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Sharp has proven to be special

by John Helsley Published: June 24, 2011
K/P Quinn Sharp got the chance to show off both legs against Arizona.
K/P Quinn Sharp got the chance to show off both legs against Arizona.

by Brandon Chatmon
bchatmon@opubco.com
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.

 

Overall class rankings

Rivals ranking: #26

Scout ranking: #40

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

Recruits

Jamal Mosley, tight end

Rivals ranking: 2 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Tennessee, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Southern Miss.

Impact on the program: Mosley was slated to replace NFL first round pick Brandon Pettigrew at tight end before off-the-field troubles derailed his time in Stillwater. He’s no longer a member of the program.

Analysis: A talented player who let off-the-field actions end his time at OSU, thus he looked like a gem early on but ended up being a risk not worth taking.

 

Nigel Nicholas, defensive tackle

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Duke

Impact on the program: After a redshirt season, Nicholas played a role in the defensive tackle rotation in 2009. He was a solid backup again as a sophomore in 2010 and is slated to be the man in the middle for this year’s defense. He’s undersized but quick and active in the middle. He brings needed experience to the defensive tackle position for OSU this season.

Analysis: Although this season will be his first as a starter, Nicholas has been very productive for a guy who had only one other offer out of Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland High School. A good job of evaluation by the Pokes.

 

Jermiah Price, defensive end

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia, Southern Miss, UAB

Impact on the program: A juco transfer, Price was solid in two seasons with the Pokes. He had three sacks in 2008 to lead the team and added two sacks in 2009. He was one of the top pass rushers on the team during his time in an OSU uniform.

Analysis: Price did what he was supposed to do during his two seasons in Stillwater. He was in the defensive end rotation and provided experience while youngsters Ugo Chinasa and Richetti Jones got time to develop. A solid, but not outstanding, pickup.

 

Adrian Richards, receiver

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: Arizona, Baylor, Boise State, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and others.

Impact on the program: At 6-foot-4, 187 pounds with good speed, Richards looked the part. But he never impacted the program due to his struggles catching the ball and getting comfortable in the offensive system. He’s no longer on the roster.

Analysis: With a unique size/speed ratio, Richards was probably a risk worth taking but he definitely didn’t pan out. Richards never really lived up to his potential..

 

Quinn Sharp, kicker/punter

Rivals ranking: 3 stars

Scout ranking: 3 stars

Other offers: None but interest from several Big 12 schools.

Impact on the program: One of the keys to OSU’s success in 2010 and 2009. His kickoffs into the end zone make things a lot easier on the defense. And his 46.24 yards per punt average is among the nation’s best.

Analysis: You cannot underrate the impact Quinn Sharp has on football games with his kickoffs and punts. And this season he could take over as OSU’s placekicker. A guy like Sharp is the perfect example why coach Mike Gundy does not hesitate to give scholarships to specialists. Giving Sharp a scholarship was a great decision that has paid major dividends during his two seasons on the field.

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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