It's particularly problematic for Gundy, who has made a point to insist his coaching staff be as honest as possible when speaking with recruits about scholarship offers.
“It's not going away, so you deal with it and try to do the best you can,” Gundy said. “You try to have backup guys, but if you have a backup guy who calls and commits you have to tell him, ‘We don't have a scholarship, we're full but we might have one later.' Well, if I'm him, I'm not waiting around for that.
“There's nothing you can do about it.”
The only silver lining regarding the recent rash of decommitments from the Cowboys class is the fact OSU has seven months to recover and find another prospect to try to fill the void.
An example of the worst-case scenario would be a decommitment on signing day, which happened most recently with Tulsa Washington defensive tackle Calvin Barnett in February 2010, who signed with Arkansas after being committed to OSU for several months.
“It's the part of the job that is most discouraging,” Gundy said. “When you have a guy committed for three, four, five months, you've stopped recruiting at that position then they go somewhere else.”
Barnett's late change likely had a direct impact on OSU's decision to sign five defensive tackles in February, because the Pokes didn't fill the void left by Barnett's decision in 2010.
“We offer a certain number of scholarships and have a certain number committed,” Gundy said. “And, this has happened to us, when a guy falls out in January and changes his mind, we can't go back and fill that void in most cases.”