Oklahoma State needs a ton of receivers in this version of the Air Raid spread offense.
There are inside (or slot) guys and outside guys. There are even two coaches in Kasey Dunn (outside receivers) and Jason Ray (inside receivers).
That, essentially, gives four positions their own mini depth chart. But Dunn doesn’t want his players to think that way.
“It’s all about trying to be in the top 4 for us,” Dunn said, “and we tell the wideouts, hey, you need to be No. 5. You need to be the fifth-best receiver, because you’re going to be the next guy to go in. And if you’re the fifth-best receiver, you need to work your tail off to be the fourth-best receiver.
“Don’t worry about where you are in your (specific) position. That doesn’t mean anything. Are you 2Z? 2X? It really doesn’t matter. What matters is where are you in the overall pecking order of our wide receivers? We’re gonna find the best four receivers we can have and put them on the field, and we’ll put them in the positions to give them the best chance.”
Some guys are natural fits for a certain receiver spot. Josh Stewart belongs in the slot. Justin Blackmon belonged outside.
But OSU has had versatility at receiver in recent seasons, too. Tracy Moore moved from inside to outside last year. Blake Webb played both inside and outside as a true freshman. This season, Austin Hays and C.J. Curry are making the transition from the outside to the inside.
“The more I practice, I feel like the better I get playing inside,” Hays said, “just because I get a better feel of where people are going to be.
“When you’re outside, you’re more just going against one guy. When you’re inside, you see corners, you see safeties, you see linebackers. You see a lot more and there’s a lot more going on in your head.”