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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Sooners nab much-needed OL in Alvarez

By Damon Sayles

Offensive line is position of need for Oklahoma, and on Tuesday, the Sooners picked up a player hungry and determined to show he's even better than advertised.

Interior lineman Jonathan Alvarez (Mesquite, Texas/Horn) verbally committed to Oklahoma and became the second offensive lineman to commit to the Sooners. A 6-foot-3, 305-pound guard, Alvarez is the team’s 14th overall pledge.

Alvarez picked up the offer early Tuesday after chatting with offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh. Before Tuesday, Alvarez had offers from Houston, Louisiana-Monroe, Incarnate Word and Northwestern State, but he said the Oklahoma offer and playing for a consistent Big 12 contender was too good to pass up.

Alvarez joins four-star center Alex Dalton (Troy, Ohio/Troy) as the linemen for Oklahoma’s class so far. Bedenbaugh, in his first season with the Sooners after stints at West Virginia and Texas Tech, recruited both linemen.

Head coach Bob Stoops is high on Bedenbaugh and expects him not only to recruit the best talent but also turn good offensive linemen into great ones. Alvarez, one of the under-the-radar linemen in Texas, said he’s excited about learning from Bedenbaugh.

“I like how you can just tell he’s a great coach,” Alvarez said. “He’s straightforward. There’s no beating around the bush with him. He’s hard on you because he wants you to be better. He’s not going to let you be average.”

The Sooners picked up a player who thrives on lining up against the best defensive linemen. A first-team all-district lineman as a junior, Alvarez is a physical blocker who uses an inquisitive nature to get better. The attitude Alvarez brings to the Sooners can be infectious -- which is far from being a negative for Stoops’ program.

Perhaps more importantly, Alvarez gives Bedenbaugh another lineman to teach. And Bedenbaugh gets to teach a lineman who is ecstatic about learning from him.