STILLWATER — After a few days off following its Heart of Dallas Bowl victory over Purdue, the Oklahoma State players return for class and winter conditioning Monday.
That signals the start of the march to the 2013 season.
The offseason always provides plenty of roster shuffling. Players declare early for the draft. Others transfer or leave the team. Others make big strides during spring football or fall camp.
But here's an early look at players likely to replace the Cowboys' departing senior starters.
Out: Lane Taylor
In: Eli Dickerson
It's been a long, long time since OSU needed a right guard, with Taylor starting 47 games over four seasons and developing into an All-Big 12 performer.
Dickerson, a rising junior from The Woodlands, Texas, was a key reserve for the Cowboys in 2012. He was consistently listed as Taylor's backup, but also played some tackle.
Travis Cross, who will likely be the backup center, played some right guard in 2012.
Out: Evan Epstein
In: Jake Jenkins
Though Epstein's only season as the starting center was a successful one, Jenkins got valuable experience in 2012.
Jenkins started in place of an injured Epstein against Louisiana-Lafayette and saw significant snaps against Texas Tech and Arizona. And as a rising junior, he could be the answer at the position for the next two seasons.
Out: Cooper Bassett, Ryan Robinson, Nigel Nicholas
In: Tyler Johnson, Trace Clark, Emmanuel Ogbah
For the second consecutive season, OSU will need to replace both starters at defensive end. And, really, the Cowboys had three starters, with Bassett and Nicholas splitting time at the spot opposite Robinson.