Bedenbaugh put to the test

Bedenbaugh has coached well, recruited well, but now he has having to clean up the mess from previous coaches heading into this season.

No way to grade the job Bill Bedenbaugh has done at Oklahoma the last two seasons other than to say he has been a tremendous success.

On the field, on the recruiting trail, Bedenbaugh has been a huge addition for the Sooners since arriving from West Virginia in February 2013.

OU’s offensive line brought the wood in the 2014 season, helping the Sooners put up staggering rushing totals and playing an integral role in the record-making performance of Samaje Perine when he rushed for 427 yards in a single game.

The Sooners averaged 6.1 yards per rush, 261 yards per game and rushed for 40 touchdowns. The nasty was indeed back in Norman.

Three of his pupils, Daryl Williams, Tyrus Thompson and Adam Shead, participated in the NFL scouting combine less than two weeks ago.

That was then, though, and despite everything Bedenbaugh has done, this season is going to be the best indicator of what he brings to the table.

OU went through numerous coaching changes, but Bedenbaugh was safe. Everybody knew it. There was no threat of him being released, and OU was hopeful there was no threat of somebody trying to poach him away.

Bedenbaugh was asked to clean up the messes of James Patton and Bruce Kittle. Patton coached interior linemen, while Kittle coached offensive tackles.

But the job they did for the 2012 and 2013 classes resulted in OU being in a tough spot. You didn’t see it on the field in 2013 or 2014, but it’s there now.

Not only did OU lose those three combine guys, the Sooners also lost guards Dionte Savage and Tony Feo to graduation. The depth, well, there isn’t much at all.

It stems from the recruiting done for the 2012 and 2013 classes. OU signed two quality guards for the 2012 class in Kyle Marrs and Scout 300 prospect John Michael McGee.

McGee never suited up one time for the Sooners, leaving during the first week of camp. Marrs stuck it out a bit before transferring to Houston and will be eligible for this season for the Cougars.

The 2013 class had OU with a hit with Savage at guard, but the jury is still out with tackles Josiah St. John and Christian Daimler.

Bedenbaugh brought the goods for 2014, especially down the stretch. The offensive line is going to be a major question for OU in the 2015 season, but the future looks bright.

The question is whether or not the future is now with Orlando Brown and Kenyon Frison at the tackle spot. If the future is now with guard Jamal Danley, who arrived on campus two months ago.

For as good as what OU’s 2014 class was on the offensive line, Bedenbaugh did an even better job with the 2015 class.

Bedenbaugh is delivering on the trail, and it has already started with the 2016 class as well. But only one thing remains – he has to try to clean up OU’s past messes one final time.

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