STILLWATER — Oklahoma State made a surprising addition to its 2013 recruiting class late last week, with JUCO offensive lineman Colby Hegewood signing a financial aid agreement to transfer to the school and join the Cowboys for fall camp.
Hegewood, who told Rivals he will start practice at right guard, will likely compete for immediate playing time.
He's not the only Cowboy arriving this fall who could see the field early. Here are some of the key positions that will need the most help from newcomers.
(Note: this list does not include midyear enrollees Sam Wren, Brandon Garrett and Naim Mustafaa)
Mike Gundy called OSU's kicking game poor at the beginning of spring ball and just average by the end. Not really a good start to the post-Quinn Sharp era.
But in comes Ben Grogan, who was rated the ninth-best kicker prospect in the nation by Rivals. As a high-school junior at Arlington (Texas) Martin, he won the starting job over Jaden Oberkrom, a Big 12 honorable mention selection as a true freshman for TCU last season.
Grogan's field-goal range extends beyond 50 yards. He also booms touchbacks with regularity and has excelled as a punter.
OSU had just four scholarship cornerbacks in spring football in Justin Gilbert, Kevin Peterson, Ashton Lampkin and Miketavious Jones.
That means the Cowboys will immediately rely on newcomers to add needed depth. Watch out for Jerel Morrow, who was rated a four-star “athlete” recruit, and Darius Curry, the younger brother of OSU redshirt freshman receiver C.J. Curry.
Joseph Randle's early departure for the NFL and Herschel Sims' dismissal last summer were a blow to depth at this position. So the Cowboys signed two backs in this class in Corion Webster and Rennie Childs.
Don't be surprised if one of them gets a fair amount of playing time as the No. 3 back in 2013. Childs is particularly intriguing as a player who changed to a more powerful running style as a senior and nearly rushed for 2,000 yards.
The addition of Hegewood shows that the Cowboys need immediate help along the line after the departures of Lane Taylor, Evan Epstein and Jonathan Rush.
Every backup on the post-spring depth chart — Michael Wilson, Paul Lewis, Zac Veatch, Brandon Garrett and Chris Grisbhy — is in their first or second year of the program. And only Grisbhy has seen the field at this level.
That likely lends itself to competition, meaning the five additional linemen coming in the fall — Zachary Crabtree, Jack Kurzu, Jesse Robinson, Jaxon Salinas and Hegewood — should get a good look during camp.
This isn't exactly a position in need of depth, with the Cowboys' top four receivers returning, Tracy Moore back from a serious ankle injury and youngsters like Brandon Sheperd and Jhajuan Seales ready to contribute.
But Marcell Ateman and Ra'Shaad Samples are arguably OSU's top two signees in the 2013 class. They're likely to play right away.
At 6-4 and 190 pounds, Ateman brings more size as an outside receiver, while Samples, the son of a legendary high school coach in Texas, brings immense knowledge of the game and plenty of speed.