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OSU's Russell Okung likely to play in Cotton Bowl

BY BRANDON CHATMON AND JOHN HELSLEY Modified: December 31, 2009 at 7:17 pm •  Published: December 31, 2009

ARLINGTON, Texas — After tweaking a knee in practice earlier this week, Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung is expected to play against Ole Miss in the 74th Cotton Bowl Classic at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.

Okung’s streak of 46 straight starts appeared to be in jeopardy Wednesday. Sources close to the program said the consensus All-American tackle "tweaked” a knee during Tuesday’s practice at Cowboys Stadium, resulting in all precautions taken for a player expected to be a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

But Okung, the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year, was suited up at Oklahoma State’s practice Wednesday. And a source said that he is expected to go against Ole Miss, extending a consecutive starts streak that dates back to his freshman season.

The Rebels feature an athletic and aggressive defensive line, including end Greg Hardy, who himself is returning from a broken wrist. Hardy joins junior Kentrell Lockett to provide Ole Miss with dual defensive ends equally adapt to test Okung’s ability to move like normal.

The loss of Okung would have been yet another blow for a team that has been hit hard by injuries this season. OSU’s top lineman, Okung is the No. 1 offensive line prospect for the draft by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr.


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