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Oklahoma State football: Joseph Randle's decision will affect Cowboys' future strategy

Whether Randle remains at OSU or declares for NFL Draft, Cowboys will add at least one running back on signing day.
By Gina Mizell Published: January 9, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle, left, was a dependable cog on a banged-up OSU offense. The junior rushed for 1,351 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle, left, was a dependable cog on a banged-up OSU offense. The junior rushed for 1,351 yards and 14 touchdowns. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The knock on Smith, though, is his inability to stay healthy for an entire 12-game regular season. He was hampered by nagging injuries for stretches during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Behind Smith, Roland has experience, tallying 46 carries for 301 yards and four touchdowns in 2012, but hasn't yet been asked to perform in key moments. Muncrief's only touches this season came in blowouts.

Should Randle move on, the 2013 season could also be when the on-the-field effects of last summer's dismissal of Herschel Sims really surface. The former five-star recruit was kicked off the team four days before being charged with two felony counts of second-degree forgery for stealing the ID card and $700 from OSU linebacker Jeremiah Tshimanga. Sims has since pleaded guilty and received deferred sentences.

Randle's choice could also have an impact on recruits who are considering the Cowboys.

OSU already has one running back commitment in Corion Webster, a three-star prospect from Atlanta, Texas. And whether Randle stays or goes, OSU will likely try to add one more back to its class.

If Randle enters the draft, though, could that actually help the Cowboys land an elite back? That would naturally create more opportunity for a young-but-talented newcomer to compete for immediate playing time.

The Cowboys still appear to be in the mix for Altee Tenpenny, who Rivals ranks as the No. 6 back in the country. The North Little Rock (Ark.) product is committed to Alabama, but could visit OSU before Signing Day, according to Rivals.

Randle has until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft. Until his decision comes, the rest of the Cowboy program will wait and prepare to adjust accordingly.