Bill Bedenbaugh Impressed With Offensive Line Depth, Creed Humphrey's Leadership

Oklahoma Sooners offensive line coach praises newcomers, says he may move players to different positions because "it’s a weird year; you never know what’s going to happen"
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Day to day and week to week, depth charts and personnel availabilities can change at any time. 

Bill Bedenbaugh would love to have 10 or 11 offensive linemen on the Sooners' active roster, but he also realizes that a virus doesn't care what he wants.

With that in mind, the Sooners' stalwart offensive line coach is doing his best to ensure that all his linemen are prepared to play multiple positions.

“In the situation we’re in right now, with guys being in and out for whatever reason it is, we have had very few guys play the exact same position from day one," Bedenbaugh said in a Wednesday video conference call with media. "If you go back to spring, Andrew Raym has played center, he’s played left guard, he’s played right guard, and he’s played right tackle. We still may move a few guys around here and there, but I do think it’s going to help us down the line. It’s a weird year; you never know what’s going to happen.”

Bedenbaugh wasn't explicit, but he seemed to hint that his unit had experienced some attrition due to the COVID-19 virus.

“Two weeks ago, had we played a game, we’d have been in a situation where we had a lot of inexperienced guys playing," he said.

In the year of the unpredictable, the virus could throw a wrench into Bedenbaugh's best-laid plans at any point. But fortunately, he's got a wealth of talent at his disposal, including newcomers like Raym, Nate Anderson, Anton Harrison and Noah Nelson. He's got particular praise for those young guns, and says they're already challenging the elder statesmen along the Sooner line.

“We have a lot of depth," Bedenbaugh said. "There are some really good players that are going to have to be on our scout teams. Guys know that the person behind them is pushing them. It’s a fortunate thing for me that guys have to compete every day. I really feel good about our depth inside, as good as I’ve felt since I’ve been here.”

The interior offensive line obviously revolves around All-American center Creed Humphrey, who provided stability in 2019 as the Sooners rolled out new starters at every other offensive line position. Humphrey could have jumped to the NFL and likely become an early-round draft pick, but chose to return for his redshirt junior season in 2020.

“I think his leadership up to this point has been unbelievable," Bedenbaugh said of Humphrey. "He had some things last year - obviously, he played good last year, but not up to his standards. He’s being his own guy, he’s really playing at a high level right now. He’s on a trajectory to have a really good season.”

For context, Humphrey was a Rimington Trophy finalist last year. If that's not "up to his standards," expect the Shawnee native to utterly dominate in the trenches come the new season.

As for all the twists and turns that 2020 will bring (and has brought), Bedenbaugh is taking it all in stride. It's out of his control, and he's going to continue to make the best of a trying time.

“Is it a challenge? Yes, but it is what it is," he said. "You’ve got to deal with it.”

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