April 1, 2009

Aladenoye Preparing Himself

With several recent departures along the offensive line James Patton may feel that his 2009 signing class can't get to campus soon enough. A player that he seems to have high hopes for is Mesquite (Texas) North Mesquite offensive tackle Josh Aladenoye. The monstrous 6-foot-5, 347-pound blocker says that he has kept in good touch with Oklahoma's offensive line coach and the fourth-year Sooner assistant has big plans for him.

"He really hasn't gotten into what he expect me to do, but they did talk to my coach and they said that I was probably going to be on the two-deep," Aladenoye explained. "Coach Patton and I talked about yesterday's practice. He said they had one bad practice after spring break, but since then they've been getting better every day."

While many would be fearful over such expectations Aladenoye says for him it serves as motivation.

"I wouldn't say it adds pressure, it just makes me more driven. I have to come on with it and they are expecting me to do something, I'm going to be prepared and I'm just going to play," he said.

The nation's No. 42 offensive tackle will be able to see Patton in person again when he comes up for Oklahoma's spring game.

The two have had a chance to further their relationship this spring as Aladenoye's arrival becomes more imminent and while the future Sooner says little has changed there is no doubt what two main things Patton tries to get across to him.

"It's pretty much the same message as when I was first being recruited. He definitely talks a lot more about finishing school strong and getting after it in workout," he said. "He tells me how I need to come up there in shape and just trying to finish the school year strong."

It has been well documented that since Aladenoye's work last spring and summer, and quickly following commitment to Oklahoma that he shed some unwanted pounds though a re-dedication to work in the gym.

He says the work hasn't let up even if the continued weight loss has, if somewhat by design.

"I'm still putting in work. I don't think I've trimmed up as much since the season, I'm about where I was during the season," he said. "I'm keeping my weight steady and trying to add muscle."

It's likely the Sooner coaches would like to see him trim up a bit more but it's just this week that he is expecting to receive his workout manual from the Sooner coaching staff.

In the meantime he has been developing relationships with many of his future teammates.

"I know Jonathan Miller, we are real cool. Me and 'Saint' (Marcus Trice), that's what I know him by. Marcus I've known him since I was a freshman in high school," he said.

"Me and him are pretty close, me and Tom Wort took our official visit together and are pretty cool.

"I know Drew, we're pretty cool and I know big Tyler Evans me and him are pretty cool. I know some of the guys around the area, I know Kevin Brent."

Aladenoye says his fellow Mesquite native's nickname comes from moving to Dallas from the land of the Arch.

"Marcus is from St. Louis, he moved to Mesqiuite, so we've been calling him 'Saint' really ever since," he said.

The bond the group has made will be put to the test when they arrive on campus this summer. While on his official visit Aladenoye was informed by Alex Wiliams that this coming summer would be unlike any before it.

"When I was up there for my official visit, we went to a restaurant. I said I wasn't that hungry but Alex told me 'Schmitty (strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt) is going to get it out of you, so you better eat'," Aladenoye recalled.

"He also told me that Schmitty loves lineman and loves working hard. I've heard his funnest group is the lineman group. Alex was telling me that he'll work you hard but he'll be fair.

"He said he would cut you some slack if you are working hard but if he thinks he can get more out of you, he will."

Aladenoye says that he'll graduate the day before he reports to Oklahoma's opening of summer workouts and though he knows it's going to be a whirlwind of activity he is still excited about it.

"I really can't wait to get up there and feel the environment. I went to OU to win national championships and that's what I'm going up there to do," he said.

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