett and Dallas Bishop Dunne tackle Jovan Pruitt. The Sooners were able to get both on campus. And in Barrett's case, on campus four or five times in a 12-month span.

Pruitt, though, committed to Arkansas last month and of course Barrett went to TCU on Saturday evening.

Add in Allen (TX) three-star linebacker Christian Sam picking Arizona State on Thursday, and it was a rough week for OU recruiting in Texas.

Nothing Bedenbaugh can do but go back to the drawing board. He won't cry about it. And as aggressive as Bedenbaugh has been, this shouldn't derail the offensive line class. He will find others because he has an eye for linemen.

Right now, though, it's tough to find who the most realistic target is at offensive tackle. A lot of top targets have flown off the board in the last two months.

The silver lining for OU is how well Bedenbaugh has done on the trail for the Class of 2015. The Sooners already have two offensive linemen pledged for that crop so the sky isn't exactly falling with the offensive line.

But Bedenbaugh no doubt has some work to do to shore up the 2014 group. Good thing for OU fans, the dominoes fell early. With six months until signing day, Bedenbaugh has ample time to find quality prospects.

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