Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Monday he has not made a final decision on the playing status of junior defensive end Jamie Blatnick or junior safety Victor Johnson. Both players had brushes with the law over the summer, and it remains unclear if either player will be available for Saturday's opener against Washington State.
"We will have discussions with Jamie this week and then make the decisions about his options for Saturday," Gundy said.
Blatnick pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from his role in an Aug. 31 fight with former Cowboy Stephen Denning last Friday after the charge was reduced from a felony.
Gundy said he wants to gather more information about Johnson's situation before making a final decision. Johnson was arrested twice during the summer.
Although no final decision has been announced, Blatnick and Johnson are both listed on OSU's two-depth depth chart for the Washington State game.
Richetti Jones seizes the opportunity
Defensive end Richetti Jones seized the opportunity to become a core member of OSU's defensive line while Blatnick was on the StairMaster. Jones is slated to start against Washington State on Saturday and could make a case to be a key contributor in pass rush situations.
"He has really improved and played much, much better this fall," defensive coordinator Bill Young said of Jones. "Jamie didn't practice there forever, so we rolled Cooper Bassett and him in there for a bunch of reps with the 1s and 2s and they got better because of it."
While Jones has improved immensely, Young expects Blatnick to remain the starter when he returns.
"Jamie is a heckuva player," Young said. "And he's our starter, he's just not going to be starting this week."
As Brandon Weeden prepares, he hopes — and so do Cowboys fans everywhere — to pick up where he left off in the second half of last year's Colorado game, there's talk of OSU's great quarterback depth and a flourishing future.
Johnny Deaton, Clint Chelf and Nate Sorenson.
And, oh yes, J.W. Walsh.
One of OSU's top recruits for 2011, Walsh plans to arrive in Stillwater in January to begin his Cowboys career.
Until then, however, he's got business to tend to, taking aim at a Texas state championship.
And so far, his aim is sharp.
Walsh and his Denton Guyer teammates opened their season Friday night with a 45-7 rout of Waxahachie. And Walsh was superb, throwing for a career-best 340 yards with four touchdowns. He connected on 15 of 20 passes and his TDs covered 59, 39, 38 and 10 yards.
Walsh made it look easy against a traditional power.
"Coming into it, we didn't expect it to be like this at all," Walsh told the Denton Record-Chronicle. "We thought we'd get a good test, and that wasn't the case. We came out and from the very beginning, and we were hitting on all cylinders."
Walsh's Wildcats rolled up 566 yards of offense and he found eight different receivers for completions.
"That's exactly what I envisioned," Walsh said. "We threw to all of them. When you can complete balls to all those guys, it makes the defense throw fits because they can't stick on one main guy."