Jonathan Alvarez a perfect Bedenbaugh example

A two-star out of high school and now starting as a sophomore, Jonathan Alvarez is another example of why Bill Bedenbaugh is so good at what he does.

More than halfway through the recruiting cycle for the 2016 class, and Oklahoma only has one offensive line commitment in Harrah (Okla.) High offensive guard Logan Roberson.

Ranked as a two-star as of now by Scout, there is hope for Roberson and there is hope for whoever offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh might pluck out of the air this fall.

His name is Jonathan Alvarez, and he’s going to be the starting left guard for the Sooners when the season starts Saturday evening.

Alvarez is an example of both. He was a two-star recruit just like Roberson is now. And he was offered after the first couple of weeks of his senior season just like somebody could be now by Bedenbaugh for this group.

Ranking doesn’t define you. When you’re offered doesn’t define you. The work you put when you get to campus is what speaks volumes.

“It gives me pride to have Coach B trust me that much,” Alvarez said. “But that’s not going to change anything for me. I have to keep working. No breaks.”

Alvarez saw the definition of limited time as a true freshman, backing up center Ty Darlington. Since he had done that role, many expected that was his future. He would wait out Darlington and then take over at center as a junior.

Or there was the possibility he would be the backup to Nila Kasitati. Once again, ride out Kasitati and take over as a junior.

But Alvarez made his case in the spring and never fell back.

“It was pretty clear to us in spring ball that he was going to be a major factor,” first-year offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said.

Alvarez is one of three first-year starters for OU on the offensive line, which is a major question mark for the Sooners entering this season.

He said he learned to read defenses and how to call out signals from Darlington. Kasitati taught him how to be nasty, how to have that mentality of a lineman.

He’s learned from some quality examples, and now he’s ready to see if he can sink or swim on his own just like redshirt freshman offensive tackle Orlando Brown.

“It’s something me and Orlando talk about every day,” Alvarez said. “We’re not supposed to be here right now. We have the capability, and when we put our mind to it, we can be just as great as they are.”

Darlington continues to stress to the offensive the line just how much pressure there is on this group in Riley’s version of the Air Raid offense. Alvarez is not worried about that, he is just ready for his opportunity.

“It’s a great feeling,” Alvarez said. “All the hard work is starting to show.”


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