Oklahoma State's bowl practices are primarily designed to prepare for the Cowboys' Cotton Bowl contest against Missouri.
But they're also about giving some younger players — particularly, those who are redshirting this season and on the scout team — occasional reps to help propel the Cowboys into the 2014 season. OSU loses six starters on offense and seven on defense from the 2013 squad.
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said the coaches take about 10 to 15 minutes each practice to work with those underclassmen.
“It's fun to watch them,” Gundy said, “because they get to play when it counts, not just as a demonstration squad.”
In an informal survey of various players and coaches, young Cowboys who have impressed during bowl practices so far include offensive lineman Michael Crabtree, defensive end Vili Leveni, defensive backs Darius Curry, Jerel Morrow and linebacker Dawson Bassett. Two safeties who have played as true freshmen, Deric Robertson and Jordan Sterns, have also showed up.
“We've had a number of guys that have stood out and made plays,” Gundy said. “Those guys have to have a great offseason in January and February in winter conditioning to show up so they can be healthy and practice in the spring. Because they'll have to play in the first game (of 2014).”
COTTON BOWL GIFTS? SHAUN LEWIS SPILLS
The Cotton Bowl does not publicly release the gifts players will receive for participating in its event.
But Cowboy linebacker Shaun Lewis has heard rumblings about what the Cowboys will get: An iPad mini, an Apple TV and a Beats mini pill.
Those should please the most tech-savvy Cowboys. But which gift is Lewis most excited for?
“I'm looking forward to the Apple TV thing, because I already have an iPad,” he said.
GUNDY REVEALS TWITTER GAME DAY POLICY
Twitter is what initially made Gundy aware of Tyler Patmon making the first bowl game of his college career.
Patmon, a postgraduate transfer from Kansas, tweeted as much following the Cowboys' win at Iowa State, which made OSU bowl eligible with its sixth victory of the season.
Turns out Patmon was also following the rules with that postgame tweet. Gundy revealed that OSU's social media policy forbids players from tweeting from Friday afternoon until after each game during the season.
“I don't know if they all follow that,” Gundy said. “But for the most part, I think they do a good job.”