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Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy has high expectations for Calvin Barnett, Blake Jackson

Barnett was a force in the middle for OSU last season, tallying 30 tackles (8.5 for loss), one sack and four quarterback hurries. Jackson finished second on the team with 598 receiving yards.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, Published: March 24, 2013

Now, Barnett is in position to become a leader on a defensive line that lost three key seniors in Robinson, Nigel Nicholas and Cooper Bassett. He said he's been working on taking better care of his body, something a player is more likely to learn in an offseason program with Glass than on the practice field during the season.

“Something as simple as eating right, you'll perform way better,” Barnett said.

Added Gundy: “He's gonna be stronger and smarter. He understands. He's got good work habits, he likes to play football and he's in better shape.”

Jackson, in many ways, was one of the more frustrating Cowboys last season. A 6-3, 235-pound physical specimen in the slot, he finished second on the team with 598 receiving yards. But his route-running ability was limited, and he had numerous problems catching the football.

Yet another offseason and spring of studying the Cowboys' scheme can only benefit Jackson. Cowboy fans also probably hope he's spent a good chunk of time in front of a Jugs machine.

This spring, OSU has a new duo of junior college transfers already on campus in defensive end Sam Wren and offensive lineman Brandon Garrett. And like Barnett and Jackson, they are both in contention to see immediate playing time.

But the Cowboys are banking on development from Barnett and Jackson, two guys who have now officially been here before.