Mike Overton hadn't known Jonathan Alvarez for long before he was doing everything he could to get college coaches to fall in love with his offensive lineman the way he had.
It mostly fell on deaf ears.
“They came through here in the spring and, ‘Well, we want a 6-foot-5 tackle,'” Overton, the coach at Mesquite (Texas) Horn, said. “Well, he's not. He's an inside offensive lineman that we're going to play at center and at 6-3.”
But when Oklahoma assistants Cale Gundy and Bill Bedenbaugh came around, Overton's hard sell wasn't necessary.
“He's a great one,” Overton said. “Oklahoma saw that and that's to their credit. There's a lot of people that missed the boat on him. I guarantee that. There's a ton.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Alvarez committed to the Sooners in September.
The Sooners got an up-close look at Alvarez during a camp last summer and when the offer came, it didn't take long for Alvarez to choose the Sooners over offers from Houston, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State and Northwestern State.
Alvarez will play on the interior with the Sooners. While he played center as a senior at Horn, he is likely to primarily be a guard in Norman though he could play center, too.
“He's extremely smart,” Overton said. “He plays center for us and centers have to call out all the defenses and direct blocking schemes and pass protection up front.
“He's like Peyton Manning of the offensive line. The kid's sharp, extremely smart, well thought of among his teammates and he's a heck of a football player.”
Alvarez made a habit of laying pancake blocks on defensive linemen this season but Overton's favorite came on a play that drew a flag for Alvarez.
Horn ran a zone-read play that called for a run block from Alvarez but wound up being a pass.
“He's locking on this guy and he's driving him down the field,” Overton said. “He's nine yards down the field just killing this guy and then turns him over upside down. The official didn't see it until the end so he threw the flag. It made me furious, but that was him. I said, I don't care, keep doing it. That's what we want you to do.”
Hometown/school: Mesquite, Texas/Horn
Position: Offensive line
Height, Weight: 6-3, 280
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