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OSU class will feature strong emphasis on defensive tackles

BY BRANDON CHATMON Modified: January 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm •  Published: January 30, 2011

Oklahoma State will look to continue to increase the overall talent on its roster when the Cowboys sign around 26 recruits on Wednesday. Several aspects of the Cowboys approach to its recruiting class reveals how the coaching staff aims to improve the program.

Here's a look at five things OSU's current recruiting class tells us:

1. Strong emphasis on defensive tackles. The Cowboys have four current defensive tackle commitments. OSU is coming off an 11-2 season, but 2010 underscored the importance of depth at the defensive tackle position.

Starters Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson had excellent seasons but probably participated in more plays than necessary. The Pokes entered last season searching for depth and were forced to burn Davidell Collins' redshirt season due to early injuries. The Cowboys are taking steps with this recruiting class to ensure they aren't in a similar position in the future.

2. Passing the ball will remain a staple of the offense no matter who takes over as offensive coordinator. OSU has four players projected to play receiver and one projected running back on its commitment list. Dallas (Texas) Lake Highlands' Desmond Roland has the versatility to play either position.

Receivers David Glidden, Isaac McCoy, Josh Stewart and Johnny Haynes should help provide depth at receiver and one or two could even emerge as targets for quarterback Brandon Weeden this fall.

Meanwhile, Herschel Sims is the Pokes lone running back commitment and will join Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle in the backfield competition. That's three running backs to carry the load. If the Pokes planned to add more running to their attack, they'd likely bring in more ball carriers.

3. OSU feels really good about the young offensive linemen on campus. The Cowboy commitment list features three offensive linemen and two (Michael Bowie and Travis Cross) are already on campus. Coach Mike Gundy sung the praises of last season's five offensive line recruits during their redshirt seasons in 2010 and return all five starters.

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