It was just minutes after Oklahoma State had wrapped up fall camp Saturday when defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer was headed straight to the film room.
“Big evaluation off this tape,” he said. “Looking forward to going in and watching it right now.”
Who fills vacant starting roles on the Cowboy defense? Which freshmen will see playing time at linebacker? What will the cornerback rotation be? Who redshirts?
All decisions looming for Spencer and the rest of the OSU coaching staff. Saturday’s scrimmage was a chance to see how players deep on the Cowboys’ depth chart would respond to live snaps.
“I pulled the ones out pretty early today,” Spencer said. “The second, third, even some fourth, some young freshman, I wanted to get them on tape. They hadn’t seen a lot of reps in camp.”
Spencer said most, if not all, of the freshmen defensive linemen will be able the redshirt. But not all position groups on the defense have that kind of depth.
“There’s going to be a lot of young linebackers that will travel,” Spencer said. “Because they’ll be backups and they’ll help us on special teams.”
Same goes for the Cowboys’ young defensive backs.
“In the secondary, there’s about two or three guys on the bubble that depending on what we saw today,” Spencer said. “We’ll define if we’re going to try to shelve them for next year or not.”
Spencer didn’t get specific with which young players will be thrust into the spotlight and those who are still earning their spot. But he did praise the performance of one player — a freshman linebacker from Pearland, Texas.
“Justin Phillips has really showed up,” Spencer said. “He can tackle.”
DESMOND ROLAND ON SHARING BACKFIELD WITH TYREEK HILL
OSU’s returning leading rusher, Desmond Roland, likes the depth at running back this season.
“That’s the good thing about the running backs this year,” Roland said. “We can do a lot of things.”
Between Roland, sophomore Rennie Childs and JUCO-transfer Tyreek Hill, he said the Cowboys are able to open up the playbook with multiple looks when running out of the shotgun. Especially when Roland is paired with Hill.
“It just creates something for the defense where they don’t know what to expect,” Roland said. “We can give it to me up the middle or run Tyreek down the sidelines. He’s a fast guy, so he’ll be a playmaker this year.”
SEMINOLES WIDE RECEIVER DECLARED ACADEMICALLY INELIGIBLE
Florida State wide receiver Isaiah Jones — a 6-foot-4 sophomore who hauled in 31 yards passing in five games last season — has been ruled academically ineligible, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
While Jones was not a major contributor in 2013, he caught five passes for 81 yards to lead the Gold team in the Seminole’s April spring game. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters that Jones will still attend FSU and practice with the team.
The Cowboys open their season against the Seminoles Aug. 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.