STILLWATER — Surprises from Oklahoma State's spring finale?
“I think Charlie Moore probably surprised everybody,” Mike Gundy said.
Well, almost everybody.
“I've been saying that he's gonna be an All-American since the first day of spring,” Cowboys running back Joseph Randle said afterward. “I was like, ‘That's a future All-American right there.'
“It doesn't surprise me at all. I think he's gonna be great for us this year.”
Moore, a junior wide receiver who's been but a bit player at OSU so far, must first command a starting spot — which is no guarantee — yet Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium, he put up the kind of numbers a certain recent two-time Biletnikoff Award winner used to produce: nine receptions, 243 yards and three touchdowns.
And those numbers even surprised Moore, when informed, following the game.
“That's a good day,” he said, after allowing those totals to sink in a bit. “That's awesome.”
For a Cowboys offense missing the alluded to Justin Blackmon and quarterback Brandon Weeden … uh, yeah.
And Moore's big day doesn't sound like one of those spring sensation stories, where a guy shines for two hours and then fades into the background come fall. By all accounts, and Randle's talent evaluator skills, Moore has been one of the pleasant developments of the past month and more.
“He finished the spring in the right way, on an upswing,” said receivers coach Kasey Dunn. “But he's been getting better every week. It's not like today he had a great day. We see that every day.”
Outside the OSU inner circle, however, few saw it coming.
Moore came to the Cowboys after starring as a dual-threat quarterback in Bullard, Texas. Signed as an “athlete,” he was tried at receiver and has been toiling there ever since, through a redshirt year in 2009 and two seasons of working on special teams and totaling seven receptions for 143 yards and one touchdown in 25 games.
He blew those numbers away with one spring Saturday.
And he blew away the fans, several of whom sought Moore out for autographs and photos on the field when it was all over.
Just the way he envisioned it?
“I wish I could say that,” Moore said. “I just woke up this morning. It was a good day. I came out here, just wanted to have fun with the guys. It turned out to be a good scrimmage.”
Another surprise: Moore can really run, evident on his first touchdown, a 59-yard catch and romp that saw him run away from several defensive backs for the score.
“The really good thing, I didn't realize, he had that much speed,” Dunn said. “When he took that and ran away from a couple of our guys … that's a 6-2 guy who can really run, too. That was the nice thing for us.
“There really hasn't been a live situation — I've seen him catch posts down the field, I've seen him run by guys — but to see him catch something short and take it 50, 60 — that's big.”
Finding receivers was a key quest of the spring for the Cowboys, who lose Blackmon, Josh Cooper and Colton Chelf. Dunn said he was pleased with the developments, particularly the play of Moore.
There's still work to be done, with Moore still viewed as a backup to Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson on the outside. But in the Cowboys' offense, there's plenty of room and reps in the rotation. And the two Moores give OSU a pair of big targets, with each at 6-2 and approaching 210 pounds.
Tracy enjoyed a strong game, too, catching four passes for 82 yards and two scores.
That tandem seems to be striking quite a relationship, too.
Before his first real media session, Charlie was summoned by Tracy for a photo with him and his family.
“They're starting to call us ‘salt and pepper,'” Charlie said. “That's been our spring nickname.
“If you noticed, every time we'd score, we'd go over and wipe the ‘Moore' off our jersey. It's our little deal.”