NORMAN — Bill Bedenbaugh became Oklahoma's offensive line coach mere days ago, but already notices the recruiting impact of his new employer's brand.
OU coach Bob Stoops hired Bedenbaugh for several reasons; none more important, though, than his recruiting prowess. Bedenbaugh built his reputation as one of the nation's best in that department during stops at Texas Tech, Arizona and West Virginia.
“I've never been at a place like this,” Bedenbaugh said Wednesday, when he met with reporters for the first time since accepting the job.
“It was hard at West Virginia. ... A bunch of kids that didn't really give me the time of day, they've been Facebooking me and calling me.”
Bedenbaugh arrived in Norman on Saturday, and said he's spent most of his time getting to know his new linemen, reaching out to the Sooners' three 2013 offensive line signees and contacts future prospects.
Spring football practices begin March 6, and Bedenbaugh said it's hard to learn much about a player until they're on the field and in pads. But he's already at least somewhat familiar with many of his new guys, because he recruited most of them.
Bedenbaugh pursued incoming junior-college transfer guard Dionte Savage, but he never expressed much interest in West Virginia.
So the new coach's weekend call to Savage was “a fun one,” Bedenbaugh said.
“I told him who it was, and he just started laughing ... I called him about 50 times and he never answered my calls,” Bedenbaugh said before adding with a chuckle, “I've got something for him.”