STILLWATER — Oklahoma State's recent success has come with plenty of rewards: A rise in national prestige, additional television appearances, national award winners along with record-setting ticket sales and attendance.
But success also comes with ample drawbacks.
The Cowboys program has earned a reputation for excellent evaluation and strong recruiting thanks in large part to the success of underrated recruits like running back Kendall Hunter, a two-star prospect who became a two-time All-American, and Justin Blackmon, a three-star recruit who won the 2010 Biletnikoff Award.
This spring, OSU has seen multiple recruits commit to the Pokes only to see them then decommit and reopen their recruiting.
The Cowboys were among the first schools to offer Fort Bend (Texas) Hightower receiver Bralon Addison, earning his commitment in early February. But the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder chose to reopen his recruitment in early May before eventually committing to Texas A&M.
OSU was the first school to offer Van (Texas) linebacker Dalton Santos, securing his commitment in October 2010. Nine months later, Santos has offers from Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Texas A&M, Tennessee, TCU and others after decommitting in May.
Those two prospects are examples of what Mike Gundy considers one of the most frustrating aspects of his job. While the Cowboys' head coach can't comment about specific recruits due to NCAA rules, Gundy was candid when talking about how he handles decommitments and his approach to trying to make the best out of the situation.
“It's very disappointing and very discouraging but it's not going to change,” Gundy said. "The player is always going to have the last say, they're holding the trump card.
“There's nothing you can do about it. It's not like you can call and beat them up over the phone, because then you won't be able to go back into that high school.”