"At his position, it’s difficult to win,” Gundy said.
"I don’t know how many guys at that position have won, maybe two or three. If you’re looking for the best college football player ... he’s a pretty good player. I think he deserves to be in that class.
"If you call around and ask teams we’ve played how they feel about him and the way they try to defend him, they’ll let you know that they give him a lot of respect.”
Gundy said he and his wife, Kristen
, will continue their tradition of touring postgame tailgate parties.
"It’s a lot of fun when you win,” Gundy said. "Get out and see people ... shake hands with alums, or their son or daughter goes here. A lot of strong ties here.”
Gundy said OSU has four defensive ends but is "sitting at 2 1/2” defensive tackles: Derek Burton
, Shane Jarka
and Swanson Miller
"They’re hard to find,” Gundy said. "Everywhere I’ve coached, it’s been hard to sign.”
Gundy said most teams will try to put 15 defensive tackles on their recruiting board, bring in three of those 15 and sign two. The hardest assignment, Gundy said, is finding those 15 to put on the board.
Cowboys excited to open at home
OSU has opened the season on the road six of the last eight years. This year’s seniors, many of whom began seeing significant playing time as sophomores, are excited about the prospects of opening the season at home.
"Being at home is totally different on the field,” senior Perrish Cox
said. "You have all your fans and you’re in comfort mode.”
With the renovated Boone Pickens Stadium and a sea full of orange-clad fans in the stands, the Cowboys should be raring to go against Georgia.
"There’s a real comfort in playing at home,” Gundy said. "Knowing where your locker is, knowing the way to the field, when you warm up, your surroundings, the surface. All those things are important and can affect your game when you play at home.”
Bryant will continue to return punts.