Mike Hamilton is the starting running back, but is there something better out there? The excitement of the unknown is powerful stuff, but the status quo has a quiet comfort. One isn’t as sexy as the other, yet Hamilton isn’t exactly the kind of football player who is going to win a fashion show. With a team that heads into the fall with a lot of questions answered, Hamilton, despite being the incumbent, and an established one at that, isn’t the one turning heads. Bobby Reid will be the quarterback this season. Adarius Bowman and D’Juan Woods are looked in as the top receivers. But will Hamilton be the starting running back? It depends if you want to bet on the unknown or stick with consistent. While Hamilton rushed for 991 yards last season - a freshman school record - it’s the glitz, glamour and potential of new guy Dantrell Savage that provides a siren song. Savage, a junior college running back, is the opposite of Hamilton. He has better speed, better moves and a better, “Did you see that guy go?” quotient. “People are always excited about the unknown,” OSU offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said. “So we know what kind of potential he (Savage) has. Maybe that’s why people are excited about him.” Maybe people are excited about him because when Savage signed to play at OSU in February after playing at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, coach Mike Gundy suggested he could come in and play right away. That’s because Savage has 4.3 speed and ran for more than 2,000 yards in his two seasons at Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, there’s Hamilton. “I don’t know why people aren’t talking about him,” Fedora said. “I guess people want the flash, but Mike’s not a flashy guy. He just gets it done and is never looking for a lot of recognition. He’s a quiet kid who takes pride in what he does in an unselfish way.” Fedora said if the season started today, Hamilton would be the starter. Of course, the season doesn’t start today, and when practice commences in August, the real decisions will be made. “We’ll see who is going to get the majority of the snaps,” Fedora said. “Today, it’s Hamilton. But Hamilton knows if he’s not productive, others will be on the field. That’s what competition is all about.”
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Others to watch
Dantrell Savage is one player who could surprise for OSU this season. Here are three others:
Sept. 2: Missouri State, 6 p.m. Coached by former Kansas coach Terry Allen. Sept. 9: Arkansas State (Little Rock, Ark.), 6:05 p.m. Indians played in zero bowl games in 20th century, but they played in New Orleans bowl last year. Sept. 16: Florida Atlantic, 6 p.m. Will have to replace starting quarterback Danny Embick, who threw for 1,531 yards for 2-9 Owls. Sept. 23: At Houston, 8 p.m. Quarterback Kevin Kolb has passed former Cougar QB great David Klingler as the school's leader in total offense. Oct. 7: at Kansas State, TBA Former Ponca City standout Devin Anderson, after two seasons at Northeastern A&M, might start for 'Cats at defensive back. Oct. 14: at Kansas, TBA New sound to Jayhawk football; color analyst Max Faulkenstein retires after 60 years in the booth. Oct. 21: vs. Texas A&M, 6 p.m. Pretty sorry non-conference lineup: Citadel, Louisiana-Lafayette, Army and Louisiana Tech. Oct. 28: vs. Nebraska, 6 p.m. UCLA on Cornhuskers' schedule in next five years; series with Penn State being discussed. Nov. 4: at Texas, TBA Longhorns don't leave the state of Texas until Oct. 21 -- week eight. Nov. 11: vs. Baylor, 6 p.m. Best player might be a punter: Daniel Sepulveda averaged more than 46 yards per punt last year. Nov. 18: at Texas Tech, TBA Tech playing on Field Turf this season, its first season on something other than Astro Turf since 1970. Nov. 25: vs. Oklahoma, 1:30 p.m. Running back Adrian Peterson, quarterback Rhett Bomar named to Maxwell watch list for the nation's top player. By Andrew Gilman