NORMAN — Past, present and future Oklahoma offensive linemen expressed disappointment after Monday’s announcement that position coach James Patton accepted a new position at Indiana.
“I had no clue at all,” said Trinity Valley Community College tackle Josiah St. John, who was recruited by Patton and signed with the Sooners last week.
“It was disappointing. It really upset me. ... I was really looking forward to playing for him.”
Much of the early speculation regarding Patton’s replacement has centered around former Kansas coach Mark Mangino — OU’s offensive coordinator during its 2000 national-title run — although his return to Norman seems unlikely.
West Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh emerged Monday as a frontrunner for OU’s open position, according to a SoonerScoop.com report. Bedenbaugh coached several seasons under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, and spent four years as an Arizona assistant on Mike Stoops’ staff.
Bedenbaugh’s reputation as a strong recruiter bolsters his candidacy; St. John was one of only three offensive line signees in Oklahoma’s 2013 recruiting class, despite OU coaches issuing more than 10 times as many scholarship offers to lineman prospects.
Christian Daimler, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound tackle from Houston, was the only 2013 high-school offensive lineman the Sooners signed.
“Our contact had kinda slowed down, so I kinda figured something was gonna happen,” Daimler said Monday. “I just didn’t know when.” Daimler said Patton direct messaged him on Twitter to deliver the news Monday morning.
“He wished me the best of luck, and told me he thinks I can be a great player at OU,” Daimler said.
Patton was the coach who offered Daimler his OU scholarship, and the two developed a close bond over the recruiting process.
“I’ve known him for quite a while now,” Daimler said. “He was honest with me all the time. He was the one who offered me, so we had a good connection. It’s gonna be weird not playing for him, but I definitely wish him the best of luck.