STILLWATER — Standing on the sideline during Oklahoma State’s football opener against Georgia, Brandon Pettigrew must have been proud of his pupils. The former OSU standout and current Detroit Lions rookie watched as the Cowboys’ tight ends made big plays in the running and passing games to help catapult OSU to a No. 5 ranking.
Wilson Youman, Justin Horton and Cooper Bassett had all eyes on them heading into the game at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The trio of Oklahoma State tight ends began the week preparing for Georgia with thoughts of simply trying to replace Pettigrew. Then, after Jamal Mosley left the program mid-week, all three players were put in a "next-man-up” situation having to replace Mosley as well.
And they responded beautifully.
Youman, the starter at tight end, had two catches for 25 yards. Horton had a key catch, which help set up Zac Robinson’s third-quarter touchdown run.
"When we threw them the ball, they caught it,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "And (those catches) were crucial times.”
The encouraging turn of events earned the group the "Posse Award” for their performance. The "Posse Award” is given to the group of players who performed the best in the previous game.
If Youman, Horton and Bassett continue to develop, they can put OSU in a position where it has more options than last year.
The Cowboys already use a two tight-end formation in the red zone or when they need to run the ball, with Youman and Bassett serving as the blocking tight ends. The formation can become another weapon in the Pokes’ arsenal if Horton develops as a blocker. That would allow OSU to use the formation at any place on the field with Youman and Horton serving as the double tight ends.