Oklahoma State football: Josh Stewart shrugs off label as Big 12's best returning receiver

Even if Stewart is, expect the Cowboys to distribute the football more evenly. Coach Mike Gundy wants to keep Stewart healthy.
by Gina Mizell Published: April 14, 2013
Advertisement
;

photo - Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) leaps for a touchdown during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Oklahoma State won 55-34. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) leaps for a touchdown during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Oklahoma State won 55-34. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

STILLWATER — Josh Stewart shrugs off any declaration that he is the Big 12's best returning receiver.

“It's cool and all, but I don't really take that to my head,” Stewart said.

But with pass-catchers like Baylor's Terrance Williams, West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey and Oklahoma's Kenny Stills all moving on to the NFL, Stewart has earned — and deserves — that distinction entering 2013 after a breakout sophomore season that saw him make 101 catches for 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns for Oklahoma State.

Yet Cowboy coach Mike Gundy would like to use less of Stewart in 2013.

And that's a good thing.

Stewart's sharp increase in production last season was expected by many. Top targets Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper were gone. And Stewart had shown potential, versatility and skill as a true freshman, especially an ability to be shifty and make defenders miss in space after a catch or occasional carry.

But injuries forced OSU to rely on Stewart even more than expected. Blows to the receiving corps, most notably to senior and expected No. 1 target Tracy Moore, naturally sent more balls Stewart's way. Gundy believes the Cowboys' revolving door at quarterback also contributed to Stewart's heavy workload.

“It's much easier to find a receiver that's closer to you, which would be an inside receiver, than one that's further away,” Gundy said. “For that reason, he got a lot more touches than he really should have just based on durability.

“He would love to have another 100 catches this year and carry the ball a few times. He'll be a very important player in our offense, but we need to distribute more evenly to keep him healthy.”

Considering Stewart isn't exactly a physical specimen at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, the Cowboys are fortunate Stewart stayed healthy all of last season.

| |

by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
+ show more

Advertisement


Better to receive

A look at OSU's loaded receiving corps for 2013.

Projected starters

Tracy Moore, senior

Medical redshirt gives him a second chance at his senior season; expected to play both inside and outside receiver.

Josh Stewart, junior

After a breakout sophomore campaign, enters 2013 as the Big 12's top returning receiver.

Blake Jackson, senior

A big, athletic target who led the Cowboys in yards per catch last season; needs to consistently hold onto the football.

Charlie Moore, senior

A big-play threat with solid hands and deceptive speed.

Rotation contenders

Austin Hays, sophomore

One of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, emerging as the Cowboys' top freshman receiver and earning nine starts.

Blake Webb, sophomore

A smart, versatile and speedy target who played at three different receiver spots as a true freshman last season; will now work exclusively on the inside.

C.J. Curry, redshirt freshman

True freshman season was cut short because of a shoulder injury; blend of size and athleticism made him the most highly touted receiver that signed with OSU last year.

Brandon Sheperd, sophomore

Made just one catch for one yard — and a touchdown, no less — against Savannah State in 2012, but has gotten rave reviews from coaches and players throughout the spring.

Torrance Carr, sophomore

Injury nearly wiped out his 2012 season; appeared to display potential as a member of the 2011 scout team and still has time to develop.

David Glidden, sophomore

Has also had trouble staying healthy as a Cowboy; Only catch of 2012 went for a touchdown against Baylor.

John Goodlett, senior

A walk-on who earned playing time before an injury cut junior season short.

Jhajuan Seales, redshirt freshman

A late addition to the 2012 recruiting class; regarded as a late bloomer with loads of potential.

Nick Rockwell, senior

Has played in 15 games the past two seasons; made first career catch in Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Coming this fall

Marcell Ateman, true freshman

A four-star prospect who fits the physical outside receiver mold at 6-4 and 200 pounds.

Ra'Shaad Samples, true freshman

As the son of a legendary high school football coach in Texas, brings speed and knowledge of the game.

Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Hotel leaves Oklahoma City Thunder opponents telling ghost stories
  2. 2
    Check out the Thunder postseason playlist
  3. 3
    VIDEO: Blake Griffin dumps water on a fan
  4. 4
    Oklahoma City Thunder: Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes calls drug suspension unfair
  5. 5
    Dave Chappelle Reveals Shockingly Buff New Look
+ show more