Oklahoma State football: Josh Stewart shrugs off label as Big 12's best returning receiver

Even if Stewart is, expect the Cowboys to distribute the football more evenly. Coach Mike Gundy wants to keep Stewart healthy.
by Gina Mizell Published: April 14, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) leaps for a touchdown during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Oklahoma State won 55-34. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) leaps for a touchdown during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Oklahoma State won 55-34. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Yet barring a similar slew of injuries, distributing the ball to a variety of receivers shouldn't be a problem in 2013.

Moore is back after receiving a medical redshirt season. So are fellow seniors Charlie Moore and Blake Jackson. Then mix in youngsters like Austin Hays, C.J. Curry, Brandon Sheperd, Blake Webb, David Glidden and Torrance Carr. Incoming freshmen Marcell Ateman and Ra'Shaad Samples will also challenge for immediate playing time once they arrive for fall camp.

Stewart is also likely to add punt returning to his list of duties this fall, which could mean a slight decrease in his offensive role. Gundy is careful about not physically overloading players, a big reason why Justin Gilbert has not returned punts the past two seasons despite his dynamic abilities as a kick returner.

Stewart has come back motivated this spring, highlighting that he's worked on coming back to the football more on catches rather than just letting the ball fall into his grasp.

And he realizes the amount of talent surrounding him at receiver and his new responsibility on special teams. That means he's fine with his receiving numbers dipping slightly this coming season.

“I've gotta do what I gotta do for my team,” Stewart said. “Even if I don't have the yards or the catches that I did last year, I'll be fine as long as I played my role for the team, which is just when my name's called, make plays and just be a good team player.

“I'm not really into stats and all that type of stuff.”

 

by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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Better to receive

A look at OSU's loaded receiving corps for 2013.

Projected starters

Tracy Moore, senior

Medical redshirt gives him a second chance at his senior season; expected to play both inside and outside receiver.

Josh Stewart, junior

After a breakout sophomore campaign, enters 2013 as the Big 12's top returning receiver.

Blake Jackson, senior

A big, athletic target who led the Cowboys in yards per catch last season; needs to consistently hold onto the football.

Charlie Moore, senior

A big-play threat with solid hands and deceptive speed.

Rotation contenders

Austin Hays, sophomore

One of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, emerging as the Cowboys' top freshman receiver and earning nine starts.

Blake Webb, sophomore

A smart, versatile and speedy target who played at three different receiver spots as a true freshman last season; will now work exclusively on the inside.

C.J. Curry, redshirt freshman

True freshman season was cut short because of a shoulder injury; blend of size and athleticism made him the most highly touted receiver that signed with OSU last year.

Brandon Sheperd, sophomore

Made just one catch for one yard — and a touchdown, no less — against Savannah State in 2012, but has gotten rave reviews from coaches and players throughout the spring.

Torrance Carr, sophomore

Injury nearly wiped out his 2012 season; appeared to display potential as a member of the 2011 scout team and still has time to develop.

David Glidden, sophomore

Has also had trouble staying healthy as a Cowboy; Only catch of 2012 went for a touchdown against Baylor.

John Goodlett, senior

A walk-on who earned playing time before an injury cut junior season short.

Jhajuan Seales, redshirt freshman

A late addition to the 2012 recruiting class; regarded as a late bloomer with loads of potential.

Nick Rockwell, senior

Has played in 15 games the past two seasons; made first career catch in Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Coming this fall

Marcell Ateman, true freshman

A four-star prospect who fits the physical outside receiver mold at 6-4 and 200 pounds.

Ra'Shaad Samples, true freshman

As the son of a legendary high school football coach in Texas, brings speed and knowledge of the game.

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