STILLWATER — While the Wes Lunt intrigue dominates this Oklahoma State preseason, his transition to following Brandon Weeden is hardly the only offensive storyline commanding attention.
Another equally pressing issue: How do the Cowboys replace Justin Blackmon's staggering production as a two-time Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver?
The hopeful answer comes in OSU's known commodities.
But also the unknown.
Tracy Moore, Isaiah Anderson, Josh Stewart and Charlie Moore offer familiarity and some level of comfort. But the Cowboys are also counting on as many as six newcomers to pitch in and help keep OSU's spread offense humming.
“When you say you lose Blackmon, you've lost the best receiver in the nation the past two years,” said Charlie Moore, whose big spring game performance may hint at a 2012 breakout. “You can't replace that.
“But as an offense … I think this offense has reloaded pretty well. We'll see when the season starts. But I'm excited.”
And coaches are excited, to an extent.
There's confidence in the veterans, who are all gathering praise for their best work as Cowboys. But in an up-tempo offense that averaged more than 75 plays per game a year ago, two full sets of receivers are necessary, with some seven or eight needed to produce.
Even behind Blackmon and his 122 catches last fall, seven wideouts and slot receivers caught at least 19 balls.
For now, the Cowboys have their four receivers who produced a year ago, including Charlie Moore, who totaled just three receptions.
And they have a cast of newbies.
Seemingly talented newbies — guys who already look the part and who have consistently made plays in practices. Yet unproven newbies just the same, thrust into the fray and asked to contribute immediately.
Some, like true freshmen Brandon Sheperd, C.J. Curry and Blake Webb and junior-college transfer Blake Jackson, come with touted recruiting credentials. And then there's Jhajuan Seales and Austin Hays, seen as late gambles, even reaches, although each has jumped right into the mix and held his own.