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Oklahoma football: Bill Bedenbaugh hiring signals end of divvied-up offensive line duties

Bill Bedenbaugh's hiring signals the end to OU's two-year experiment of having its offensive line divvied up between James Patton and Bruce Kittle, who were both fired last week.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 16, 2013

But Oklahoma hasn't shown significant improvement — in terms of production or recruiting — on its offensive line. OU ranked 50th nationally in rushing offense in 2011, and 60th last season.

Several significant injuries severely limited the 2012 Oklahoma line, but it often performed better than expected considering its attrition. Tackle Lane Johnson went from preseason backup to being a probable top-15 pick in April's NFL Draft.

Still, despite offering dozens of 2013 offensive-line prospects scholarships, Patton and Kittle landed just three: Daimler, and junior-college transfers Josiah St. John and Dionte Savage.

Bedenbaugh, on the other hand, brings his strong recruiting reputation to Norman. He was named one of the nation's top-50 recruiters earlier this month by, and was responsible for many of West Virginia's top 2013 signees, like receiver Shelton Gibson, a four-star prospect from Cleveland.

“He's a really good recruiter,” said Mitch Vingle, sports editor of the Charleston Gazette. “People here were really hoping he'd stay because he did such a good job with this recruiting class.”

Throughout the recruiting process, Daimler developed close relationships with both Patton and Kittle, and admitted he “wasn't too happy” when he found out they wouldn't be his coaches.

But Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel called Daimler late last week to tell him about Bedenbaugh, and Daimler said he's eager to work with him.

“They've told me he's a huge technician,” Daimler said. “He's just hard-nosed, and he's gonna keep working you until you do it right.

“He's gonna get my full potential out of me.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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