Oklahoma State football: Josh Stewart was built for the spread offense

Cowboy receiver might not thrive in a traditional offense, but his size and ability to dart through the defense make him a perfect inside receiver in OSU's system.
by Gina Mizell Published: July 27, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) carries the ball on a reverse for a touchdown in the first quarter during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University (WVU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) carries the ball on a reverse for a touchdown in the first quarter during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University (WVU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The result? Yards after catch. Lots of them.

And that makes Stewart, along with backup David Glidden, the most difficult receivers for preseason All-Big 12 linebacker Shaun Lewis to defend during practice.

“They're smaller, shifty guys,” he said. “They can change direction on the drop of a dime.”

Cowboy offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich stressed that proclaiming Stewart is successful because of the spread would be severely understating the receiver's ability. But he acknowledged the system puts Stewart in prime position to use his strengths.

“What the Oklahoma State offense does is try to create mismatches and opportunities for him to get open in space, and I think that's critical,” he said. “Regardless of what you call your offense, to be able to get your athletes the ball in space is the goal, and that gives us the best chance to win.

“That's what we've done to get him over 100 catches, being able to get him those spots and being able to utilize him.”

And Stewart is thrilled to be utilized in that way. After all, he was once expected to play defensive back as a Texas A&M commit before switching to OSU to play receiver with best pal and Cowboy quarterback J.W. Walsh.

Now he's flourishing in college football at the perfect time.

In the perfect conference.

In the perfect system for him.

“I think any receiver would love to be in the middle of where I'm at right now,” Stewart said. “Especially in a spread offense, where we air it out the majority of the time. Very blessed to be in the position I am.

“I just focus on taking advantage of the opportunities I get and I think if I stay by that rule with myself, only God knows how far I can go.”

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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