With a tweet early Friday morning that new(ish) Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh would be in Ohio on a recruiting trip, the news later that day of a verbal commitment from Troy (OH) offensive guard Alex Dalton probably shouldn't have come as much of a surprise.
Dalton has been someone the Sooners have been focused on for some time and after a trip to Norman with his family earlier this month a decision could have come at almost any time. Presumably with Bedenbaugh in town following up, Dalton had made up his mind and confirmed his commitment as first reported by SoonerScoop.com.
Friday's commitment would make it Oklahoma's second just this week after picking up a pledge last Sunday from defensive back Marcus Green.
Dalton plays primarily offensive guard for his high school team, but the prevailing theory amongst those who follow Oklahoma recruiting is that he'll eventually wind up at center for the Sooners. Much like Gabe Ikard and Ty Darlington before him, Dalton is a very intelligent guy and fits the mold of what Oklahoma has traditionally looked for with their interior offensive linemen. Big (6'4" 280 lbs), athletic players who get out into space, pull on run plays, and get to that second level of the defense.
As many are aware, the Oklahoma coaches have taken a more national approach to their recruitment of prospects and clearly that is evident here going into a state in which they rarely draw talent from. In fact, as our friend Josh McCuistion notes Dalton's verbal commitment is significant in its rarity.
Dalton is Oklahoma's first offensive line commitment for the 2014 class and would represent the second commitment for Bedenbaugh since his hiring this past spring. The talented offensive lineman also held offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, and Yale among others before committing to Oklahoma.
Welcome to Sooner Nation, Alex!