After the first visit to Oklahoma in March, offensive lineman Alex Dalton (Troy, Ohio/Troy) was pretty sure he would wind up with the Sooners.
Following the second visit, he was sure OU was the place for him. But he still wasn’t going to rush his decision. He wanted to make the call when he felt ready.
On Friday morning, Dalton was ready. He called OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh to let him know he was pledging to the Sooners.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot here lately,” Dalton said. “There was nothing that really made me feel like I had to do it today, but I knew I wasn’t looking for anything else.”
Bedenbaugh tweeted on Friday morning he was going to be in Ohio for the day, and Dalton said Bedenbaugh spoke with his high school coach during the morning and everybody involved sensed the commitment coming.
Dalton announced a top three of OU, Indiana and Stanford in March following a busy spring break with trips to OU and Stanford. But after the second OU visit, it was more of a top one list than anything else. The Sooners were making their case, and Stanford had backed off a bit.
As the spring evaluation period continued, though, other schools made their push. Arkansas started to get in contact with him. Offers from Nebraska, Louisville and Virginia Tech came and interest from schools like Northwestern or Tennessee started to see what the interest was.
“I was open to go look at them, but I knew what I wanted,” Dalton said. “There wasn’t anything else I was looking for.”
Dalton said he had been messaging with Bedenbaugh on Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis and the relationship was only getting better with each day.
Dalton first forged his relationship with Bedenbaugh when Bedenbaugh was coaching at West Virginia. When Bedenbaugh made the move to OU, one of his first offers was to Dalton.
Dalton was comfortable with Bedenbaugh, but he had to make sure he was 100 percent sure OU met all of his requirements.
“I looked at the school itself for football,” Dalton said. “I thought about where I had the best chance to play. Where I fit in as a player and a person. The distance.
“Oklahoma is not too far away but far away enough for me to make it on my own. My family can visit and watch me play. It all worked out.”
Dalton is being recruited at center by the Sooners although he can also play offensive guard. Dalton is OU’s sixth overall commitment for the Class of 2014 and the second this week.
This is what OU fans were hoping for in getting Bedenbaugh as coach. OU’s first offensive lineman commit for the Class of 2013 came in December. This time around it is seven months earlier. And there is no doubting his commitment.
“I’m excited to have this process over,” Dalton said. “I know that if I would have waited longer, my mind wouldn’t have changed.”