STILLWATER — On Tuesday, the day before Mike Gundy, coaches and their families left for three days at Grand Lake, Oklahoma State's third-year football coach answered some questions about the season ahead. The Cowboys kick off the year with a road game at Georgia, one of the top non-conference contests of the college football season. Gundy, in his third season at OSU, talked about the state of the program and the fate of injured receiver Artrell Woods: Q: What's your reaction to some who have predicted OSU is a sleeper pick to challenge for the Big 12 title this season? A: For the first time, probably since the '80s, the perception has changed in this region, which is important in recruiting. Q: Is it realistic to win the Big 12 this year? A: We have players who can compete in this league. As a coach, player, probably a fan, if I go to a game, and know if we play well we can win that's all you can really ask for. Q: Even if OSU doesn't win the Big 12 this year, can the Cowboys win Big 12 titles and compile top 10 recruiting classes over the next five to 10 years? A: Oh, yeah. When we finish these facilities, have surround sound, plush carpet, all the things we're putting in, give players the best things possible, as good as anyone in the country, recruiting will keep getting better. We're already recruiting pretty well. It won't go the other way. Q: So you feel you can compile recruiting classes similar to Texas'? A: What I'm talking about has nothing to do with Texas. What we do won't slow them down. But when the facilities are finished, do I think we can compete with anybody and have top 10 recruiting classes? Yes. I don't have any doubts about that. We take great care of the players, treat them right and will offer them the very best. I can't go back and change 50 years of tradition. But I don't care about that. Q: So where is the program right now? A: People say we've turned the corner. No. You turn the corner when you win the Big 12. We haven't turned the corner. But the steering wheel is turning. We haven't arrived, yet. The best way to sum it up is for a long time around here there was no pride. If you tie it all together — we're paying to keep our coaches, will have the finest facilities and have a staff that's good at recruiting — that bodes well for the future. Q: What was your reaction when told of Artrell Woods' spinal injury? A: I really felt for the young man. Here's a guy who has done everything right and put himself in position to be a really good player and gets hurt in a freak accident. He's one of our hardest workers. I've been told he's been diving for balls all summer (in practice). Why do these things happen? You don't know. Q: Because it's a routine drill is there anything that could have prevented it? A: No. (That drill) is something that happens no less than a million times during the summer (across America). You think of his mom and can imagine what she went through. She's scared to death... I couldn't get back until the next day. The support from our coaches and players was unbelievable. The medical care he received was tremendous, the best he could get. Q: Will the staff consider moving defensive backs Perrish Cox or William Cole to wide receiver? A: We don't know what we're going to do, yet. Those are things we're still discussing. We signed four wideouts in this class. We signed Cole as a corner. I don't see William Cole moving. Perrish Cox hopefully is going to move his way into a starting spot at cornerback. Q: Is it realistic to think Dez Bryant and other freshman receivers could play a key role in the opener at Georgia? A: Not many freshmen can come in and play right away. I'm not saying they can't. We train them to play right away and would like for them to (play right away). But you can't count on that for the first game. Half of this class is ready athletically. But that doesn't mean they can go play the first game between the hedges.
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Mike Gundy Coach is in his third season as the Cowboys' head coach