STILLWATER — Oklahoma State closed a massive official visit weekend with a key pickup, as running back Rennie Childs told multiple recruiting services Sunday that he had committed to the Cowboys.
Childs, a three-star prospect from Cypress Ridge in Houston, joins three-star recruit Corion Webster (Atlanta, Texas) as OSU's running back pledges for 2013 and all but solidifies a major recruiting need.
Sure, Joseph Randle declaring for the NFL Draft made finding at least one more running back a virtual necessity. But the Cowboys have needed to beef up their dwindling depth at the position for several months.
Behind projected starter Jeremy Smith, 2013 could have been a big season for Herschel Sims. But those chances ended last summer when Sims was dismissed days before being charged with two felony counts of second-degree forgery.
Now behind Smith is Desmond Roland, a still-unproven back, and Caleb Muncrief, a late addition to the last year's recruiting class who saw limited action in his true freshman season.
Which means Childs and Webster won't just fill out the depth chart. They'll compete for immediate playing time.
In Childs, OSU gets a back that measures 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and possesses a good blend of size and speed. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield, an especially valuable skill in OSU's spread offense that the Cowboys now lack with Randle's departure.
“He is not overly flashy with great speed but is a well-rounded back with a quick and decisive, downhill style that translates well to the next level,” an ESPN analyst recently wrote of Childs. “Has good size with the frame to continue getting bigger and stronger. Compact with good lower-body strength and a load-back base.”
Childs' commitment essentially fills OSU's running backs quota for this year's recruiting class, but the Cowboys might not be done.
OSU could still be in the mix for four-star all-purpose back Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas), an Oregon commit who could reconsider after head coach Chip Kelly took the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles last week. He's scheduled to take an official visit to Ohio State on Jan. 25 and to Stillwater on Feb. 1, meaning OSU could be the final school to make an impression before Signing Day on Feb. 6.
Days before the Heart of Dallas Bowl, Cowboy running backs coach Jemal Singleton pondered the uncertainty surrounding Randle's stay-or-go decision and how it would affect the rest of his position group.
Now, Randle's future is cemented.
Barring a late switch, so is the Cowboys' 2013 running backs class.