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Overlooked but solid

by John Helsley Published: May 13, 2011
Beau Johnson was overlooked but a solid recruit
Beau Johnson was overlooked but a solid recruit

by Brandon Chatmon
Follow me on Twitter @BChatmon

One of the main reasons for Oklahoma State’s recent rise has been quality evaluation on the recruiting trail. Running back Kendall Hunter, a two-time All-American, was a hidden gem out of Tyler, Texas and 2010 Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon was an overlooked prospect out of Plainview High School in Ardmore.

I decided to review recent OSU recruiting classes because it gives you a better feel for where the players you will see making plays on Saturdays this fall came from. And it makes it easier to understand recruiting is a full of unknowns so assuming an elite recruit will become an elite playmaker is fool’s gold, especially once you get past the players who are simply freaks of nature with sheer physical ability which is unmatched.

Here’s a look back at OSU’s recruiting Class of 2008 with a detailed look at each recruit, their ranking when they arrived on campus and their production or potential in the three years since joining the program. (I’ll break the class into several different blogs in the next few days)

Overall class rankings

Rivals ranking: #26

Scout ranking: #40 ranking: unranked. Given a C in overall grades in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri.


Maurice Gray, cornerback

Rivals ranking: 4 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Arizona State, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Ole Miss and others.

Impact on the program: Played a contributing role behind Perrish Cox and Terrance Anderson and on special teams in 2009. Probably not the impact expected from a four-star recruit but he wasn’t a complete bust.

Analysis: A decent pickup. Not great, not bad. Frankly, the type of player the Cowboys won’t recruit anytime soon because they have enough talented young corners on the roster and don’t need a veteran corner to play immediately.


Patrick Hoog, offensive guard

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Baylor, Colorado State, Rice, Texas Tech, UTEP.

Impact on the program: Hoog has played a special teams role early during his career and provides solid depth. He entered the spring as the backup behind Lane Taylor at right guard and is one of the reasons OSU feels really good about its depth.

Analysis: A solid pickup. While not a starter, Hoog is developing nicely and provides quality depth along the offensive line. If needed, he could step in and hold his own.


Justin Horton, tight end/inside receiver

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Nebraska, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Tulsa.

Impact on the program: Horton has seen the field in spot duty since his redshirt freshman season. He has incredible potential thanks to his size (6-3, 240) and speed. The perfect type of player to stretch defenses with his speed in the middle of the field but he has not brought consistent production to the table thus far. He has five career catches.

Analysis: Another solid pickup. If he steps up and begins to fulfill his potential he will become a great pickup thanks to his unique physical gifts. Regardless he should make an impact in spot duty on special teams and offense.


Beau Johnson, running back

Rivals ranking: 4 stars

Scout ranking: 4 stars

Other offers: Kansas, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Kansas State, Kentucky.

Impact on the program: Johnson had two solid seasons as a backup running back for the Cowboys. Kendall Hunter was All-Big 12 in front of him in 2008 and Kieth Toston was All-Big 12 in front of him in 2009 so we never will know what Johnson could have done if he was “the man”. He had TWO NFL running backs ahead of him.

Analysis: Johnson was a four star recruit who never became a starter. Does that make him a disappointment? Maybe or maybe not. I personally would say no because he did make plays when he got the opportunity, it’s not his fault Toston and Hunter were on campus at the same time.


Victor Johnson, safety

Rivals ranking: 4 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Miami (Fla.), Nebraska.

Impact on the program: Contributed immediately upon his arrival but two knee injuries derailed his Cowboy career. Johnson also had some off-the-field issues and he transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma State University this spring.

Analysis: When on the field and healthy, Victor Johnson was a playmaker. But the combo of injuries and off-the-field troubles doomed his Cowboys’ career. A very good football player who just didn’t pan out for a number of reasons.



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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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