MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Bill Bedenbaugh's three jobs as a Division I offensive line coach have been in three separate parts of the country.
He began at Texas Tech in the western part of the state, where football is an obsession, and then moved west to Arizona, where the locals find the game to be one of many things to do.
Now he's working with a line in flux in a whole new and different part of the country during spring practice at West Virginia.
Amid all the disparities is a constant.
"You recruit to a system," he said.
"Look at the offensive line at Arizona. They were 6-foot-7 tackles, 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 guards, 320, 330 pounds. The center can be a smaller guy - 6-2, 290, 300 pounds. I just think you recruit to the system. I don't think the guys out there had a different body type. They had a different personality.
"They grow up on the beach surfing and all that stuff. These guys are like me. They grew up shoveling snow. That creates a toughness, a hardness to you. At least that's what I'm hoping, that we can find guys like that."
Bedenbaugh, originally from St. Charles, Ill., and a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan, has worked just seven practices with the Mountaineers and hasn't had a scrimmage yet to evaluate any competition.
The first of three this spring is Saturday and it is there where he and the staff will finally begin to craft more permanent ideas, even with left tackle Don Barclay and right tackle Jeff Braun, both starters last season for the Mountaineers, sitting out as they recover from shoulder surgeries.
Thus far, though, Bedenbaugh is more than satisfied with the talent and the potential for depth he says the team really needs.
He's actually a little surprised.
"A lot more physical than I anticipated," he said. "They stick their face in there and make the blocks and get on people, but the biggest thing they've impressed me with is they have their assignments down. That defense fires some stuff at you.
"Do we miss things? Sure we miss things, but they're getting to the right guys. It's about being able to get to the person and make sure he can't push you back into the quarterback and can't put a move on you. You've got to understand the assignment before you have great technique."
Ideally, Bedenbaugh wants to recruit inside players who are around 6-3 but have the arms of someone five or six inches taller. Those players could get under defensive linemen and then use their arms for leverage against the run, but also extend a wingspan to block appropriately against the pass.