Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy announced Saturday that three players who began summer camp as walk-ons have been given scholarships:
Senior punter Kip Smith, senior fullback Teddy Johnson and junior quarterback Daxx Garman.
“We have a great program here that we’re very proud of,” Gundy said. “I’m going to venture out to guess that we put more walk-ons on scholarship here than anyone else in this league. They’re treated with great respect and they get all the same opportunities that the scholarship players do, with the exception of tuition.”
Smith was the Cowboys’ featured punter and kickoff specialist last season, averaging 40.8 yards per punt and 60 yards per kick. Johnson was a key special teams contributor who makes the switch from linebacker to fullback in 2014.
Garman has yet to play for the Cowboys since transferring into the program two years ago from Arizona. But Gundy said last week Garman is preparing to take “10-to-12 snaps” in the opener against Florida State Aug. 30.
Gundy spoke at length about how much walk-ons have meant to his program over the past 10 years and remarked at the importance of the wall honoring their efforts near the Cowboys’ locker room.
TYREEK HILL TAKES ‘BIGGEST STEP’
One of Tyreek Hill's teammates said the first-year Cowboy had a run during Saturday's scrimmage that "was almost like one of those high school plays.”
Start near one sideline. Reverse all the way across the field. Dart up the other sideline.
“Coach (Jemal) Singleton about threw his hat off,” wide receiver David Glidden said. “At the same time, I don’t know if (Hill) got touched. He probably would have scored.”
Gundy said Hill’s performance was “the biggest step that he’s taken” through summer and fall camp.
“When (Hill) was out there with us in the spring, and I said this, he was still a track guy playing football,” Gundy said. “He showed some signs today of a football player playing football. So I thought it was a really good scrimmage for him.”
The things that stuck out to Gundy on Saturday? Hill fully exerting his energy throughout the 131-play scrimmage, and then returning to the field with the same amount of drive. And Hill’s dedication to refining technical aspects of his potential role next season, like run blocking and route running.
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