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Oklahoma State football: Newcomers, reserves get a chance to impress coaches

Everybody's goal is to start or play a prominent role during the season. The Cowboys have plenty of candidates making a bid.
BY GINA MIZELL Published: August 12, 2012

Cornerbacks coach Jason Jones: “Both of them are smart. They come in and watch tape and ask questions. They pick up on things pretty quickly. The one thing that caught everybody's attention was the first day in pads when it was the first time they got a chance to really thud and things like that. Both of those guys are physical guys. They came down and were making tackles on the tailbacks and tackling wide receivers.”

Victor Irokansi, defensive end

Defensive coordinator Bill Young said Saturday that he's been impressed with all four of the Cowboys' defensive end signees in Irokansi, Eric Davis, Trace Clark and Emmanuel Ogbah. But he singled out Irokansi unsolicited after one practice last week.

Defensive coordinator Bill Young: “He's just so quick off the football. The strength coaches say nobody outworked him during the summer program and that's carried right over to the field.”

Early risers

Shamiel Gary, safety

Perhaps the Cowboys' only legitimate starting position battle is at strong safety, where Lavocheya Cooper has held a slight edge over Shamiel Gary. But safeties coach Van Malone likes Gary's aggressiveness, and there are certain defensive looks where the Tulsa Washington product is “the guy.” Gary sat out last season after transferring from Wyoming, where he was a freshman All-American in 2009.

Ryan Simmons, linebacker

One of the youngsters in OSU's athletic second unit, Simmons, a redshirt freshman, could eventually push Caleb Lavey for the starting job at middle linebacker. That would be quite the accomplishment, considering Lavey ranked third on the team with 74 tackles a season ago.

Ryan Robinson, defensive end

Already pegged as a starter at defensive end, coaches have raved about Robinson's progress in his second season since transferring from Jones County Junior College in Mississippi. His conditioning and understanding of the defense have improved dramatically, and Young loves his quick “punch” when the ball is snapped.

Daniel Koenig, offensive tackle

The loss of Michael Bowie led to opportunity for Koenig, who right now is slated to start at right tackle after Parker Graham was moved to the left side. The third Koenig brother to play at OSU, Daniel saw extensive time on the offensive line in four games last season.