Sooners look to future at OL

OU has tried hard on the recruiting trail for offensive linemen for 2014 but so far it has fallen short. Not panic mode yet because of the strong start for 2015.

It's just not working right now for Oklahoma and offensive line recruiting. First-year coach Bill Bedenbaugh has hit the ground running, has put in all the work but has yet to really reap the rewards for his efforts.

Wednesday was another example of OU falling just short with a top target. Going into last weekend it looked like Iowa Western College offensive guard Sebastian Tretola was going to end up a Sooner. But a trip to Arkansas changed that, and he signed with the Razorbacks.

Add him to the list. Tyler (Texas) JC guard Frank Kee was down to OU and TCU but picked the Horned Frogs. The Sooners were firmly in the mix for Dallas Skyline's Ty Barrett before he shocked a lot of OU fans by also picking TCU.

Tuesday brought more bad news as Chicago Simeon three-star tackle Denzel Ward said he has decided to not visit OU on the weekend of Jan. 17. The Sooners spent a lot of time in the last month trying to convince him to see Norman but the two sides couldn't see eye-to-eye.

Less than two weeks ago it was College of Dupage tackle Fahn Cooper picking Ole Miss after it looked like the Sooners were the team to beat. A great OU visit was negated by 48 hours in Oxford.

At this point OU has no offensive tackle commits and two interior linemen. Those are set as Troy (Ohio) High center Alex Dalton and Mesquite (Texas) Horn guard Jonathan Alvarez aren't going anywhere.

But the Sooners need offensive tackle help now and the options aren't looking that favorable heading into 2014.

OU's best chance is out west with Utah commit Kenyon Frison. The Utes aren't giving up without a fight and Arizona State is also chiming in to make things difficult.

The Sooners did everything they could with Frison during his official visit last month, and OU has been pulling out all the stops so far in trying to get him to switch.

OU has also pursued Dallas Bishop Dunne's Jovan Pruitt but that appears to be fading away as well. Pruitt, committed to Arkansas since June, seems to be a firm Hogs commit as more and more time goes by.

January will be an interesting time for Bedenbaugh as he has one of two choices – either try to find some under the radar prospects for 2014 or focus solely on 2015.

The latter option isn't a bad one as two OU's three commits for the class are Scout 300 offensive linemen. Oklahoma City Casady guard Josh Wariboko committed in June, while Allen (Texas) High tackle Bobby Evans did the same in July.

With either the ties to the program or the proximity, it feels like OU won't have to worry about the commitment status of either Wariboko or Evans.

As good as Wariboko is, he's not even the top-rated guard in the state for 2015. That distinction is reserved for Lawton (Okla.) High's Jalin Barnett. Bedenbaugh has developed an incredible bond with Barnett, and OU is the clear favorite at this point.

The last couple of weeks haven't been kind to OU with its offensive line recruiting, but Bedenbaugh has put in the work and planting the seeds. But sooner rather than later, the results have to come along as well.


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