With classes beginning Monday, Oklahoma State officially announced its four early enrollees for the 2014 signing class — two incoming freshmen in quarterback Mason Rudolph and running back Devon Thomas and two junior college transfers in athlete Tyreek Hill and linebacker Devante Averette.
All four players will participate in winter conditioning and spring practice.
Rudolph, who’s rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, is expected to compete right away for the starting quarterback job after a monster senior season at Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern. While running the Air Raid spread — the system installed at OSU by Dana Holgorsen — the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Rudolph completed 72.6 percent of his passes for 4,377 yards, 64 touchdowns and eight interceptions while adding 543 rushing yards and 16 scores.
Thomas, a three-star prospect from Broken Arrow, has averaged more than five yards per carry during the past two seasons and has totaled more than 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns during that time.
Hill, who is rated the No. 4 junior college player in the nation by Rivals, is a versatile weapon who can be used at slot receiver, running back and on returns. An elite speedster, Hill tallied 32 catches for 532 yards and six touchdowns and 101 carries for 659 yards and five touchdowns for Garden City Community College in Kansas in 2013. He’s a primary candidate to replace the production of Josh Stewart, who announced he would forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft last week.
Averette, a three-star prospect, was named a first-team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association after racking up 92 tackles (29 for loss) and four sacks in seven games for Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa this past season. The 6-0, 230-pound prospect is expected to have an immediate impact for a Cowboy squad that loses two starting linebackers in Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey and a key reserve in Joe Mitchell.