Arkansas commitment Khari Harding, an Edmond Santa Fe senior safety, will take an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State on Saturday for the Cowboys' nationally televised game against Texas, according to his father, Corie.
Harding holds offers from several Division I programs, but none from any of the in-state schools. His most recent offer came from Washington State; former Oklahoma receiver Jarrail Jackson has been Harding's primary recruiter there.
Harding committed to Arkansas in June, but the Razorbacks' program has been in disarray. The Hogs were upset by Louisiana-Monroe, then routed by No. 1 Alabama, and the coaching situation is very much up in the air with John L. Smith not expected to return next season.
Edmond Santa Fe is 3-1 so far this season and plays in an important district game at Mustang on Friday night.
Harding's uncle, Rodney Harding, was a defensive lineman at OSU in the 1980s.
In addition to Harding, OSU is expecting several key recruits this weekend, according to GoPokes.com.
From the state of Florida, University High School (Fort Lauderdale) teammates Jordan Cunningham and Michael White are expected in for official visits. Cunningham is a 6-3, 180-pound receiver who holds 45 offers. White is a 6-4, 190-pound quarterback.
Current Cowboys commitment Jordan Sterns, a safety from Cibolo Steele High in Texas, will see OSU in action for the first time.
Peyton Newell, a standout junior defensive lineman from Hiawatha, Kan., plans to make the trip following his game Friday night. The 6-3, 275-pound Newell already holds 16 Division I offers, with the Cowboys among them.
“Oklahoma State is right at the top and they have been all along,” Newell's father, Frank Newell, told the website.
GILBERT IS ‘TOO FAST'
Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert is known for his blazing speed, most evidenced by his electrifying kick returns during his two-plus seasons in Stillwater.
More poof can be found in a video produced by the OSU athletic department, showing Gilbert in a race against linebacker Ryan Simmons, who gets the benefit of a clear head start.
Gilbert catches up with Simmons, smiles and chuckles as he taps him on the shoulder, beats him and then throws his arms out like an airplane as he “flies” off the field.
Simmons' response: “He's too fast!”
TEXAS INJURY UPDATE
Texas seemingly received some good news on the injury front, with running back Joe Bergeron declaring to Austin reporters that he “feels fine” after returning from a shoulder injury suffered in the Longhorns' last game at Mississippi.
“It's really nothing, (just) a little bruising,” Bergeron said. “I'm cleared (to play).”
Bergeron has tallied 37 carries for 207 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. He has started all three games for the Longhorns, although he splits carries with Malcolm Brown.
UT is hoping for similar developments with linebacker Jordan Hicks (hip) and kicker Anthony Fera (groin).
HOW GOOD IS TEXAS — AND OSU?
Much has been made of the measuring stick OSU will provide for a Texas team trying to prove itself among the Big 12 and national elite.
But Saturday's game also represents a checkpoint for the reigning Big 12 champion Cowboys as well.
OSU has beaten Texas two straight years — in Austin — and has won more games than any Big 12 team since 2010. Still, the Arizona loss cast some doubt on the defense, and now there's concern at quarterback, where starter Wes Lunt is injured and sure to be replaced this week by J.W. Walsh.
So opportunity flows both ways.
“I look at it as the same for us,” said Cowboys safety Daytawion Lowe. “It's a measuring stick for us. It's our first conference game, we've got a ranked opponent out there. It's really time for us to see if we can bounce back.”