BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
STILLWATER — Early July is upon us, which is what I like to call “watch list season” until conference media days begin later this month.
It's also fair time to really start examining nonconference schedules.
We'll break down Oklahoma State's early season contests against Mississippi State, Texas-San Antonio and Lamar plenty over the coming weeks. For now, here are some summer news and nuggets from the Cowboys trio of nonconference opponents.
*Bulldog running back LaDarius Perkins was one of 44 players named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award given to the nation's most versatile player. In 2012, Perkins tallied 1,024 rushing yards, 160 receiving yards and 325 kick return yards. OSU cornerback/kick returner Justin Gilbert is on the watch list for the same award.
*Linebacker Chris Hughes, who recorded 31 tackles last season and was listed as a backup on the Bulldogs' spring depth chart, is no longer with the team after being arrested and charged with domestic violence. Hughes was first suspended indefinitely after the arrest before Mississippi State announced less than a week later he was no longer with the team. As of June 28, he was still in jail, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
*Backup receiver Ricco Sanders, who would have been a senior in 2013, will not return to the team. He recorded 15 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown in 2011 but just one catch for three yards in 2012.
*Conference realignment has slowed down in the Big 12, but not for UTSA. The school officially joined Conference USA Monday after one year in the Western Athletic Conference and the previous 21 in the Southland Conference. The Roadrunner football program, however, was a Football Championship Subdivision independent in its first season in 2011.
*Players to watch for UTSA? Try returner Kenny Harrison, linebacker Steven Kurfehs and safety Triston Wade, who were all named to Athlon's preseason All-Conference USA second team last month. Harrison averaged 17.3 yards per punt return last season. Kurfehs led the Roadrunners with 4.5 sacks. Wade tallied four interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
*The Cardinals added a quarterback last month when Rex Dausin transferred from Houston. Because Dausin transferred from a Football Bowl Subdivision school to an FCS school, he is eligible to play in 2013 and is expected to compete right away for the starting quarterback job. Dausin is the son of a high-school coach in San Antonio and was rated a two-star prospect by Rivals in the 2012 recruiting class.
*Punter Kollin Kahler and defensive back Branden Thomas have both been named College Football Performance Awards preseason watch lists.