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Oklahoma State football: Large, impactful group of Cowboy seniors looking to go out in style

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, Published: January 2, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas — Glenn Spencer struggled to find the words to describe the emotions he'll feel following Friday's Cotton Bowl.

“It will be tough in that locker room after that game,” the Oklahoma State defensive coordinator said.

“Tough,” even if the Cowboys beat Missouri to finish the season 11-2. “Tough,” because of the guys who will leave the program once the game is over.

No matter the team or the season, bowl games always double as a senior sendoff. But this group of 28 Cowboys has been especially impactful, loaded with major contributors for multiple seasons during arguably the brightest stretch in program history.

Beat Missouri, and these seniors become the winningest class in school history, before the Cowboys undergo a major personnel overhaul heading into the 2014 campaign.

“Their leadership, the way they've handled themselves and the character and what they're passing onto the younger group is very special,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said. “After last year's group and even the team from 2011, I wasn't sure that I could ever continue to say that, but this group has been terrific.”

It's a class that includes guys who have started since their freshman season (linebacker Shaun Lewis) or sophomore season (linebacker Caleb Lavey, safety Daytawion Lowe, cornerback Justin Gilbert, offensive lineman Parker Graham).

It includes mainstays like receivers Tracy and Charlie Moore, running back Jeremy Smith, defensive tackle Anthony Rogers and linebacker Joe Mitchell.

It includes a guy who overcame the physical hardships of a horrific knee injury to become a ferocious blocker in Kye Staley. And one who overcame emotional adversity to become a second-team All-Big 12 quarterback in Clint Chelf.

And what an adventure it's been for the collective group.

Many of them redshirted the same season a sparkling Boone Pickens Stadium and West End Zone opened in 2009. They were youngsters during the Weeden2Blackmon era, including the surprise 2010 season and the magical 2011 Big 12 title run. Then they were part an odd 2012 that included a multitude of injuries, a three-man quarterback carousel and a tumble down the bowl pecking order.

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