Stillwater Pioneers football
|3 - 7||1 - 4||2 - 3||.300||247||359|
|2012-08-31||@||McAlester||W||42 - 18|
|2012-09-07||vs||Midwest City||W||21 - 18|
|2012-09-14||@||Mustang||L||14 - 36|
|2012-09-21||@||Ponca City||W||35 - 14|
|2012-09-28||vs||Tulsa Union||L||24 - 58|
|2012-10-05||@||Tulsa Washington||L||22 - 41|
|2012-10-12||vs||Bartlesville||L||21 - 35|
|2012-10-18||vs||Sand Springs||L||27 - 41|
|2012-10-26||@||Enid||L||21 - 49|
|2012-11-02||vs||Owasso||L||20 - 49|
|Rush Yds||Rush Yds Game||Pass Yds||Pass Yds/Game||Yards Total||Yards/Game||Pts Total||Pts/Game|
|Rush Yds Allow||Allow Rush/Game||Pass Yds Allow||Allow Pass/Game||Yds Total Allow||Yds Allow/Game||Allow Pts||Allow Pts/Game|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Stillwater football News
NewsOK articles about Stillwater football, or articles mentioning current or former Stillwater football players.
Stillwater High School Varsity Boys Football
Sep 15, 2014
Stillwater and Lawton Eisenhower came through with a couple of the bigger surprises of Week 2 of the high school football season, and made notable moves in this week’s top 10. Lawton Ike defeated Class 5A Del City 40-13 (previously No. 6), and is making its debut in the top 10 this week. Stillwater went to Mustang […]
The Oklahoman's Class 6A-II rankings: Stillwater into top 5, Lawton Ike makes first appearance
Scott Wright | Sep 15, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/13/2014/09/stillwater.jpg]3390766[/img] Stillwater moved into the top five in this week’s Class 6A-II rankings after a big win at Mustang last week. Stillwater and Lawton Eisenhower came through with a couple of the bigger surprises of Week 2 of the high school football season, and made notable moves in this week’s top 10. Lawton Ike defeated Class 5A Del City 40-13 (previously No. 6), and is making its debut in the top 10 this week. Stillwater went to Mustang and came out with an upset victory, allowing the Pioneers to move into the top five. Following Lawton’s loss to Class 5A No. 2 Lawton MacArthur, and Midwest City’s win over a ranked 5A opponent, Carl Albert, the Bombers move up to No. 2 this week as well. Here’s The Oklahoman’s top 10 for Class 6A Division II: Class 6A-II 1. Tulsa Washington, 2-0 (1) 2. Midwest City, 1-1 (3) 3. Lawton, 1-1 (2) 4. Choctaw, 2-0 (4) 5. Stillwater, 2-0 (6) 6. Bixby, 1-1 (5) 7. Sand Springs, 2-0 (9) 8. Lawton Eisenhower, 1-1 (NR) 9. Enid, 1-1 (8) 10. Bartlesville, 1-1 (7) Dropped out: Muskogee, 0-2 (10)
The Pioneers got a huge performance Friday from running back Cameron Mayberry in a 35-26 victory over Mustang to improve to 2-0 on the season and equal their win total from last season.
High school football notebook: Cameron Mayberry, run game carry Stillwater in win over Mustang
BY JACOB UNRUH | Sep 13, 2014There were times last season that Stillwater absolutely struggled to run the ball. Not anymore. The Pioneers got a huge performance Friday from running back Cameron Mayberry in a 35-26 victory over Mustang to improve to 2-0 on the season and equal their win total from last season. “We ran the ball well (last week), but Friday night we got in a situation we felt like we had to run,” Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard said. “We’ve had situations in the past where we’ve had to run the football and we weren’t able to. With these linemen and backs being a year older, last night we were able to do it.” Mayberry rushed for 242 yards on 24 carries, scoring three times. His longest score came on a 69-yard run. The 2-0 start has Stillwater gaining some confidence, too. “I think it gives them a belief in what we’re telling them,” Barnard said. “It just validates the work they’ve done. The end result is definitely a boost to confidence.” MEEKER’S WHITFIELD, STANDLEE HAVE BIG NIGHT Meeker coach Lonnie Nolen was a little more tired than usual following a 62-46 win over Chandler. The Bulldogs had spent the night running all over the field, totaling 492 yards on the ground and getting six touchdowns from fullback Tim Whitfield. “You talk about a track meet,” Nolen said. “It was wearing me out.” Whitfield had 20 carries for 204 yards and the six scores, with 175 of his yards coming in the second half. He scored four straight touchdowns at one point. “His play was huge,” Nolen said. “Early in the game, we could run on them but we did have more success as the game went along. Of course, they had more guys going both ways than we do and we just wore them down.” Quarterback Jake Standlee also rushed for a touchdown along with his 222 yards — 202 of which came in the first half. It was a big improvement over Week 1’s 35-22 win against Prague in which Meeker rushed for just 106 yards behind a young offensive line. LUTHER’S WRIGHT OFF TO GOOD START After scoring 17 touchdowns last season, Luther junior Maurice Wright is no longer a secret to opponents. That’s still not stopping the speedster. Wright rushed for 178 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 34-23 win over Prague, helping the Lions improve to 2-0 entering this week’s matchup with Class A No. 5 Cashion. “Obviously, our opponents, they’re going to watch film on us and they’re going to know that they have to shut him down,” Luther coach Shawn Meek said. “The idea that he’s still getting that type of results and he’s not a secret anymore when defenses are keying on him is pretty impressive.” It’s even more impressive that Wright is playing every snap on defense along with some special teams. But that’s what Luther needs from its star. “He’s playing 170 snaps every game and still carrying the ball 30 times a game,” Meek said. “That type of toughness that he shows is really impressive.” SPIRO’S WHITFIELD HAS HUGE NIGHT Spiro star McKinley Whitfield did a little bit of everything in a 35-14 win over Muldrow. Whitfield, ranked No. 8 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list, rushed for three touchdowns and threw one, amassing 207 yards of offense. He also recovered a fumble and recorded a sack on defense, along with a 50-yard punt return, the Fort Smith Times Record reports. Whitfield currently holds 13 Division I scholarship offers.
Sep 13, 2014
OSU 43, UTSA 13 — Oklahoma State defensive back Ashton Lampkin sat down with The Oklahoman after the game to talk about his walk-off pick-six and about the Cowboys’ defensive performance.
OSU football: Cowboys' Ashton Lampkin closes out win over UTSA with pick-six
BY KYLE FREDRICKSON, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Sep 13, 2014STILLWATER — After more than 59 minutes of play Saturday night, it looked as though the Oklahoma State defense would go consecutive games without forcing a turnover. But on the final play from scrimmage with 9 seconds on the clock, Cowboys cornerback Ashton Lampkin intercepted UTSA quarterback Blake Bogenschutz and ran 50 yards for a walk-off touchdown. Lampkin sat down with The Oklahoman after the game to discuss the pick-six and OSU’s overall performance. Q: What did you see on that final play that led to the interception? A: They probably ran the same route three times … Me and the safety Jordan Sterns kind of talked about it and I just made a play. But I had to run through him for the ball, so they wouldn’t get me on the double move. I dropped two picks today. So I had to catch the ball. Once I got past the quarterback, it was like, yeah… Was the pick-six made even more special because it closed the game out? It was pretty cool to end the game like that and celebrate with your teammates, to have at least one turnover for coach (Glenn) Spencer so he won’t be chewing us out. That was actually my second pick-six my whole entire life … (the last time) was in high school my junior year. It was the exact same play, just like that. It was crazy. He ran a wheel, I came off and picked it and took it to the house. Because the defense failed to force a turnover, was there a bigger emphasis to get one tonight? I knew (Spencer) was going to grill us if we didn’t have a turnover. We all knew that … That last series, we knew they were throwing the ball. So we were just trying to get our hands on one of them and make something happen. Coach Mike Gundy said postgame he’s worried about the amount of snaps the first-team defense had tonight. How do you feel after playing nearly every play tonight? We’re well-trained. I’ve got to give credit to Rob Glass, our strength coach. He drills us on staying in shape and practicing hard every week. You fatigue yourself at practice, but when the game comes, you’re so hyped up that you don’t even feel like you’re tired. We played a whole game tonight and I didn’t feel (anything), I feel regular. What do you credit for the secondary’s improved performance? I knew after that (Florida State) game, that a lot of teams were going to try and double-move us … NCAA football is just a big copy-cat game. If a team sees something that you’re lacking at, and they see another team do it to you, they’ll try and do it you the very next week … I knew in my mind I had to work on certain things as well as Kevin (Peterson).
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Daxx Garman could be making his first start at quarterback since his junior year of high school.With J.W. Walsh reportedly having surgery this week and out for an extended period, Garman could be running Oklahoma State's offense for the foreseeable future. If so, his first chance comes Saturday when UTSA (1-1) visits Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday.When he entered the...
Daxx Garman could get the call for Oklahoma State
JOHN TRANCHINA, Associated Press | Sep 12, 2014STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Daxx Garman could be making his first start at quarterback since his junior year of high school. With J.W. Walsh reportedly having surgery this week and out for an extended period, Garman could be running Oklahoma State's offense for the foreseeable future. If so, his first chance comes Saturday when UTSA (1-1) visits Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday. When he entered the game last weekend late in the first quarter for the injured Walsh, Garman was making his first game appearance in five years and looked impressive. He completed 16-of-26 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Cowboys (1-1) to a 40-23 victory over Missouri State. And while he wasn't perfect by any means, Garman set OSU records for yardage and completions by a debut quarterback — surpassing marks set by current coach Mike Gundy in 1986 and Walsh in 2012. "He played fairly well, he made some mistakes," Gundy said. "We'd like to have some throws back, I'm sure he would. For the most part, it's never like what people think it is until you step out there and play. I think he handled himself well, I think the team felt comfortable with him in the game." That isn't the best of news for UTSA, which is coming off a 26-23 loss at home to Arizona last weekend. It was a roller-coaster game for the Roadrunners, who fell behind 10-0 in the first five minutes, rebounded to take a 16-13 lead just before halftime. After Arizona regained the lead and led 26-16 in the fourth quarter before a late comeback fell short. "It was a disappointing loss for us, but I'm really proud of our team, they fought hard," said UTSA coach Larry Coker. "They responded and could have given up a couple of times and never did" Things to watch Saturday: START ME UP: Garman's last start was for Jones High School, just outside Oklahoma City, in 2009. After moving to the Dallas suburbs the following year, he was ruled ineligible to play for Southlake Carroll his senior season. He then enrolled at Arizona, where he red-shirted in 2011, before transferring to OSU. The NCAA made him sit out a mandatory year (2012) before he returned as a backup last season. QUICK SUCCESS: UTSA football is in just its fourth season. Coker started it from scratch in 2011 and has built it quickly. After going 4-6 that first season with mostly freshmen and sophomores, the Roadrunners have gone 8-4 and 7-5 since, ending last season on a five-game winning streak. FOLLOW THY SHEPERD: Cowboys junior receiver Brandon Sheperd enjoyed a big day last weekend against Missouri State. He had four receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown, matching or setting career-high totals. "It's progressively gotten better for him. He's really improved from the understanding of the game and still continues to do so," said offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. STUDENT VS. MENTOR: Coker served as Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator for seven seasons, including all four while Gundy was the school's quarterback from 1986-89. Gundy considers him one of his mentors. "He's always been a very special part of our family," said Gundy, who defeated Coker in their first meeting last season when the Cowboys beat UTSA 56-35. YOUTH IS SERVED: After losing 32 letter-winners off last season's 10-3 squad, Oklahoma State has one of the youngest teams in the nation, tying Tulane with 32 freshmen and sophomores on its season-opening roster. No less than 10 Cowboys, including seven on defense, made their first college starts in their opening-day 37-31 loss to No. 1 Florida State.
Sep 12, 2014
Jordan Sterns has always been passionate about special teams, although his latest role of blocking kicks is something new.
OSU football: Jordan Sterns explains what it's like to block a punt
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Sep 12, 2014STILLWATER — Jordan Sterns has always been passionate about special teams, although his latest role of blocking kicks is something new. “In high school I was returning them,” Sterns said with a grin. “But I like blocking them. You’ve got a chance to return them, if you get a little bit of luck. And I was this close to returning one.” Sterns got a block and a return on the same play against Missouri State, racing in on Bears punter Chris Sullens off the edge and stuffing the boot, then grabbing the loose ball and taking it 19 yards to set up OSU’s first touchdown in the 40-23 win. The return Sterns was seeking, however, was to the house for a score of his own. “I haven’t ran with the ball in a while,” he said. “It felt funny just holding it, so it was weird. I thought somebody else was going to get the ball. But by the time I caught my balance, I saw it popping up. So I went over there and grabbed it. “And I tried to do a little something with it, but I didn’t get too far.” The Cowboys had recognized a flaw in Missouri State’s punt protection, giving Sterns hope to make a play. “It was just like practice,” Sterns said. “We’d been working it at practice all week. One of us, me or Chris Lacy (on the other side), was going to come free. Everybody else did a good job of hitting their gaps in between the shield. “I came free. I got it off the foot – I didn’t dive – it came off and it really was cool. “We went over that in film all week. They came out in a certain set and we were going to go after it. They did it the first punt of the game, I just got blocked that time. The second one, everybody went after it hard. And we got back there.”
Oklahoma State football: For quarterback Daxx Garman, opportunity at OSU finally sheds image as jaded transferSep 12, 2014
By now, most know Garman’s backstory of not playing since 2009. But more unusual is what it took for the Cowboy quarterback to overcome in order make it this far
Oklahoma State football: For quarterback Daxx Garman, opportunity at OSU finally sheds image as jaded transfer
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Sep 12, 2014STILLWATER — Much of his early football career was defined by anonymous letters and tips. Veiled accusations against the high-school star and his family. They poured into the email inboxes of principals, administrators, coaches and reporters. In one way or another, each making this statement about the teenager: Daxx Garman is cheating his way to the top. When Garman makes his first career start for Oklahoma State on Saturday night against UTSA, his well-documented backstory will once again be under the microscope. Before his appearance against Missouri State last weekend, Garman hadn’t played in a real game since his junior season at Jones High School in 2009. His prep career was highlighted by three transfers and two seasons lost to ineligibility, followed by a redshirt year at Arizona. Garman was then buried on the Cowboys’ depth chart for two seasons as a walk-on. But missing from that narrative is what’s also hidden in those letters. The evidence — interviews with those close to the family over the past five years and documents obtained by The Oklahoman — show that Garman’s early journey to becoming a Big 12 starter was marred by political battles and the desire for stardom. On Aug. 24, 2010, the athletic director at Southlake Carroll High School, where Garman graduated, received an email from a community member about the media firestorm Garman’s transfer attempt created. Five sentences. Two exclamation points. The final line? You better watch your back. ***** Garman was born and raised in Oklahoma, but little has been reported on his upbringing. Members of the Garman family did not respond to interview requests. What is certain? Garman’s high school football career began in 2007 when he transferred from Choctaw to Carl Albert for his freshman and sophomore seasons. And he came in with genetics that pointed toward a successful athletic future. His father, Pat Garman, played baseball in the Texas Rangers minor league system in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and once hit four home runs in a single game. But his son never got the opportunity to star at Carl Albert. Garman was passed over by upperclassmen quarterbacks, including J.T. Realmuto, a third-round pick by the Florida Marlins in 2010. So the family transferred Garman into Jones, a Class 3A school northeast of Oklahoma City, for his junior season. Kris Vaughn, 22, was a Jones running back who played alongside Garman in 2009. “Daxx was kind of (shy) and it took him a minute to open up,” Vaughn said. “It really didn’t click until like the second or third game.” But it wasn’t long before Jones coach David Martin understood the talent he suddenly had at quarterback. His first impression? “Man, can he spin the football,” Martin said. In his first ever varsity season, Garman totaled 2,500 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. His accuracy on deep and intermediate throws is what impressed Martin most. But Garman’s identity as a passer always came back to arm strength. “I would usually always wear gloves whenever Daxx threw the ball,” Vaughn said. “There was a time we were playing Millwood. I went to go block and then ran out in the flat. He threw it just hard enough to actually cut my hand. I was bleeding.” With one game left in the regular season, Jones was undefeated in district play and a shoe-in for the league crown. But everything changed one school day when Jones administrators pulled football players out of class just after lunch for a team meeting. Someone had tipped off the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association that there was an issue with Garman’s eligibility. Jones would forfeit all its games up to that point. Martin said he still does not know who alerted the rules committee. “The principal came in and said it was his fault,” Vaughn said. “That it was a paperwork thing.” In the hours leading up to Jones’ next game, Garman addressed the team in a group setting. “He said this was one the best experiences he ever had playing football, playing with us,” Vaughn said. “He told everybody thank you and he was sorry … he was collective about it, but just as hurt by it.” Apology accepted. But not by everyone. As Vaughn puts it, when news broke that Garman was the player responsible for a successful season lost, “stuff hit the fan.” The Garman family reported in several transfer documents that Daxx received “death threats” following the OSSAA’s decision and that his car was vandalized. However, Martin said he had no recollection of those events taking place. “I know there were Jones’ parents that weren’t too happy about it, because they’re thinking how it affects their kids,” Vaughn said. “They thought that Daxx and his family — since they had money — that they were some big shots that could run over the system. But that’s not how everybody saw it. “Forget the politics, he was never recruited or anything. Daxx just wanted to be somewhere he could play football and do what he loved to do.” Garman attempted a return to Carl Albert, but was denied because the school had reportedly reached its enrollment capacity. However, Garman’s future was still bright. After less than a season of starting varsity experience, the University of Arizona offered Garman a scholarship and he committed. But he still needed a home for his senior year. So the Garmans moved to Southlake, Texas. A decision that only escalated pressure on the 17-year-old quarterback. “At some point, you’ve got to sit there and go; man, is this really for me? And Daxx kept pushing on,” Martin said. “Most people might start to think; maybe I’m not supposed to be doing this.” ***** Every offseason, Southlake Carroll High School puts on a football camp for aspiring youth players from feeder programs in the community. For $125 at the door, participants received four days of “quality instruction with the opportunity to learn the Dragon Football System at an early age,” according to the 2014 camp flyer. It’s also a chance for SLC coaches to identify and develop incoming talent long before an athlete ever steps on campus. That process begins in first grade — the minimum-age requirement for the camp. It’s a system with proven results. Notable SLC football alumni include a slew of top collegiate quarterbacks, including Chase Daniel (Missouri), Greg McElroy (Alabama) and now Kenny Hill (Texas A&M). So imagine the community reaction in summer 2010, when Garman — the outsider with a history of transferring schools — was named the Dragons’ starter by coach Hal Wasson. “I think it made at least one family very upset,” SLC athletic director Kevin Ozee said. “I think they got into the ear of this particular reporter.” That reporter was Brett Shipp of WFAA-TV in Dallas. Shipp — who did not respond to interview requests — led an investigation into Garman’s eligibility. The governing body of Texas high school sports, the University Interscholastic League, prohibits players from transferring schools solely for athletic purposes. In two district meetings chaired by opposing athletic directors and principals, Garman’s transfer was unanimously approved — as it was shown that the entire Garman family had moved to Southlake and planned on settling down in the area. Five years later, the Garman’s still reside in Southlake. Daxx’s younger brother is currently on the Dragons’ freshman football team, Ozee said. But soon after those initial meetings that approved Garman’s 2010 transfer, Shipp’s investigation reached a tipping point. He caught Pat Garman on camera at an Oklahoma gas station, fueling up for a camping trip, and questioned whether the Garman’s moved to Southlake just so Daxx could play for SLC. Pat Garman responded by chest-passing a bag of ice at Shipp and the video went viral. It created the perception that the Garman family was out of control, Ozee said. “In my opinion, they made it appear like this was a horrible kid, a horrible family and they took advantage of the situation,” Ozee said. “And that was not the case at all.” Shipp also discovered an “out-clause” in the rental contract for the Garman’s home in Southlake. It stated that “in the event the Tenant’s son, Daxx Garman, is not accepted in the Carroll ISD Football program, Tenant will have the option to cancel this Lease…” Ozee said that clause was added in the situation that Garman’s transfer could possibly cause another round of threats against him — a safety precaution. However, there was no hard evidence to prove that theory. In the wake of Shipp’s investigation, another district meeting was called. And this time, Garman was found ineligible by a 4-3 vote. The Garman’s appealed to the state executive committee, but were once again denied. Hours after Ozee and the family left UIL headquarters in Austin, Garman was on the sidelines for the Dragon’s season opener. And that presence continued all season long. “You really feel for Daxx,” Ozee said. “He was 17-years-old, and this kid had been through more than most adults … He asked to be able to come out, practice, be part of the team and come to the games to support his teammates. Man, that spoke volumes.” ***** Soon after Garman passed for 244 yards and two touchdowns Sept. 6 against Missouri State, he spoke with the reporters for the first time as a Cowboy. When asked about the five-year gap in his career: “I’ve moved past that. Just trying to move on.” Hard to blame him. Because the days of Garman’s identity as the jaded transfer who couldn’t find a home are now long gone. However, he did make one last switch to become a Cowboy. Garman spent one season of anonymity as a redshirt at Arizona in 2011 and transferred to OSU when the Wildcats made a coaching change. “I'm getting the opportunity to move closer to home," Garman told local Arizona media. "My family can be more involved in the situation, and I felt like it's a better opportunity for me. Oklahoma State, they have a great football environment.” Garman entered the program as a walk-on. Former OSU quarterback Clint Chelf’s locker was right next to Garman’s when he arrived. Chelf called Garman a “quiet guy” who “doesn’t say a lot.” But any time Chelf put in extra time with his wide receivers outside practice, Garman was usually there, too. “He wanted to always be out there throwing and getting better,” Chelf said. “I think that’s just who he is.” Garman wasn’t put on scholarship until the beginning of this season, and now finds himself in a position he has not been accustomed to prior. After fighting for a chance to become a starting quarterback the past four seasons, the job has dropped into his lap at the expense of someone else. OSU coach Mike Gundy said last week that J.W. Walsh is the Cowboys’ starter when healthy. But with Walsh out indefinitely following lower right leg/foot surgery, it’s now Garman’s job to lose. “(Garman) has always been a self-starter and he’s been motivated to learn,” Gundy said. “That’s why you do it, because you never know when you’re going to be in a game.” OSU fans witnessed the same arm strength that wowed Martin five years ago. His performance Saturday against UTSA will be chapter two in a new story to define his football career. “I’m sure there are a lot of people that would have liked to coach a kid a like that for a number of years,” Martin said. “Especially with how offenses are run in the spread and being able to put the ball all over the place. You’ve got a guy back there that can do that.”
Sep 11, 2014
Stillwater brings back a lot of great memories for Roadrunner coaches Eric Roark and Neal Neathery.
Oklahoma State football: For UTSA coaches, it's old home week — sort of
By John Helsley | Sep 11, 2014STILLWATER — Eric Roark admits to being a closet Cowboys fan. Shhh, he’s also the defensive line coach at UTSA, which has a date with Oklahoma State this Saturday. Oh, what the heck, no need to keep it quiet. “Everybody knows it,” Roark said this week. And for this week, Roark insists this is all business with the Roadrunners on their way to Stillwater, where he played for the Cowboys in the late ’70s. Same for UTSA defensive coordinator Neal Neathery, who grew up in Stillwater as his father, Ray, taught at OSU and took him to games in all the sports. It’s a business trip … back home. “It is a little bittersweet,” Roark said. “I’m still a closet Cowboy fan. I really am. All sports. If they’re on TV or anything, I’m watching. I look for the scores. “I love the Cowboys marching band. But I hope they don’t give me nightmares on Saturday night.” The more OSU scores, the more the band plays, which wouldn’t bode well for the Roadrunners defense. But, oh, Roark used to love it when the band played at old Lewis Field. He and his dad, after making the drive from home in Pawhuska, found their way to the west end zone bleachers. “We sat in the cheap seats,” Roark said. “Every time somebody kicked an extra point, somebody might end up stealing the football. That’s how long ago that was. “And when I walk on the field Saturday, I’ll remember my dad trying to catch an extra point.” Neathery holds some great memories, too. “We moved there when I was 5 years old,” he said. “Went to high school there. My dad taught at OSU for 20 years. Totally grew up around Oklahoma State. “We had season football tickets. Basketball tickets. Spent a ton of time around the baseball games. They were really good in baseball back then. Watched some wrestling. “I mean, I really loved my childhood. I wouldn’t trade it for anybody’s. I really had a blast growing up there. Really loved Oklahoma State, loved Stillwater. It was a great place to grow up.” The OSU-UTSA connection also includes Roadrunners head coach Larry Coker, who spent seven seasons on staff with the Cowboys in the ’80s and was offensive coordinator for Mike Gundy’s time at quarterback. Coker, of course, is the tie that binds all three coaches and this old home week feel for a chunk of the UTSA staff. When Roark played at Pawhuska High, Coker was the coach at Fairfax, a 20-mile drive up the road. For Roark’s final season at OSU in 1982, Coker had just joined Jimmy Johnson’s staff with the Cowboys. Neathery and Coker spent most Sundays together in Stillwater at University Heights Baptist Church. Ray Neathery, Neal’s dad, taught Coker in Sunday school. And it was Coker who told Neal Neathery not to walk on at OSU. “I was thinking long and hard about walking on at Oklahoma State,” said Neathery, who instead played at Wheaton College in Illinois. “And he was kind enough to tell me, ‘Don’t do that, go somewhere where you can play.’ Because I really couldn’t play at that level. “But I would have loved to do it. Even when I went off, I kept thinking maybe I’d grow three inches and get a lot faster and transfer back. But that didn’t happen either. “It’s neat how this has all worked out.” Roark and Neathery kept in contact with Coker over the years, as their career paths veered in different directions. Then they all came together when Coker got the job to start up UTSA’s first-ever football program. What’s happened since has been fascinating, with the Roadrunners speeding way ahead of schedule, going 20-15 in three-plus seasons. This year, they’ve routed Houston and lost a close game with Arizona, two programs that have been at this game of football a lot longer than UTSA. “When we first started, we thought going to the Southland Conference was going to be a pipe dream,” Roark said. “And that was the conference all our other programs were in. “The first two purchases we made, we bought a San Antonio map and we bought a Texas map. We didn’t have any gear or anything. It was just three of us. And we said, ‘Let’s go get some Texas kids.’” Even that was a challenge the first year. UTSA’s recruiting was built on a vision. No hard evidence. No history. No tradition. For the program’s first recruiting weekend, there were no football players to serve as hosts, so golfers and tennis players stood in. “We thought, ‘How is this going to work?’” Roark said. “Well, that’s our senior class.” A strong senior class of 37, including 18 of what the Roadrunners call “The Original 18,” players who have been there since the first practice in 2010. “They’re a great group of kids,” Neathery said. “That’s the story here. Someday there will be this awesome 20-year reunion.” The pieces finally started to fall into place at UTSA, but the surprises kept coming. “Nobody knew 57,000 people would come to our first game,” Neathery said. “And no one, certainly, knew we’d have the kind of success we’ve had.” Those 57,000 people, for a game against Tahlequah’s own Northeastern State on Sept. 3 2011, made for a fair share of chill bumps. “That was one of the coolest days of my life,” Neathery said. “It was unreal. We got off the bus and I mean, people were in tears. People who had graduated from here and wanted football for so long. “And it wasn’t just the number, it was the emotion. The crowd just got louder and louder. It never slowed down. They didn’t know to quiet down when we were on offense. “It was like everybody was drunk on football.” Both Roark and Neathery will have family and friends at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday. Each has returned for games recently – as fans – so the facility improvements won’t be startling. “I bought a ticket,” Roark said of a trip to see Bedlam in 2008. “I sat up in the stands and watched. It was cold. “And I wore orange and I rooted for the Cowboys.” Roark won’t be rooting for the Cowboys on Saturday. Not a chance. But the Roadrunners’ color scheme is blue… and orange. “I’m hoping we’ll wear blue this weekend,” Roark said.
Oklahoma State football: With J.W. Walsh sidelined by injury, true freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph is one step closer to playing this seasonSep 11, 2014
Ruldolph — a 6-foot-4, 217-pound, four-star recruit — doesn’t lack the confidence to lead the Cowboys’ offense. He ran a similar spread system at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill S.C. with great success.
Oklahoma State football: With J.W. Walsh sidelined by injury, true freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph is one step closer to playing this season
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Sep 11, 2014STILLWATER — J.W. Walsh is out. Daxx Garman is in. But the shakeup doesn’t stop there. In the wake of the big news Thursday — Walsh, Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback, ruled out indefinitely following surgery to his injured right lower leg/foot area — lies a notable fact in the shadow of Garman’s pending start against UTSA on Saturday. True freshman Cowboy quarterback Mason Rudolph has taken another step closer toward his ultimate goal. “He wants to be the starter right now,” said Kyle Richardson, Rudolph’s coach at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill S.C., in an August phone interview. “He doesn’t want to redshirt.” Rudolph — a 6-foot-4, 217-pound, four-star recruit — doesn’t lack the confidence to lead the Cowboys’ offense. He ran a similar spread system at Northwestern with great success. In three years as the starting quarterback, Rudolph racked up 10,986 passing yards and won a state title his senior year. “The way I coach the quarterbacks, I would be surprised if their meetings are any different than what he’s been a part of the last three years,” Richardson said. “We run the exact same offense from a mental standpoint. He’s been prepared to be in that type of system.” OSU coach Mike Gundy said throughout fall camp and into the season that Rudolph has split second-team practice snaps with Garman. And while Gundy wouldn’t say if he plans on redshirting Rudolph this year, he did give the freshman a vote of confidence. “(Rudolph) can function out there with the ones,” Gundy said at a press conference Monday. “He can go out and play with the ones and drive traffic and do all the things our quarterbacks do. He knows the plays, he knows the reads. That doesn’t mean in the heat of the moment he might not bust, but he knows what to do.” As Walsh begins the recovery process — reported as 6-to-8 weeks by KFOR News Channel 4 — it is likely Rudolph will see an increase in practice repetitions. As Gundy said Monday, Rudolph’s practice plan “could change based on the information that I get” about Walsh’s status. Because multiple options have received practice snaps throughout the year, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said he’s “real confident that we have three quarterbacks that can go, and that can lead us to victory.” And as it developed last Saturday, the Cowboys’ hand could be forced to prove it at a moment’s notice. Should Garman’s status as OSU’s starter come into question, for whatever reason, Gundy has a back-up plan. And it’s a quality option Gundy says surpasses his own potential back when he was a first-year Cowboy. “(Rudolph’s) further ahead from a mental part than I ever was as a freshman,” Gundy said. “Because he got quality reps. I didn’t get reps.”
Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola...
The Oklahoman's Week 2 high school football picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 10, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola 36, Poteau JV 14 Class B DEPEW 40, OSD 24 Independent Wright Christian 46, Eagle Point Chr. 28 Friday’s Games Class 6A Bartlesville 28, CASCIA HALL 17 Bentonville, Ark. 17, BROKEN ARROW 7 Deer Creek 21, NORMAN 17 Edmond Memorial 20, EDMOND NORTH 14 Enid 28, SAND SPRINGS 24 Guthrie 44, PONCA CITY 10 TULSA UNION 31, Jenks 28 DEL CITY 55, Lawton Eisenhower 28 LAWTON 28, Lawton MacArthur 27 Midwest City 21, CARL ALBERT 20 Owasso 35, MUSKOGEE 14 CHOCTAW 42, Putnam City 28 Putnam North 28, PUTNAM WEST 24 Rogers, Ark. 21, CLAREMORE14 Sapulpa 48, TULSA HALE 12 WESTMOORE 28, Southmoore 20 MUSTANG 45, Stillwater 28 TULSA WASHINGTON 49, Tulsa Central 8 Class 5A ANADARKO 42, Altus 8 Ardmore 28, DURANT 12 WESTERN HEIGHTS 40, Capitol Hill 12 COLLINSVILLE 28, Catoosa 14 GROVE 22, Jay 18 Liberal, Kan. 35, GUYMON 14 McAlester 35, COWETA 28 McGuinness 17, TULSA KELLEY 14 Noble 28, CHICKASHA 14 NORTHWEST 35, Northeast 28 Pryor 24, WAGONER 20 Shawnee 35, DUNCAN 14 Skiatook 20, OOLOGAH 14 ELK CITY 31, Southeast 24 Stilwell 14, TAHLEQUAH 13 Tulsa Edison 30, TULSA MEMORIAL 22 Weatherford 17, PIEDMONT 13 Woodward 20, EL RENO 12 Class 4A HOBART 27, Cache 20 HERITAGE HALL 24, Clinton 21 HILLDALE 17, Fort Gibson 14 BEGGS 32, Glenpool 27 BROKEN BOW 28, Idabel 22 HARRAH 27, Jones 20 ADA 31, Madill 28 CLEVELAND 30, Mannford 10 Marlow 24, ELGIN 17 McLoud 30, PERKINS 20 VERDIGRIS 27, Miami 24 SPIRO 28, Muldrow 6 Oklahoma Christian 24, METRO CHR. 20 Poteau 34, VAN BUREN, ARK. 28 Seminole 49, TECUMSEH 7 SALLISAW 28, Stigler 20 BRISTOW 30, Stroud 22 TULSA McLAIN 28, Tulsa NOAH 24 NEWCASTLE 28, Tuttle 27 NOWATA 21, Vinita 17 Class 3A Berryhill 35, CUSHING 28 NEWKIRK 20, Blackwell 16 LEXINGTON 21, Bridge Creek 20 KELLYVILLE 34, Caney Valley 18 BLANCHARD 24, Casady 20 Chandler 28, MEEKER 21 Checotah 32, HENRYETTA 14 Chr. Heritage 42, MOUNT ST. MARY 28 LITTLE AXE 34, Crooked Oak 16 Davis 42, SULPHUR 14 PAWHUSKA 28, Dewey 24 LINDSAY 30, Dickson 17 HARTSHORNE 34, Eufaula 10 Haskell 14, MORRIS 13 John Marshall 38, CENTENNIAL 26 Kingfisher 40, HENNESSEY 20 VICTORY CHRISTIAN 49, Lighthouse Chr. 7 Lincoln Christian 42, HOLLAND HALL 14 Lincoln, Ark. 28, KEYS (PARK HILL) 21 Lone Grove 42, HUGO 7 BETHANY 45, OKC Legion 8 Okemah 28, BETHEL 12 PLAINVIEW 26, Pauls Valley 13 WASHINGTON 18, Purcell 12 Roland 35, SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 14 Salina 21, INOLA 14 Seq. Claremore 28, SPERRY 6 COMANCHE 14, Tishomingo 13 Tulsa Rogers 26, TULSA WEBSTER 22 U.S. Grant 22, OKMULGEE 18 KINGSTON 35, Valliant 7 Vian 28, HEAVENER 6 COLCORD 27, Westville 22 Class 2A Adair 46, WYANDOTTE 6 COMMERCE 28, Afton 26 Alva 24, OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21 TALIHINA 41, Antlers 16 Barnsdall 21, OKLAHOMA UNION 20 PANAMA 28, Central Sallisaw 20 Chouteau 24, KETCHUM 16 SAVANNA 42, Coalgate 14 Empire 20, WALTERS 14 CHISHOLM 42, Fairview 20 CHELSEA 27, Foyil 16 Holdenville 20, ATOKA 14 Hominy 28, PAWNEE 18 FREDERICK 30, Mangum 12 ELMORE CITY 18, Marietta 14 TONKAWA 28, Morrison 21 CRESCENT 28, Perry 6 LUTHER 35, Prague 20 Rush Springs 30, DIBBLE 16 Summit Christian 46, LIBERTY 6 Warner 27, HULBERT 14 Wewoka 28, KONAWA 21 QUINTON 22, Wilburton 6 Yale 28, WELLSTON 20 Class A SYRACUSE, KAN. 20, Beaver 16 SNYDER 29, Burns Flat-Dill City 7 COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN 34, Carnegie 20 CORDELL 21, Central Marlow 20 MINCO 28, Crossings Christian 21 Drumright 16, PORTER 14 TEXHOMA 22, Gruver, Texas 14 STRATFORD 24, Healdton 22 Hollis 42, HOOKER 6 Humboldt, Kan. 27, QUAPAW 14 Kiefer 42, REJOICE CHRISTIAN 14 CASHION 35, Mooreland 16 Mounds 28, GORE 7 THOMAS 21, Okeene 7 WAYNE 32, Okla. Christian Aca. 13 HINTON 24, Sayre 14 WYNNEWOOD 35, Velma-Alma 34 APACHE 37, Wilson 20 Class B Allen 56, MACOMB 6 Arkoma 38, GANS 26 Canadian 28, HAILEYVILLE 24 ALEX 44, Cyril 6 Garber 48, OAKS 20 Geary 56, BRAY-DOYLE 42 Keota 42, WELEETKA 34 WAURIKA 38, Maud 20 Maysville 56, STROTHER 22 SEILING 44, Merritt 28 CANTON 34, Pioneer 28 DEWAR 56, Porum 6 Ringwood 48, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 8 WELCH 32, South Coffeyville 28 POND CREEK-HUNTER 48, Turpin 12 DAVENPORT 54, Watts 6 LAVERNE 58, Waukomis 20 WOODLAND 42, Wesleyan Christian 20 Wetumka 40, CADDO 28 Class C Balko 42, ROLLA, KAN. 28 BOKOSHE 28, Bowlegs 24 Cherokee 54, BUFFALO 8 RYAN 44, Corn Bible 28 Covington-Douglas 34, MEDFORD 30 Coyle 54, PRUE 16 BLUEJACKET 56, DC-Lamont 40 Fox 60, WEBBERS FALLS 14 DUKE 48, Gracemont 44 CAVE SPRINGS 28, Paoli 24 Regent Prep 54, COPAN 38 Sasakwa 42, MIDWAY 26 Shattuck 58, SHARON-MUTUAL 28 MT. VIEW-GOTEBO 38, SW Covenant 22 TIPTON 56, Temple 8 Thackerville 54, GRANDFIELD 52 Timberlake 34, WAYNOKA 24 BOISE CITY 40, Tyrone 14 Independent Destiny Christian 40, OKC PATRIOTS 16 CLAREMORE CHR. 42, Immanuel Chr. 14 Saturday’s Game Class 3A Douglass 28, MILLWOOD 24 *Home team in CAPS
Sep 6, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Daxx Garman went 16 of 26 for 244 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Oklahoma State to a 40-23 victory over Missouri State Saturday. Garman entered the contest late in the first quarter, for injured starter J.W. Walsh, with OSU leading 10-6. It was his first game action since his junior year of high school in 2009. Tyreek Hill ran for 62 yards for Oklahoma State...
OSU football: QB Daxx Garman replaces injured J.W. Walsh, leads Cowboys to 40-23 win
Kyle Fredrickson | Sep 6, 2014STILLWATER — Daxx Garman took a sack, threw an incompletion and was pinned inside his own 20-yard line: third-and-long for Oklahoma State’s second-string quarterback midway through the second quarter, up just 11 points against Football Championship Subdivision’s Missouri State. Garman took the shotgun snap and rolled right. Wide receiver Brandon Sheperd crossed left 35 yards downfield. On the run and across his body — Garman let it fly. And suddenly, all the stories from two years of practice about Garman’s arm strength played out in real life. He zipped the ball right into Sheperd’s chest, and Sheperd raced into the end zone. The Cowboys won 40-23 and that 87-yard touchdown pass was etched into history — the second longest ever by a Cowboy quarterback in Stillwater. It also showcased Garman’s potential to re-write OSU’s offensive attack this season. “I saw exactly what he saw,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “The only guy I thought could make that throw was wearing a headset.” Gundy was talking about himself, of course. High praise for Garman. “I thought I better get it to (Sheperd) quick and let him run … That’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” Garman said. Garman’s stat line — 16-of-26 passing for 244 yards and two touchdowns — helps make sense of Gundy saying he’d play his quarterbacks “situatioinally” this season. Garman’s arm strength stretched the field and changed the demeanor of his deep-threat wideouts. As Sheperd puts it, his “mindset is vertical, every time,” when Garman comes into the game. Garman was expected to play Saturday, but not under the circumstances he faced. Starter J.W. Walsh exited the game with an undetermined foot injury late in the first quarter. Gundy said the team will know more about Walsh’s prognosis by Sunday. So in came the backup who hadn’t played in a real game since he was a high school junior. Garman transferred from Jones High School outside Oklahoma City after his 2009 season to finish his prep career at Dallas-area power Southlake Carrol. But he was never ruled eligible. After one redshirt season at Arizona, Garman transferred to OSU where he’s sat deep on the depth chart ever since — until Saturday. “It’s kind of like riding a bike I guess,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “Once you get back on it, it feels normal.” Gundy has said he couldn’t be certain of Garman’s true potential until the lights came on in a real-game setting. “(Garman’s) had a lot of reps,” Gundy said. “He’s really ready to play. He had to go through some growing pains. The speed of the game is different for him. He hadn’t played in a long time. He made some mistakes, but he also made some throws.” Garman spoke with reporters after the game for the first time as a Cowboy. He kept his answers short, thanked his teammates and was on his way. “Just another day,” Garman said.
Oklahoma State football: Cowboys land first wide receiver recruit of 2015 class: Jalen McCleskey of St. Paul's High School (Covington, La.)Sep 5, 2014
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State continued its recruiting success in the southeast Thursday night. The Cowboys got their first wide receiver commit of the 2015 class when Jalen McCleskey, of St. Paul’s High School in Covington, La., announced via Twitter his intention to play for OSU.
Oklahoma State football: Cowboys land first wide receiver recruit of 2015 class: Jalen McCleskey of St. Paul's High School (Covington, La.)
Kyle Fredrickson | Sep 5, 2014STILLWATER — Oklahoma State continued its recruiting success in the southeast Thursday night. The Cowboys got their first wide receiver commit of the 2015 class when Jalen McCleskey, of St. Paul’s High School in Covington, La., announced via Twitter his intention to play for OSU: [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/11/2014/09/photo-5.jpg]3379404[/img] McClesky, a three-star recruit according to Rivals and ESPN, hauled in 45 catches for 637 yards and 7 touchdowns last season as a junior. A look at his Rivals page: [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/11/2014/09/photo-4.jpg]3379371[/img] McClesky is the 11th member of OSU’s 2015 class. And if he signs a letter of intent in February, he will be the third Louisiana prep standout on the Cowboys’ roster — alongside cornerback Juwan Offray and running back Sione Palelei. Coach Mike Gundy celebrated the news with this tweet: [img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/11/2014/09/photo-6.jpg]3379403[/img]
OSU football: Jordan Sterns, other Cowboys youngsters finally getting their chance inside Boone Pickens StadiumSep 5, 2014
Many an orange blood sees this game against Missouri State as a nothingburger home opener, and after last week’s thriller against Florida State, it’s easy to understand the comedown. But there are a bunch of guys like Jordan Sterns on the OSU roster who feel differently.
OSU football: Jordan Sterns, other Cowboys youngsters finally getting their chance inside Boone Pickens Stadium
BY JENNI CARLSON | Sep 5, 2014STILLWATER — Jordan Sterns played a handful of garbage-time snaps in the Oklahoma State secondary last season. Just so happened that most came away from home in road blowouts against UTSA, Iowa State and Texas. Saturday, then, will be the first time Sterns plays meaningful defensive snaps inside Boone Pickens Stadium. “I haven’t ever really played in front of the Paddle People on defense,” the Cowboy safety said of the students who smack giant wooden paddles against the wall surrounding the field every time the OSU defense takes to the turf. Sterns smiled. “That’s gonna be fun.” Many an orange blood sees this game against Missouri State as a nothingburger home opener, and after last week’s thriller against Florida State, it’s easy to understand the comedown. But there are a bunch of guys like Sterns on the OSU roster who feel differently. Sterns is one of five players who will be making their first career start at BPS after seeing extremely limited or no action last season. And there are a bunch more reserves now being used extensively who were largely relegated to the sideline a year ago. Truth be told, the phenomenon happens on every college team every season, guys finally getting a chance to get on the field. But the volume of players in that position this season at OSU is larger than most. That’s because the Cowboys lost 32 players off last year’s team. Lots of spots to fill. Lots of holes to patch. Lots of opportunity, too. More on this weekend's OSU-Missouri State matchup Getting ready for Missouri State David Glidden explains what it's like to be THAT open Cowboys land first receiver recruit of 2015 class Fountain outside Edmon Low Library dyed Missouri State maroon Cowboys look to move on from inconsistent special teams play OSU-Missouri State: Predictions Sterns is one of the unproven players who has made the most of his chance. He not only claimed the starting free safety spot but also showed himself worthy of the gig. He led the Cowboys with eight tackles in the opener and forced a fumble that the Seminoles managed to recover. “That was my first time really contributing since high school,” said Sterns, who played on several special teams units last season. “It feels good going out there and playing hard for your team.” Sterns knew a year on the fringes would be his destiny when he arrived in Stillwater from Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas, a bedroom community northeast of San Antonio. He was a three- or four-star recruit, depending on who you trust. He was sought after by all sorts of Big 12 programs. But he suspected he’d rarely see the field on defense during his first season as a Cowboy. “We had good guys,” he said of starting safeties Shamiel Gary and Daytawion Lowe. “They taught me a lot about the coverages, what we do, the ins and outs of the defense. “I needed a year off to learn the college game.” Knowing that still didn’t make last year any easier. “It’s the reality,” Sterns said. “It’s a humbling experience.” Even the times he got on the field last season could be bittersweet. He made a couple of special teams tackles against Baylor and a couple more against Oklahoma. He heard his name on the loud speaker at BPS. He soaked in the cheers from the Cowboy faithful. But then he went right back to the sideline. That changes Saturday against Missouri State. Sterns and many other Cowboys will be playing in front of the home crowd on the BPS turf for the first time. They’ll be fired up. They’ll be excited. A nothingburger game? Nothing could be further from the truth. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Sep 4, 2014
The Oklahoman's high school football game of the week between Midwest City and Tulsa Washington will be streamed live Friday on NewsOK.com through a partnership with OKPreps.tv.
Midwest City-Tulsa Washington football game will be streamed live on NewsOK.com
Sep 4, 2014The Oklahoman's high school football game of the week between Midwest City and Tulsa Washington will be streamed live Friday on NewsOK.com through a partnership with OKPreps.tv. The OKPreps.tv broadcast can be seen on NewsOK.com/varsity beginning at 7 p.m. from Midwest City. The OKPreps.tv broadcasts are produced through the OKPreps Student Broadcast Network, which features 24 schools and will be streaming 15 other games Friday night. Here are the broadcasts: Tulsa Edison at Bishop Kelley - http://bishopkelleycomets.tv/?p=1829 Shawnee at Bishop McGuinness - http://bmchs.tv/?p=1793 Owasso at Broken Arrow - http://arrowvision.tv/?p=1212 AND http://owassorams.tv/?p=1890 Sallisaw at Catoosa - http://catoosaindians.tv/2014/09/05/sallisaw-vs-catoosa/ Choctaw at Sapulpa - http://yellowjackets.tv/?p=113 Claremore at Pryor - http://claremorezebras.tv/?p=2547 Lawton MacArthur at Clinton - http://clintontornadoes.tv/2014/09/05/lawton-mac-vs-clinton/ Coweta at Wagoner - http://cowetatigers.tv/2014/09/05/coweta-vs-wagoner-2/ AND http://wagonerbulldogs.tv/?p=115 Deer Creek at Stillwater - http://deercreekantlers.tv/?p=2044 Putnam City West at Del City - http://delcityeagles.tv/?p=240 Elk City at Pampa, TX - http://bigelks.tv/2014/09/05/elk-city-vs-pampa/ Tahlequah at Fort Gibson - http://fortgibsontigers.tv/?p=2076 Mustang at Yukon - http://mustangbroncos.tv/yukon-vs-mustang/ Tulsa Hale at Sand Springs - http://sandites.tv/?p=2288 Skiatook at Piedmont - http://skiatookbulldogs.tv/2014/09/05/skiatook-vs-piedmont/
Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.
High school football: The Oklahoman's Week 1 picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 3, 2014Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.) 35, Poteau 20 Roland 35, MULDROW 10 Class 3A WASHINGTON 35, Bridge Creek 12 INOLA 28, Chelsea 13 VELMA-ALMA 22, Comanche 16 CASADY 42, Heritage Hall 38 Kingston 14, DICKSON 12 DOUGLASS 48, Northeast 12 Locust Grove 42, Salina 8 Class 2A Crescent 28, NEWKIRK 14 PANAMA 40, Gore 14 Hartshorne 44, HOLDENVILLE 12 Talihina 48, WILBURTON 6 Oklahoma Union 14, QUAPAW 13 Class A Carnegie 28, BURNS FLAT-DILL CITY 12 Class B GEARY 42, Canton 38 DEER CREEK-LAMONT 40, Kremlin-Hillsdale 22 POND CREEK-HUNTER 42, Medford 12 BLUEJACKET 48, Welch 20 Class C Shattuck 56, Pioneer JV 6 Friday Class 6A JENKS 56, Bixby 16 Choctaw 35, SAPULPA 20 PRYOR 28, Claremore 22 STILLWATER 30, Deer Creek 27 Edmond Santa Fe 24, EDMOND NORTH 20 Fayetteville (Ark.) 35, LAWTON EISENHOWER 14 Lawton 28, SALINA (KAN.) CENTRAL 21 McALESTER 42, Muskogee 28 Mustang 28, YUKON 21 BROKEN ARROW 31, Owasso 17 ENID 28, Ponca City 20 Putnam City 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 27 DEL CITY 42, Putnam City West 20 Tulsa East Central 28, BARTLESVILLE 24 SAND SPRINGS 40, Tulsa Hale 12 SOUTHLAKE (TEXAS) CARROLL 35, Tulsa Union 28 MIDWEST CITY 21, Tulsa Washington 20 Westmoore 35, MOORE 7 Class 5A Ada 14, ARDMORE 13 Ashdown (Ark.) 28, DURANT 24 ANADARKO 42, Chickasha 17 Coweta 28, WAGONER 27 GUTHRIE 27, Duncan 21 CALR ALBERT 21, El Reno 7 Grove 28, MIAMI 21 HUGOTON (KAN.) 24, Guymon 14 Lawton MacArthur 33, CLINTON 27 JOHN MARSHALL 32, Northwest Classen 13 Shawnee 28, MCGUINNESS 14 Skiatook 21, PIEDMONT 20 FORT GIBSON 28, Tahlequah 16 NOBLE 21, Tecumseh 14 TULSA MEMORIAL 28, Tulsa Central 12 TULSA KELLEY 34, Tulsa Edison 30 WESTERN HEIGHTS 28, U.S. Grant 22 Vernon (Texas) 27, ALTUS 21 Class 4A McLOUD 35, Bethel 14 TUTTLE 28, Blanchard 21 CUSHING 27, Bristow 24 PAMPA (TEXAS) 28, Elk City 18 Glenpool 35, BERRYHILL 34 SEMINOLE 28, Harrah 27 Hennessey 35, ELGIN 14 CASCIA HALL 28, Holland Hall 20 CACHE 20, Iowa Park (Texas) 17 VINITA 20, JAY 13 TULSA McLAIN 14, Mannford 7 Newcastle 28, PAULS VALLEY 14 Sallisaw 31, CATOOSA 28 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 42, Santa Fe South 7 Spiro 28, STILWELL 24 METRO CHRISTIAN 35, Tulsa NOAH 27 Woodward 21, KINGFISHER 20 Class 3A Beggs 40, EUFAULA 14 Centennial 28, CAPITOL HILL 12 Chandler 24, OKMULGEE 14 Hartford (Ark.) 28, WESTVILLE 12 Heavener 21, ATOKA 14 STIGLER 28, Hilldale 21 Hugo 35, IDABEL 14 LINCOLN CHRISTIAN 48, Kansas 12 KIEFER 22, Kellyville 16 CHECOTAH 38, Keys (Park Hill) 8 LITTLE AXE 27, Lexington 24 PURCELL 28, Lindsay 21 LONE GROVE 41, Marietta 14 BETHANY 28, Marlow 21 Meeker 20, PRAGUE 18 HENRYETTA 22, Morris 20 CROOKED OAK 28, Mount St. Mary 24 Nowata 38, DEWEY 12 TULSA ROGERS 21, OKC Legion 18 VERDIGRIS 28, Pawhuska 22 SEQ.-CLAREMORE 21, Perkins-Tryon 14 Perry 30, BLACKWELL 14 Plainview 24, SANGER (TEXAS) 21 TULSA WEBSTER 34, SeeWorth Academy 6 OKEMAH 28, Seq.-Tahlequah 20 ADAIR 44, Sperry 21 MILLWOOD 21, Star Spencer 20 WYNNEWOOD 32, Sulphur 17 MADILL 28, Tishomingo 22 Class 2A Caney Valley 22, BARNSDALL 20 Chisholm 28, OKEENE 24 Chouteau 36, FOYIL 14 AFTON 24, Colcord 22 STROUD 28, Commerce 21 Frederick 21, ELECTRA (TEXAS) 20 HASKELL 14, Ketchum 13 MOUNDS 34, Liberty 12 Luther 28, TONKAWA 27 HOBART 42, Mangum 14 Minco 28, DIBBLE 12 OCS 24, RINGLING 20 MORRISON 35, Pawnee 16 Pocola 28, CENTRAL SALLISAW 21 HULBERT 14, Porter 7 Savanna 32, ANTLERS 20 Stratford 35, COALGATE 14 Thomas 21, ALVA 7 Walters 40, WILSON 16 Wellston 28, DRUMRIGHT 14 Wyandotte 42, FAIRLAND 14 Class A Apache 44, RUSH SPRINGS 20 TEXHOMA 28, Booker (Texas) 24 Central Marlow 20, SNYDER 16 Community Christian 31, OCA 20 Cordell 24, SAYRE 12 REJOICE CHRISTIAN 34, Crossings Christian 24 EMPIRE 28, Elmore City 21 OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21, Fairview 20 ELKHART (KAN.) 28, Hooker 14 KONAWA 30, Quinton 28 BEAVER 31, Stanton County (KAN.) 14 Summit Christian 35, WARNER 21 Watonga 28, HINTON 8 Wayne 35, HEALDTON 16 HOLLIS 42, Wellington (Texas) 21 CASHION 48, Yale 14 Class B Arkoma 44, BOKOSHE 8 ALEX 44, Caddo 38 Cave Springs 48, WATTS 8 Cherokee 56, PIONEER 0 Claremore Chr. 42, S. COFFEYVILLE 28 WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN 28, Copan 14 MERRITT 44, Corn Bible 24 GARBER 56, Covington-Douglas 20 Davenport 54, WELEETKA 34 Dewar 60, WOODLAND 28 DEPEW 38, Haileyville 34 Keota 56, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 14 CYRIL 44, Life Christian 28 SASAKWA 38, Macomb 6 Maud 56, BOWLEGS 6 Maysville 44, PAOLI 12 Mountain View-Gotebo 42, BRAY-DOYLE 6 Oaks 56, GANS 8 WEBBERS FALLS 48, Porum 8 Ryan 42, WAURIKA 12 Seiling 56, SHARON-MUTUAL 38 Strother 40, CANADIAN 32 RINGWOOD 56, Timberlake 38 Waukomis 56, BUFFALO 8 Wetumka 48, ALLEN 42 Class C WAYNOKA 38, Duke 28 Gracemont 40, PRUE 24 Grandfield 56, OKC PATRIOTS 14 BALKO 48, Moscow (Kan.) 18 DESTINY CHR. 44, Southwest Covenant 28 THACKERVILLE 56, Temple 12 Tipton 54, FOX 42 BOISE CITY 28, Wiley (Colo.) 24 Wright Christian 34, MIDWAY 28 Saturday Class 3A Victory Christian 42, JONES 28 (at Choctaw) Class 2A DAVIS 28, Vian 22 (at Choctaw) Class A Mooreland 42, CHISHOLM JV 14 Independent Missouri Deaf 54, OSD 48 *Home team in CAPS
Sep 2, 2014
The defensive end’s breakout game against Florida State serves notice that he’s here to play on the big stage.
Oklahoma State football: Introducing Emmanuel Ogbah
By John Helsley | Sep 2, 2014STILLWATER — Florida State’s Jameis Winston dragged himself off the deck, eyes looking confused about just who had planted him into the AT&T Stadium turf. Who indeed? Emmanuel Ogbah, that’s who. Twice. Ogbah — pronounced AWG-buh — introduced himself Saturday night. To the Heisman Trophy holder Winston and the touted FSU offensive line. To many Oklahoma State fans. And to much of America. The guy in the curious No. 38. The guy with the intriguing name. The guy who came to play on the big stage. “That was great to see that,” said Jimmy Bean, who plays opposite Ogbah at defensive end. “I’m proud. “I feel like it’s been a long time coming for him. He’s getting his chance, and a lot of people are going to see what he can do.” By Monday morning, ESPN’s Skip Bayless raved about OSU’s array of athletes making plays, which certainly includes Ogbah. By Tuesday morning, Ogbah carried the voting as the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Week after totaling six tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups against the Seminoles in his first career start. There will be many more starts to come for the sophomore defensive end. Perhaps many more Player of the Week honors, too. Still, exactly who is Emmanuel Ogbah, who’s quickly becoming a major factor on a talented defensive front that already had known quantities in Bean and James Castleman? He’s interesting, to say the least. And Cowboys coach Mike Gundy ratcheted up the interest level Monday, suggesting that by the time Ogbah is done at OSU, he could be the best defensive end of Gundy’s tenure. “I heard about that,” said Ogbah, his voice quickening. “I’m excited about that. I was surprised he said that, but I’m willing to keep working to get to that goal.” Ogbah was born in Lagos, Nigeria, moving with his family to Houston at the age of 9. At that age, he said, the transition to a new country and culture was more exciting than daunting. “I was still pretty young, so I was just excited to interact with people and see how the new world was,” Ogbah said. “It was pretty smooth.” Pretty soon, he found himself attracted to football, partly because it was the thing to do. “I started playing in seventh grade,” he said. “All my friends were playing. I thought it would be fun, so I just tried it.” His older brother had played, too, which is how Ogbah came about adopting the No. 38, in a roundabout sort of way. “The real story behind the No. 38,” Ogbah said, “my brother played football, too; he wore the No. 38 in high school. And my sophomore year, guys would say, ‘Ogbah sucked.’ They were talking about my brother. “I said, ‘I’m going to change the Ogbah name.’ So I decided to wear that number my whole career.” Ogbah became a name-changer and a game-changer. At George Bush High School, he was a finalist for the Greater Houston Area Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. He was only rated a three-star recruit and well down the list of top-100 defensive ends, drawing interest from Arizona, Texas Tech and a few others. Still, Cowboys coaches saw something they liked, and they had an in with Russell Okung, another player of Nigerian descent who had also attended George Bush High and then starred at OSU. “That was a big influence,” Ogbah said. “I wanted to be just like Russell. He came out of my high school, was a first-round (NFL Draft) pick, the third pick. That really impressed me. I wanted to come out and put in the work to get to his level.” When he contacted Okung, he heard the right things, too. “He said, ‘You come here, prepare to work. They’ll treat you good. The coaches are great. We’ve got a great head coach. They’re going to treat you nice,’” Ogbah said. Joe DeForest did the primary recruiting on Ogbah, but left to follow Dana Holgorsen to West Virginia. While Ogbah said there was a temptation to reopen his recruiting when DeForest left, he credited the relationship built by former Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young for keeping him firm with the Cowboys. Ogbah arrived at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, and redshirted his first year, learning and bulking up. He played in all 13 games a year ago, producing four sacks in a backup role. Now at 6-4, 270, he checks all the boxes of what a premium defensive end should look like. And in the opener, his play was premium. “I would say he has a chance to be as good as anybody we’ve had since I’ve been the head coach here,” said Gundy, who’s not prone to showering praise on first-year starters. “He’s really quick. He’s strong. His attitude’s good. His work ethic’s good. And he’s been very durable and tough.” And he’s just a sophomore. “I like that he’s a sophomore,” Gundy said, “that’s a good thing.” OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer focuses more on the now. “I just want him to be an authentic tough guy,” Spencer said. “A real genuine kid who cares more about others more than himself. “After that, who knows? That story will be written this Saturday and the Saturday after that. I’m not going to put that on him.” Still, Spencer admits that the Cowboys believe they have a good one. “So far, he hasn’t disappointed,” he said. And it appears to go beyond the field. Ogbah was selected by Gundy for the team’s Leadership Council, a group made up of representatives from each class that facilitates a positive locker room and serves as a liaison between the players and staff. “It means I’m doing something right,” Ogbah said. Actually, it means he’s doing a lot right. “He just plays,” Gundy said. “It’s enjoyable to be around players who just go out and play. And they don’t talk a lot and get caught up in everything going on out there in the sideshow. He just plays.” Against Florida State, he played and produced on the big stage. And he wants more, much more. “It means a lot, but I feel like it’s just a stepping stone to my main goals that I’m trying to reach,” Ogbah said. “Coming into the season, my goal was to be an All-American, an All-Big 12 player. “And in doing that, I want to help my team. I want to lead my team.”
Aug 31, 2014
The Oklahoman staff combed through every schedule for the season and chose the most impactful games each week for fans to see. Here is that list.
Oklahoma high school football: A week-by-week look at the top games of the season
BY JACOB UNRUH, SCOTT WRIGHT AND TRENT SHADID | Aug 31, 2014After three weeks of practices and scrimmages, official high school football games are upon us. With an impressive schedule to start the season this week that includes several rivalry games Thursday and Friday along with some intriguing games on Saturday, the season should have a strong opening weekend. But the season’s top games don’t stop there. The Oklahoman staff combed through every schedule for the season and chose the most impactful games each week for fans to see. Here is that list. Week 1 Top game: No. 3 Tulsa Washington at No. 1 Midwest City The two teams will meet in Week 1, and could very well meet again in Week 14 with the first-ever Class 6A-II gold ball on the line. As for this week, Tulsa Washington’s athletically gifted offense will get a stout test against the Bombers lauded — and loaded — defense. Honorable mention: No. 1 Davis vs. No. 2 Vian at Choctaw (2A); No. 2 Lawton MacArthur (5A) at No. 3 Clinton (4A), No. 2 Tulsa Union (6A-I) vs. Southlake (Texas) Carroll at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Week 2 Top game: No. 1 Jenks vs. No. 2 Tulsa Union A rematch of last season’s final Class 6A championship game, this could be a preview of the Class 6A-I title game in December. Lots of crazy things happen — like Dylan Harding’s 77-yard TD reception with 25 seconds remaining last season to propel Jenks. This matchup will be intriguing with both teams replacing several star players. Honorable mention: No. 1 Midwest City (6A-II) at No. 5 Carl Albert (5A); No. 4 Millwood (2A) at No. 2 Douglass (3A); No. 2 Lawton MacArthur (5A) at No. 2 Lawton (6A-II). Week 3 Top game: No. 3 Norman North at No. 4 Westmoore The Timberwolves and Jaguars enter the season as the most likely OKC-area 6A-I title contenders. This matchup features a ton of offensive talent on the field highlighted by Oklahoma State quarterback commitment John Kolar for Norman North and Louisville receiver commitment Dahu Green for Westmoore. Honorable mention: No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I) at No. 2 Tulsa Union (6A-I); No. 6 Del City (5A) at No. 1 Midwest City (6A-II); No. 7 Heritage Hall (3A) at No. 1 Davis (2A) Week 4 Top game: No. 10 OCS at No. 4 Millwood Though it’s the opening week of district play, the impact of this game could be felt the rest of the season. The winner gets an early leg up on the District 2A-2 race, with Christian Heritage still lurking, waiting for its shot. Honorable mention: No. 6 Edmond Memorial vs. No. 7 Edmond Santa Fe (6A-I); No. 12 Ardmore at No. 6 Del City (5A); No. 10 Owasso at No. 3 Norman North (6A-I) Week 5 Top game: No. 3 Clinton at No. 1 Anadarko The past two Class 4A champions collide with the district title likely in the mix — along with possibly Anadarko’s regular-season winning streak that stretches back to 2009. Last year, Clinton limped into this matchup, but if healthy this is a fight between two heavyweights built on power football. Honorable mention: No. 1 Laverne at No. 2 Pond Creek-Hunter (B); No. 3 Norman North at No. 2 Tulsa Union (6A-I); No. 1 Cherokee (C) at No. 3 Shattuck (C). Week 6 Top game: No. 1 Kingfisher at No. 4 Seminole These two teams have met in the 3A semifinals the past two years, both Kingfisher wins. In 2014, the Yellowjackets and Chieftains have scheduled an earlier meeting, and Seminole quarterback Doc Harvey could be the toughest test of the season for defensive end Jace Sternberger and the Kingfisher defense. Honorable mention: No. 4 Westmoore (6A-I) at No. 1 Jenks (6A-I); No. 9 Tulsa Kelley (5A) at No. 1 Shawnee (5A); No. 9 Beggs (3A) at No. 3 Victory Christian (3A) Week 7 Top game: No. 5 Woodward at No. 1 Anadarko Another huge game in perhaps the toughest district outside of 6A Division I. Woodward was the only team to play Anadarko closer than 20 points in an 18-15 battle last season. This year should be another thriller. Honorable mention: No. 6 Tuttle (4A) at No. 2 Ada (4A); No. 5 Choctaw (6A-II) at No. 6 Stillwater (6A-II); No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I) at No. 4 Westmoore (6A-I). Week 8 Top game: No. 4 Bixby at No. 3 Tulsa Washington A district title is likely on the line here between two 6A-II teams loaded with talent that could translate into a deep playoff run. Both possess talented quarterbacks in Bixby’s Tanner Griffin and Tulsa Washington’s Cordale Grundy along with some veteran presence, making this a nearly even matchup. Honorable mention: No. 4 Westmoore (6A-I) at No. 6 Edmond Memorial (6A-I); No. 6 Apache (A) at No. 1 Hollis (A); No. 1 Jenks (6A-I) at No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I). Week 9 Top game: No. 2 Lawton at No. 1 Midwest City Week 9 is loaded with potentially huge games, none bigger than this matchup of 6A-II title contenders. Midwest City and Lawton would likely be competitive in 6A-I, but the change in class has created new hope for both. If they can meet expectations, this could serve as a championship game preview. Honorable mention: No. 1 Shawnee (5A) at No. 3 McAlester (5A); No. 5 Carl Albert (5A) at No. 4 Guthrie (5A); No. 5 Woodward (4A) at No. 3 Clinton (4A) Week 10 Top game: No. 4 Guthrie at No. 10 Deer Creek Depending how the season plays out, anything could be on the line in this game, from a district title to a No. 4 playoff seed. Guthrie’s talented veteran offense meets Deer Creek’s blossoming defense. Honorable mention: No. 3 Norman North (6A-I) at No. 9 Southmoore (6A-I); No. 5 Broken Arrow (6A-I) at No. 6 Edmond Memorial (6A-I); No. 3 Hennessey (2A) at No. 13 Chisholm (2A).
The high school football scrimmage schedule includes a matchup of the teams that have played for the Class 3A championship the last two years when Kingfisher visits Blanchard on Thursday night.
High schools: Big scrimmages highlight final weekend of preseason
By Scott Wright | Aug 27, 2014If you’re looking for an opportunity to see state championship-caliber teams in their final dress rehearsal of the preseason, you have plenty of options Thursday and Friday nights. The high school football scrimmage schedule includes a matchup of the teams that have played for the Class 3A championship the last two years when Kingfisher visits Blanchard on Thursday night. The Oklahoma City schools will be in action in the annual All-City Preview at Douglass and Star Spencer on Thursday and Friday. Mustang’s annual Pigskin Preview features top teams from Class 4A, 5A and 6A on Thursday, and Norman’s Top of the World Classic has another strong field Friday night. Here are some notable scrimmages involving metro-area teams Thursday and Friday: Thursday Davenport, Alex, Haileyville at Allen OKC Legion at Beggs Kingfisher at Blanchard Community Christian at Christian Heritage Academy Edmond Memorial at Del City OKCPS All-City Preview at Star Spencer and Douglass Westmoore at Edmond North Putnam North at Edmond Santa Fe Guthrie at El Reno Seminole at Henryetta Bethel at Hinton Bethany at Jones McLoud at Little Axe Meeker at Luther Bartlesville at Midwest City Lawton Eisenhower, Lawton MacArthur, Anadarko, Piedmont, Elk City, Norman North, McGuinness at Mustang Tecumseh, Mount St. Mary at Newcastle Moore at Putnam City Choctaw, Bixby at Southmoore Davis at Tuttle Pauls Valley at Washington Enid at Yukon Friday Burns Flat-Dill City, Morrison at Cashion OCS at Chandler Crossings Christian, Walters at Cordell Prague at Crooked Oak Wynnewood at Dibble OKCPS All-City Preview at Star Spencer and Douglass Heritage Hall, Cascia Hall, Locust Grove at Lincoln Christian Harrah, Durant at McAlester Carl Albert, Deer Creek, Noble, Shawnee, Stillwater at Norman Top of the World Classic Hennessey at Perkins-Tryon Minco at Sayre
Aug 26, 2014
OSU FOOTBALL — Listen to Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy talk and you’d think J.W. Walsh is easily the Cowboys’ starter. So why hasn’t Gundy committed and named Walsh the man? It’s just not what Mike Gundy does.
Oklahoma State football: Is Mike Gundy having quarterback commitment issues again?
By John Helsley, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 26, 2014STILLWATER — Mike Gundy admires J.W. Walsh. Respects Walsh. Professes faith in Walsh. Now, can he commit to Walsh? That’s been a key storyline throughout Oklahoma State’s preseason camp. And not just because Gundy stoked speculation in August with chatter of a “quarterback battle,” which may have been gamesmanship directed toward first-game foe Florida State. And not due to the fact that Gundy has had several opportunities to confirm Walsh as OSU’s quarterback — only to hesitate. Gundy hasn’t gone all in on Walsh yet. Not through two seasons. Not now. None of this is new. Spanning Gundy’s tenure as head coach — and even before — the quarterback situation has rarely been concrete. From Donovan Woods to Bobby Reid and on through Clint Chelf and Walsh, volatility has ruled the position. Some of that is owed to injury. And some, too, to Gundy’s jostling. The coach can’t commit, not to his quarterbacks anyway. “Whoever we play, we hope that, most of the time, they'll play at a solid level,” Gundy said when asked specifically about Walsh earlier this month.” “Whoever” involves either Walsh, who is certain to be the starter when OSU opens with the Seminoles on Aug. 30, or Daxx Garman or Mason Rudolph. “Our quarterback situation this year is a little bit different than what it has been in the past,” Gundy said. “We vary our style of offense based on who's in the game. We expect that player and that style to be involved enough to score points.” That would be different, considering Gundy’s previous stance on the difficulty associated with amending systems inside seasons, let alone games. And all three quarterbacks offer something different, with Walsh more of a runner, Garman more of a passer and Rudolph a mix of the two. All three, too, come with major question marks. Walsh is an odd fit for what the Cowboys ideally want in the trigger man of their Air Raid attack, better built for an offense geared around the quarterback run game. The offense has to be tweaked to accentuate Walsh’s strength — his legs — rather than an arm that has proven erratic. Neither Garman nor Rudolph have taken a college snap. Garman last played in a game in 2009 — his junior year of high school — after a an adventurous route of frequent transfers. There’s a trust factor that hasn’t been forged. So all signs point to Walsh as the quarterback. For now. Cowboys coaches privately turned bullish on Walsh last August, enough to thrust him ahead of incumbent Clint Chelf. But as Walsh gained more exposure, his flaws became more apparent. And by midseason, Chelf seized the job back, putting Walsh on the back burner. That doesn’t mean Walsh missed his opportunity. Just a junior, he’s started but eight games, still a small sample size. “J.W. still hasn’t played one full season,” Gundy said. “He’s been in a lot of practices. He came in a semester early, and he’s been here a long time, so it’s like he’s been here for 10 years. He hasn’t competed in game settings, and he will continue to get better and develop as the season goes on. “He’ll play better this year than what he played last year, and we start to expect that. It’s our responsibility to put him in that position where he can perform at a higher level. We have a lot of confidence in J.W.” Walsh has allies in his teammates, who marvel at his leadership and toughness and a work ethic that has become legendary inside the program. Walsh wants to win. At everything. Even conditioning drills, like running the Boone Pickens Stadium steps in the offseason. “Every Friday we have stadiums,” said sophomore receiver Marcell Ateman. “I’ve never seen him not finish first.” “Stadiums is the big thing we do on Fridays. We’re like, ‘Aw, we have stadiums.’ But J-Dub takes it upon himself to finish first every time. It just amazes me how he beats everyone.” Said offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich: “There’s a will. There’s a deep down drive the young man has. I don’t want to overdo it or oversell it, but it’s there. It’s impressive.” “And the best leadership is to lead. He does that with his work day in and day out.” Walsh has a solid record at beating opponents, carrying a 6-2 record as a starter. He was at the control for two more wins after stepping off the bench. Overall, the Cowboys are 8-2 in games where Walsh has played a significant role. He’s completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 2,897 yards and 22 TDs, with eight picks; adding 584 yards and 10 more scores rushing. Solid numbers. Solid enough to put him in line to be the Cowboys quarterback. For now. Walsh, off limits to reporters until after the first game, is just the latest in a recent line of Cowboys quarterbacks to have an unofficial asterisk attached to his starter status. There have been exceptions. Zac Robinson. Brandon Weeden, once given his shot. Uncertainty behind center hasn’t hampered the Cowboys success, with the program in the midst of the greatest stretch of football in school history. The run has been led by Gundy, who in nine seasons has climbed to the top of the OSU coaching wins list. Still, the lack of commitment to the men behind center is at least curious, particularly considering Gundy played and coached the position. If anything, Walsh is cut from similar cloth as Gundy, drawing many of the same semi-compliments afforded to quarterbacks who don’t fit the prototype: “Winner.” “Competitor.” “Gamer.” Maybe that’s why Gundy admires Walsh. Respects Walsh. Professes faith in Walsh. Now, can he commit to Walsh?
Oklahoma State football: Candidates for eight freshmen Mike Gundy says will play against Florida StateAug 26, 2014
The Oklahoma State coach has said twice in the past week that at least eight true freshmen will play in the season opener on Saturday. But Gundy hasn't identified those players. Here's a closer look at eight new faces who have the potential to fill those roles.
Oklahoma State football: Candidates for eight freshmen Mike Gundy says will play against Florida State
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Aug 26, 2014STILLWATER — Among all the statistics that show Oklahoma State’s inexperience this season, none have quite the punch as a certain sound bite coach Mike Gundy gave during a radio interview on Monday. The Cowboys, he said, will play at least eight true freshmen on Saturday against Florida State at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “I mentioned to them as a team in a group setting, I said, ‘You guys have a great opportunity … you’re playing high school ball last year and now you get to play the returning national champions.’ I kind of looked at some of them and they looked at me,” Gundy recalled in an interview with SiriusXM College radio. “And I said, ‘Now, you guys do know you’ve got to go out there and play?’ I kind of joked with them a little bit.” If Gundy’s prediction becomes a reality, those freshman Cowboys will have quite the story to tell their grandkids someday — about their first college football game coming against the reigning Heisman winner in an NFL stadium on prime-time TV. It also shows why the Vegas odds are against the Cowboys. Those freshmen step in as 17 starters from last season are gone. But paired with the unknown is optimism. The final word out of fall camp was that the incoming class was focused and prepared to a level that surprised even the most veteran Cowboys. “A lot of these young guys are actually really mature for their age,” senior defensive tackle James Castleman said. “A lot of these young guys came in with the attitude; they want to kill, they want to play. Football comes first for a lot of them. They’re not expecting to be redshirted … they’re expecting to get out there and make plays.” Gundy hasn’t identified those eight freshmen he says will play. But if you examine that crop of young Cowboys in terms of OSU’s most glaring needs this season, a few stand out as legitimate candidates. Here’s a look at eight possible options for true freshmen who might play Week 1 and beyond this season. — — — LB Justin Phillips / 6-0, 215 / Pearland, Texas Phillips is one freshman who likely won’t be fazed by the setting on Saturday. He completed his high school football career eight months ago inside AT&T Stadium with a loss in the state title game. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer specifically mentioned Phillips as a standout in the Cowboys’ final fall camp scrimmage. High school credentials: Phillips finished his senior year at Pearland (Texas) High School with 86 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. He also returned a fumble 88 yards for a touchdown in the state championship game. Other offers included Baylor, Boise State and Iowa State. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “Justin Phillips has really showed up. He can tackle.” — Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer — — — LB Gyasi Akem / 6-1, 210 / Broken Arrow, Okla. Akem certainly looks the part with his physique and athleticism. The Broken Arrow product was among the top-10 most highly touted outside linebacker recruits in the nation last season. If given the opportunity, he could provide needed depth at linebacker and on special teams in 2014. High school credentials: At Broken Arrow, he recorded 67 tackles, one sack and one interception last season to earn all-state honors from The Oklahoman. Akem received offers from more than dozen top programs, including Oklahoma, Clemson, Kansas State, Baylor and Tennessee. Rivals ranking: 4 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “He could have the size to play multiple positions, like inside linebacker or outside linebacker.” — Spencer. — — — LB Kirk Tucker / 6-2, 190 / Tucker, Ga. Tucker is one of the potential replacements for Shaun Lewis at “star” linebacker, a hybrid position that requires length and speed. Those both seem to be strong attributes for Tucker, whose reported 40-yard dash time is 4.55 seconds. High school credentials: Tucker put up impressive numbers as a safety at Tucker (Ga.) High School his senior year: 55 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He held scholarship offers from Oregon, Ohio State, Stanford and others. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “He’s a safety; outside linebacker and the first thing that jumps out at you on film is his blitz skills and he’s a very aggressive player.” — Spencer. — — — CB Juwan Offray / 5-11, 180 / New Orleans Offray’s signing is an example of the OSU recruiting staff’s range outside Texas and Oklahoma. His talents will likely land him in the defensive backfield rotation and on special teams. Offray is hyper-athletic as a former three-sport standout. High school credentials: Offray played at New Orleans’ Edna Karr High School, a powerhouse in southeast Louisiana, where he was an all-state selection. Offray also played offense and defense in an All-American game. He had offers from Nebraska and South Alabama. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “He is going to play corner for us, but then will also provide, especially early in his career, big-time depth on special teams.” — Cornerbacks coach Van Malone. — — — CB Ramon Richards / 6-0, 180 / San Antonio Richards is a project player with a ton of upside. He starred mostly at quarterback in high school and played sparingly in the defensive backfield. But Richards’ athletic ability was off the charts. So coaches offered him a spot at cornerback, and because of depth issues, Richards could be utilized early in his career. High school credentials: Richards passed for 1,630 yards with 13 touchdowns and rushed for 642 yards with 13 additional scores for Brackenridge High School in San Antonio. That earned him first-team all-area honors. Richards had a choice of schools that included Harvard, Yale, Rice and Houston. Rivals ranking: 2 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “What he has is great ability with the ball in his hands, just like what we used to watch with Justin Gilbert, so that excites us.” — Malone. — — — WR James Washington / 6-0, 193 / Stamford, Texas Tyreek Hill was the most hyped Cowboy on offense throughout fall camp. Washington was a close second. His acrobatic skill set and early success in practice have given coaches the difficult choice to either redshirt or play the freshman in a deep group of wideouts. High school credentials: Washington won the Class 1A state championship his senior season at Stamford (Texas) High School. He played on both sides of the ball last year; exceeding 1,300 yards receiving while recording 42 tackles and seven interceptions. Washington had scholarship offers from Texas, TCU, Texas Tech and others. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “Still raw, but he has a great, great athletic gene, I guess you’d call it, because he’s down the field fast. He has great leaping ability, very springy. Soft hands.” — Receivers coach Kasey Dunn. — — — WR Chris Lacy / 6-3, 191 / DeSoto, Texas Coaches are likely debating whether to redshirt Lacy, too. His size, length and speed could make him an immediate deep threat starting this season. He averaged more than 20 yards per catch last year. The Cowboys would love that kind of production in 2014. High school credentials: Lacy was the offensive MVP of a DeSoto (Texas) High School team that reached the state semifinals. He also hauled in 16 touchdowns. Lacy’s offer list included Arizona State, Missouri and Iowa. Rivals ranking: 3 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “I think our system here fits Chris’ skill set very much, so I think it will be a great match and he’s going to have a promising future at Oklahoma State.” — Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. — — — QB Mason Rudolph / 6-4, 217 / Rock Hill, S.C. Here’s the wild card of the group. If both of the other Cowboy quarterbacks struggle early and often in the opener, Gundy might throw Rudolph out there to see how the true freshman responds. If coaches feel like Rudolph is the sure-fire quarterback of the future, there’s no better teacher than experience. High school credentials: Rudolph won a state title last season at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C., and passed for 4,377 yards and 64 touchdowns. He ran a spread offense similar to the Cowboys. Rudolph had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and others. Rivals ranking: 4 stars Highlight tape: Quotable: “Mason’s very familiar with that offense and feels real comfortable throwing the ball down the field and gets it out really well. He spins the ball tremendously.” — Yurcich
Aug 25, 2014
David Glidden recognizes one thing in what he’s seen from Tyreek Hill: “an unbelievable talent.” Yet describing Hill, providing details on those talents… well, that’s something different, and seemingly difficult, more challenging even than trying to catch the proven track star.
Oklahoma State football: Can Tyreek Hill's versatility – and speed – flip the switch for OSU?
By John Helsley | Aug 25, 2014STILLWATER — David Glidden recognizes one thing in what he’s seen from Tyreek Hill: “an unbelievable talent.” Yet describing Hill, providing details on those talents… well, that’s something different, and seemingly difficult, more challenging even than trying to catch the proven track star. “Everybody I talk to,” Glidden said, “they ask me about him and I say, ‘You’re just going to have to wait and see. It’s something you can’t really describe.’” Cowboys coaches – and fans – hope Hill ultimately gains a simple description. Game changer. And that’s game changer on a large scale, in terms of enhancing Oklahoma State’s season, and engaging the Tyreek the Freek phenomena nationally. By now, everyone paying attention has heard about Hill’s speed, and it’s legit. He blazed to OSU records in the 60-meter dash twice during the indoor track season and won the 200 at the Big 12 championships. As a high school track standout in Georgia, he covered the 200 in 20.14 – the second fastest prep mark in the U.S. … ever. That time, understand, would have placed sixth at the 2012 London Olympics. So OK, Hill is fast. But can he play football? “Tyreek is not just track fast, he’s football fast,” said Cowboys cornerback Kevin Peterson, who has dealt with Hill in practice. “And he has good jukes, a low center of gravity. “The more the ball is in his hands, the better I feel as a defense. Because we’re not going to be on the field.” And therein lies the question, perhaps the defining question to this Cowboys season. How much will Hill have the ball in his hands? Mike Gundy has said the goal is to get Hill 15 to 20 touches a game. As a prototypical multi-purpose player, there are varied ways to accomplish that, involving the three Rs: rushing, receiving and returning. Expect Hill to do it all. At Garden City Community College, Hill did do it all, even appearing as a wildcat quarterback on occasion. So potentially add passing to his expanded tool kit. "He can throw,” said Garden City coach Matt Miller. “But I don't think he ever completed a pass for me." Still, the threat alone is enough to stress defensive coordinators, who must find ways to account for Hill at all times. “Tyreek puts a lot of stress on us,” said Cowboys defensive assistant Van Malone. “You don’t know where he’s going to be lining up. Is he going to be a running back? Is he going to be a receiver? You don’t know. “For defenses, that’s a problem. Because we sit over on the sideline and say, ‘OK, what personnel do they have in the game?’ They have three wide receivers, two running backs…’ “Tyreek comes in, what is he? Initially before you make a call, he’s a problem, because you don’t even know what he is. ‘Oh, he’s a wide receiver this time, we’ve got to send out another DB.’ Then he’s a running back the next time. So before the ball even snaps, there’s a problem.” The problem doesn’t end there. “And then when the ball snaps,” Malone said, “he’s got this little button he turns on and makes him run real fast.” Imagine the things you can do with a weapon like Hill. OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich imagines all the time. “Not a day goes past where you’re not trying to pencil in something for him,” Yurcich said as his eyes brighten. “Whether it’s a reverse or a screen or whatever, a draw play. It never really stops. You’re always trying to think of something. “It keeps you fresh. Even if you don’t install something, you’ve thought about a certain play and you’ve toyed around with it. And you think, ‘How’s a defense going to stop this play? And when they stop it, now, how do we counter?’” Yurcich allows that defenses will adjust to the plays Hill runs. “We have great coaches all around this league,” he said. “They’ll get on the sideline and talk about it and adjust.” And yet, with Hill, there’s always the speed. And that’s an adjustment that may not exist. “If I was coaching defense and somebody had a player that was really fast,” Gundy said, “you have to be concerned about the style of play you have in the back end of your defense. What we’re hoping is that if he breaks through the initial front line, he’s gone. It’s hard to catch him. “We haven’t really had that type of player in a while. We’re hoping he brings that to our offense.” And in bringing that, Hill should create opportunities for OSU’s other playmakers, which are abundant. Running back Desmond Roland, whom Hill could share the backfield with, would attract less attention. Defenses focused on Hill may leave receivers like Jhajuan Seales, Brandon Sheperd, Marcell Ateman et al, in man-to-man coverage. Quarterback J.W. Walsh could face less pressure, physical and mental. “He can light it up really quickly,” Malone said. “And that makes it even better for these other guys. You’re going to worry about him, you’ve got three guys on him, we’ll throw it over here where you’ve got one guy.” Gundy strained to produce a Cowboy with comparable speed. Not Barry Sanders. Not Tatum Bell. Not Dez Bryant or Justin Blackmon. Not Daniel McLemore, the former OSU defensive back who also ran track. Gundy threw out 1990s running back Rafael Denson as a similarly styled player, in terms of versatility, only to qualify the suggestion. “But he’s faster than Rafael Denson,” Gundy said. So perhaps Hill truly is indescribable. “He’s the fastest guy I’ve ever seen live,” Gundy said. If there were any questions surrounding Hill coming out of spring, they were aimed at his durability and toughness, natural considering his 5-foot-10 and 185-pound build. In a short spring period that saw him share time with the track team, those concerns were left unanswered. Throughout a rugged August, however, Hill has checked off the boxes, not only running away from defenders, but seeking them out at times for punishment. The only lingering issue – a description befitting Tyreek the Freek. “Explosive plays. It looks like he never gets tired,” said Cowboys running back Desmond Roland. “That’s that Olympic track shape he’s in. His legs just keep going and going. “I can’t wait to see him in game time… can’t wait to see him in action.”
Aug 23, 2014
While expectations lag for this season, it could be the buildup for 2015 and 2016, when the Cowboys should be primed to compete for the Big 12 title and beyond again.
Oklahoma State football: The re-making of a champion
By John Helsley, Staff Writer | Aug 23, 2014STILLWATER — Nobody in or around the Oklahoma State football program willingly allows for an anticipated drop-off. Nobody. Not even with 28 seniors missing from a year ago, as well as several other key contributors. “The past is the past,” linebacker Ryan Simmons said of the roster turnover. “This is a new year and this is what we have and what we’re working with. “It’s going to raise questions, because people don’t know what to expect. It happens every year. But as far as us going out and getting the job done, we’re held to the same standards as last year.” Of course, that’s the only acceptable attitude, with pride and man cards at risk. That’s the way it is everywhere this time of year, even in the camps of football failures like New Mexico and Tulane and Temple and Florida International. So freshmen and sophomores are waging a two-deep takeover at OSU? So No. 1-ranked and defending national champ Florida State is up first in a rugged schedule that also features road trips to Manhattan and Norman and Waco and Fort Worth — three of which carry Top 25 status? So the Cowboys, used to being in the middle of the Big 12 title chase, are now picked for the middle of the Big 12 standings? So it is. “We don’t try to look at that,” said junior cornerback Kevin Peterson. “We just try to keep going, play our hearts out. Win games. “It’s motivation. You never see yourself down like that. Just play games and let people know what you can do.” Still, anybody in or around the Oklahoma State football team would admit that the Cowboys are best built for 2015 and beyond, when the kids — and we do mean kids — will be past their Big 12 baptisms. That’s when the buzz-worthy players collected from what Cowboys coaches believe to be their best recruiting classes can pair talent with experience. “There’s just really no substitute for having experienced players,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. That’s not to say 2014 doesn’t offer hope and optimism. Oh, it’s there, beginning with the shot at taking on FSU to start the season. Yet no matter how the next three months play out, exceeding expectations or not, the bar for what comes next goes higher. Scouting ahead: The roster OSU’s roster is overrun with youth. Freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores dominate the squad’s overall makeup. The junior class is strong, setting up a vital core of talent and leadership for 2015. At the top, only 11 scholarship seniors can be counted. Youth will be served, too, with underclassmen holding spots all over the depth chart. There’s a lot of developing and growing up to be done. Showing up in practice is one thing. Getting it done on Saturdays is another. Still, by all accounts, this group of OSU youngsters is oozing with talent and a fire to become better. “They’re so eager,” Gundy said. “It’s so enjoyable to be around them. And I see the look in some of the young guys’ eyes. They’re considerably better than when they showed up here, just in this short period of time. It’s a lot of fun to be around. This team’s fun.” Scouting ahead: The playmakers OSU’s offense could be good. Really good. Now and in the coming years. The Cowboys carry but one senior at the skill positions, albeit a good one in running back Desmond Roland. All the other playmakers — and there are many — project to return, many for multiple years. At receiver, the Pokes are deep and talented. And young. And hungry. “I love those guys. Those guys are great,” said receivers coach Kasey Dunn. “It’s so much fun coming to work every day. It really is. I told them the other day, ‘This is a blast for us.’ “And every single one of them is coming back next year. I hope they are. We’re excited about what the future has for all those guys, a lot of young kids who are eager to learn. They come out and play. “They’re athletic. They’ve got really good ability and hands. A good work ethic. It’s fun.” Quarterbacks J.W. Walsh and Daxx Garman are juniors, yet freshman Mason Rudolph is closing ground in a bid to be the QB of the future. John Kolar, a current high school commitment from Norman North, prepares to join the mix as well. Roland, a late-season find a year ago, will be missed. Yet already he’s in a job share with newcomer Tyreek Hill, whose speed and skills could make him the focus of the entire offense. Rennie Childs and Sione Palelei are waiting in the wings. And on the way is Ronald Jones II, one of the nation’s elite running back recruits. Scouting ahead: The offensive line An area of concern, especially with left tackle Devin Davis’ career in jeopardy, this year’s offensive line will require major contributions from underclassmen. Daniel Koenig and Chris Grisbhy are senior starters, while senior Brandon Garrett is a key backup. But there’s but one junior offensive lineman on the roster, with younger players filling critical roles. Center Paul Lewis and guard Zac Veatch are sophomore starters. Redshirt freshman Zach Crabtree is due to start at right tackle. And the backups are a mix of freshmen and sophomores, a crisis created by the injury to Davis and would-be starters Jake Jenkins and Travis Cross opting to get on with their lives, rather than return for senior seasons. Relying on so many unproven players can be frightening. Yet it’s also exciting — assuming, of course, the group gets bigger, stronger and better through experience. Scouting ahead: The defense The predominant storyline of the past six months: the Cowboys lost seven senior starters from last year’s defense. And the replacements are mostly raw rookies readying for a baptism by fire against the likes of No. 1 Florida State and a rugged run through the Big 12. OSU’s defensive two-deep features as many as nine true or redshirt freshmen who are all but assured of playing significant roles. That’s the bad news. And it’s the good news, down the road. The kids are alright, already. “Sometimes, that’s what it takes,” said senior tackle James Castleman, “to be thrown in there and forced to play. That’ll make you grow up real fast. “And that’s all it takes sometimes.” Scouting ahead: The schedule Well, for starters, there’s no Florida State on the 2015 nonconference schedule. Nothing close. Where the Seminoles had OSU’s attention from the start of spring this year, providing daily inspiration and motivation, the bigger challenge next fall may be in getting the players’ attention. They’ll have to be prepped on two Central schools — Central Michigan and Central Arkansas — the squads on tap to start the season. Care to take a guess on their mascots? Chippewas and Bears. Then there’s another visit from the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio. Once into Big 12 Conference play, the Cowboys get Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State and TCU at home.
STILLWATER — When Jameis Winston peers into Oklahoma State’s secondary, he’ll spot three new starters. In the season opener, with no opportunity to ease into things. No Savannah State on the other side. The Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy holder might get a bit giddy. “Nobody likes to throw them out there against the national champion,” said Cowboys cornerbacks coach Van Malone....
Oklahoma State football: Cowboys have a lot of youth in secondary
By John Helsley | Aug 21, 2014STILLWATER — When Jameis Winston peers into Oklahoma State’s secondary, he’ll spot three new starters. In the season opener, with no opportunity to ease into things. No Savannah State on the other side. The Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy holder might get a bit giddy. “Nobody likes to throw them out there against the national champion,” said Cowboys cornerbacks coach Van Malone. “But guess what, those are the cards. Let’s go.” The situation isn’t as dire as it sounds. Kevin Peterson started a year ago and starred opposite Justin Gilbert. He’s an All-Big 12-caliber corner. Ashton Lampkin, who has provided solid help as a reserve, steps into the other starter’s role, and Malone believes he’s ready to thrive. At free safety, senior Larry Stephens is coming off his best August as a Cowboy and is ready to be a major contributor for the first time. After that, the uncertainty enters. The backup corners and safeties are freshmen and sophomores, and redshirt freshman Tre Flowers is projected to start at strong safety. For Cowboys coaches, all that youth brings a mixed bag. “You know, it’s kind of double-edged there,” said Mike Gundy. “You have times you get a little frustrated because there’s so many young players out there. But then also, it’s very enjoyable to watch them progress and develop. “It’s a different year for us. We have a lot of players that are inexperienced and they’re learning on the run, so we bring them along just like we did the last group.” CORNERBACKS STARTERS 1 Kevin Peterson;;5-11;;185;;Jr.;;Wagoner Justin Gilbert was great a year ago. And quietly, Peterson was, too, on the opposite side. Now it’s his turn to be the name in the secondary, and he appears more than up for it. 6 Ashton Lampkin;;5-11;;180;;Jr.;;Fort Worth, Texas As the third corner to the Peterson-Gilbert tandem, Lampkin served as a key backup and OSU’s special teams MVP. There’s confidence that he’ll step into a starting role with ease. BACKUPS 2 Darius Curry;;6-1;;190;;Fr.;;Flowery Branch, Ga. The younger Curry brother on the OSU roster to receiver C.J., Darius appears ready to make his own name after a redshirt season in 2013. 22 Juwan Offray;;5-11;;180;;Fr.;;New Orleans A true freshman, Offray’s transition to the college level has gone smoothly. A strong preseason puts him in place to play a vital backup role. RESERVES 3 Chris Hardeman;;5-9;;178;;Fr.;;Houston A touted recruit from the latest class, Hardeman is yet another of the young players who showed up strong in the preseason. 18 Ramon Richards;;6-0;;180;;Fr.;;San Antonio Arrived with the “athlete” tag after playing several positions, including quarterback, as a prep senior. The true freshman has quickly adapted to cornerback and seems to have found a home. 25 Taylor Lewis;;6-0;;180;;Fr.;;Dallas A redshirt a year ago, Lewis is in the mix to provide valuable depth and continue developing for a significant future role. 24 Miketavius Jones;;5-10;;175;;Jr.;;Houston One of the team’s fastest players, Jones continues to seek traction to putting himself on the depth chart. He’s been a major special-teams contributor. FREE SAFETY 20 Larry Stephens;;5-10;;185;;Sr.;;Houston After missing all of last season to injury, Stephens has made a final career push in a good-news story on the roster. His veteran presence should be a boost. BACKUP 16 Deric Robertson;;6-2;;200;;So.;;Killeen, Texas Robertson played well in key situations as a freshman, appearing in eight games. He’ll be heavily involved in a rotation with Stephens. STRONG SAFETY 7 Tre Flowers;;6-3;;190;;Fr.;;Converse, Texas After adding some bulk to his lanky frame, Flowers made an impression in the spring and carried it over to August workouts, pushing to the top of the depth chart. BACKUP 13 Jordan Sterns;;6-1;;205;;So.;;Cibolo, Texas Along with Robertson, Sterns played meaningful snaps as a freshman. He, too, figures to be a major contributor who will keep pushing for a starting job. RESERVES 4 Dylan Harding;;6-2;;190;;Fr.;;Jenks The true freshman from Jenks made an immediate impression in fall camp and has placed himself on the fast track to playing time. 11 Tre Roberts;;6-2;;202;;Fr.;;Houston Another true freshman, Roberts played all over the field in high school. He’s projected for a safety spot with the Cowboys, who love his athleticism. 5 Jerel Morrow;;6-0;;180;;Fr.;;Emporia, Kan. Following a redshirt year, Morrow is yet another young player in play to produce in the secondary for a long time. He was the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Kansas coming out of high school.
Aug 21, 2014
NORMAN — Oklahoma senior Blake Bell said after Thursday’s practice that he hasn’t taken a snap at quarterback since early January. But multiple sources confirmed to The Oklahoman that Bell has been splitting some of his time this week in practice between his new position — tight end — and his old one. Bell’s limited […]
Oklahoma football: Sources confirm Blake Bell taking limited practice reps at quarterback
Jason Kersey | Aug 21, 2014NORMAN — Oklahoma senior Blake Bell said after Thursday’s practice that he hasn’t taken a snap at quarterback since early January. But multiple sources confirmed to The Oklahoman that Bell has been splitting some of his time this week in practice between his new position — tight end — and his old one. Bell’s limited quarterback repetitions have only come against the second-team defense, and coaches have only been working him there as possible insurance in case something happens to starter Trevor Knight. Earlier this week, coach Bob Stoops said redshirt freshman Cody Thomas would likely be Knight’s primary backup, but according to sources, Thomas has been injured, which is why Bell has split second-team reps this week with true freshman Justice Hansen. Thomas’ injury isn’t believed to be serious. He was dressed out in full pads for the open portion of Thursday’s practice, when students and media were allowed inside. Bell didn’t take any snaps at quarterback during the open portion of practice. The Sooners also have sophomore Baker Mayfield on the roster, but he is battling the NCAA for immediate eligibility after transferring from Texas Tech, where he started several games and played well last season as a true freshman. The walk-on Mayfield would in all likelihood be Knight’s backup — eliminating the need for Bell to work at all at quarterback — if he were eligible. Bell came to OU as a four-star quarterback from Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, Kan., and served as the backup to Landry Jones in 2012. He also scored 24 rushing touchdowns over two seasons in the special “Belldozer” package. Knight beat Bell out for the starting quarterback job to begin the 2013 season, but Bell replaced him in the fourth quarter of the second game and started eight times in 2013. He also came off the bench to lead OU to a last-minute touchdown to shock No. 6 Oklahoma State in Stillwater in the Sooners’ regular-season finale. But after Knight’s MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, Bell moved to tight end, and until this week, that’s where he’d worked exclusively. Bell completed 60.1 percent of his passes last season for 1,648 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Aug 20, 2014
STILLWATER — Bob Connelly arrived for spring practice under the gun. First, he was replacing longtime offensive line coach Joe Wickline, who left to join Charlie Strong at Texas. Second, and more importantly, he faced a major overhaul of a line that had been ravaged by injury and defections. Connelly can’t do anything about comparisons to Wickline. But he can – and is – at work piecing together...
Oklahoma State football: Cowboys trying to piece together offensive line
By John Helsley | Aug 20, 2014STILLWATER — Bob Connelly arrived for spring practice under the gun. First, he was replacing longtime offensive line coach Joe Wickline, who left to join Charlie Strong at Texas. Second, and more importantly, he faced a major overhaul of a line that had been ravaged by injury and defections. Connelly can’t do anything about comparisons to Wickline. But he can – and is – at work piecing together a capable unit from the wreckage, created at least in part by Wickline, who left the cupboard somewhat barren. Oklahoma State’s two-deep depth chart features three seniors, two of those junior college transfers; just one junior; three sophomores; and two freshman, including a redshirt freshman slated to start at right tackle. The reserves? All freshmen and sophomores. The upper classes are thin on starters and bodies. The good news: the line, at least the starting five, has been a pleasant surprise this preseason. “It’s coming together,” Connelly said. “I’m encouraged.” The Cowboys could have benefited by the return of Travis Cross and Jake Jenkins, who would have been senior starters. But each chose to move into the workforce and forego their final seasons. Still, Connelly remains optimistic. “The relationship process I’ve been trying to build since I got here in February has engrained some confidence in them, I think,” Connelly said. “As long as they respect who I am, understand that I have their best interests in my heart and know that the information I’m providing them will help them become better players, I think we’ll get there as a unit. “They’re starting to buy into who I am. I think we’ve come a long way from Day 1 of spring.” Left Tackle Starter LT 58 Daniel Koenig;;6-6;;300;;Sr.;;Cape Coral, Fla. OSU’s most experienced lineman, with 22 career starts. A two-year regular, Koenig is being counted on to be the anchor to this unit, both physically and mentally, as a leader. Backup 74 Michael Wilson;;6-6;;300;;So.;;Aledo, Texas A coveted recruit from a three-time high school state championship team, Wilson played sparingly as a redshirt freshman a year ago. His role should expand dramatically. Left Guard Starter LG 75 Chris Grisbhy;;6-5;;325;;Sr.;;Clute, Texas With eight career starts, Grisbhy is the second-most veteran offensive lineman, which punctuates the inexperience of the unit. A former juco recruit, he’s made great strides in Year 2. Backup 76 Colby Hegwood;;6-5;;320;;Jr.;;Flowood, Miss. A junior college addition a year ago, Hegwood played a minor role, appearing in two games. He’s moving into a key backup role this season. Center Starter 57 Paul Lewis;;6-3;;295;;So.;;Houston, Texas He earned valuable playing time as a redshirt freshman, starting one game. Now Lewis finds himself as the CPU of the unit and a key cog in OSU’s success. Backup 50 Zac Veatch;;6-4;;290;;So.;;Broken Arrow A tight end and defensive lineman in high school, Veatch has thrived in his move to the offensive line. A rugged competitor, his versatility makes him the backup here and the starter at right guard. Right Guard Starter 50 Zac Veatch;;6-4;;290;;So.;;Broken Arrow See above. Backup 64 Jesse Robinson;;6-0;;300;;Fr.;;Bedford, Texas Probably the backup at the guard spots, Robinson carries high upside according to coaches. A lack of depth will likely rush the redshirt freshman into duty this season. Right Tackle Starter 60 Zach Crabtree;;6-7;;290;;Fr.;;Mansfield, Texas Coaches are high on Crabtree, who has practiced well, even as a redshirt freshman going against OSU’s formidable defensive front. A potential future star. Backup 67 Brandon Garrett;;6-5;;295;;Sr.;;Deer Park, Texas He played in 11 games and started four in his first season a year ago, after arriving from junior college. After surgery to repair a leg injury suffered in the Cotton Bowl, Garrett nearing 100 percent. Reserves 69 Devin Davis;;6-5;;312;;So.;;Nacogdoches, Texas Would have been the starting left tackle a year ago, before a major knee injury in the preseason wrecked his season. Davis is still working his way back. 73 Grant Canis;;6-2;;275;;So.;;Midland, Texas A walk-on who provides depth at the center spot. 66 Lemaefe Galea’i;;6-5;;330;;Fr.;;Trinity, Texas A true freshman, Galea’i already has impressive size and strength. With continued development, he could become a fixture at guard for several seasons. 79 Jack Kurzu;;6-4;;305;;Fr.;;St. Louis, Mo. After redshirting a year ago, Kurzu continues to develop and work toward fitting into OSU’s future on the line. 78 Matthew Mucha;;6-6;;255;;Fr.;;Seabrook, Texas A Top 100 recruit out of Texas, the true freshman will likely redshirt in an effort to add bulk and strength. 77 Jaxon Salinas;;6-4;;305;;Fr.;;Irving, Texas A redshirt freshman, Salinas is working to put himself into the picture.
Aug 17, 2014
All signs point to more than one quarterback playing for Oklahoma State this season.
OSU football: No clear No. 1 quarterback for Cowboys
BY KYLE FREDRICKSON | Aug 17, 2014STILLWATER — All signs point to more than one quarterback playing for Oklahoma State this season. J.W. Walsh finished spring as the presumed replacement for Clint Chelf, but coach Mike Gundy hasn’t named Walsh, Daxx Garman or Mason Rudolph the starter throughout fall camp. As the opener at AT&T Stadium against defending national champion Florida State approaches, there’s no firm answer as to who will play the majority of snaps in week one. Rather than rehash all the possible scenarios or dissect the possible strategy of keeping the Seminoles in the dark, here’s a timeline of the more outspoken things Gundy has said about his quarterbacks, despite little actually being known as to who the Cowboys’ signal caller will be: OSU FOOTBALL MEDIA DAY / AUG. 2 “Whoever we play, we hope that, most of the time, they'll play at a solid level,” Gundy said. “I think, as coaches, we're responsible for that. Our quarterback situation this year is a little bit different than what it has been in the past. We vary our style of offense based on who's in the game. We expect that player and that style to be involved enough to score points. “It's a very good possibility,” that multiple quarterbacks earn playing time.” POST-PRACTICE / AUG. 5 Gundy said Daxx Garman is preparing as if he will take “10-to-12 snaps” in the Aug. 30 opener. “I would always prefer to say, ‘OK, here’s our guy.’ And then (the backup) is prepared to play, but the other guy is clearly more mature and better at this point,” Gundy said. “But if something happened, (the backup) could make a play. I think that’s my best case scenario … If you have guys that can bring something different to the table — that’s what we have right now — then I’m a little reluctant to just disregard that (multiple look) aspect of it.” OKLAHOMA CITY COWBOY CARAVAN / AUG. 5 “We have a heck of a quarterback battle going.” POST-PRACTICE / AUG. 16 “The quarterbacks played really the best that they’ve played in a scrimmage in a number of years here … They were very productive.” Depth Chart No. Name Height Weight Class 4 JW Walsh 6-2 201 Jr. Walsh’s career record as a starter is 6-2, but he lost the job to Clint Chelf in 2013 after inconsistent play early in the season. 12 Daxx Garman 6-2 205 Jr. Garman has received rave reviews for his arm strength, but the Arizona transfer hasn’t started a game with any meaning since he was a junior in high school. 10 Mason Rudolph 6-4 204 Fr. The true freshman ran a spread offense in high school, has a strong arm and NFL-type frame. But would he benefit from redshirt year? 14 Cornelius Taylor 6-6 184 Fr. Taylor is a very tall freshman walk-on for the Cowboys.
Aug 17, 2014
The two Oklahoma State football defensive standouts were opponents in that state title matchup. Jimmy Bean at Denton Guyer, about 30 miles north of Dallas. Ryan Simmons at Cibolo Steele, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio.
Oklahoma State football: Former high school foes are now roommates
By Kyle Fredrickson | Aug 17, 2014Two Cowboy football players who had “a little conflict” last season are now roommates. Nothing too serious, but important enough for the duo to make a very specific pact this year. No discussing the 2010 Class 5A Division II Texas high school state championship game. “He doesn’t really like me mentioning that too much,” said linebacker Ryan Simmons last month in an interview with the Denton Record-Chronicle. “We just made a truce to not even talk about it,” defensive end Jimmy Bean said after practice Saturday. The two Oklahoma State football defensive standouts were opponents in that state title matchup. Bean at Denton Guyer, about 30 miles north of Dallas. Simmons at Cibolo Steele, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio. Both were seniors. Each was ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals and held scholarship offers from top Division-I schools across the nation. But their memories of that game couldn’t be more split. For Simmons, an unforgettable finale to his high school football career. For Bean, the ultimate what-could-have-been moment. Cibolo Steele won 24-21. Simmons’ eight tackles and one interception of now OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh earned him defensive MVP honors. Bean doesn’t hold any grudges. If anything, he said that game was “something that really brought us closer together.” But that doesn’t mean reminiscing on the outcome is all that enjoyable. And these two are far from the only Cowboys who understand that dynamic. There are currently 68 former Texas high school football players listed on OSU’s online roster. That’s more than half of the entire team. “A lot of the guys (at OSU) I competed against in high school,” Bean said. “When we were coming in, we lived close to each other, so the whole recruiting process you see each other at a lot of different places. So when we came up here, a lot of us knew each other pretty well.” As young former Texas opponents bond as teammates in Stillwater, the conversation seems to always circle back to who was the big man on campus back in high school. “Everybody is always up on the training table talking about whose high school is going to make it to the playoffs, how many playoffs they’ve been to, stuff like that,” Bean said. “Everybody likes competition.” Count running back Desmond Roland in that group. He played for Lake Highlands in Dallas, and says he never gets tired of hearing about the glory days in a state that loves its high school football. Especially when he can give his teammates a hard time. “I know their team made it to the championship game a few times, but they never won it,” Roland laughed with Bean after practice Saturday. “That’s always my comeback.” “When I was there,” Bean countered. “The past two years, we won state.” Past success fuels future confidence. Many leaders and expected top contributors in the Cowboys’ 2014 locker room are former Texas high school football players: Bean, Simmons, Walsh, safety Larry Stephens, wide receiver Jhajaun Seals, and the list goes on. “It’s that Texas environment,” Roland said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Oklahoma State football: Offensive line coach Bob Connelly up to three verbal 2015-class commits, hopes to add two moreAug 16, 2014
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State offensive line coach Bob Connelly said Saturday he’s “slept a little easier at night” over the past week. Apparently, the stress from months of hopping on and off airplanes and scouting hundreds of football players across the nation can wear you out.
Oklahoma State football: Offensive line coach Bob Connelly up to three verbal 2015-class commits, hopes to add two more
Kyle Fredrickson | Aug 16, 2014[img url=https://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/11/2014/08/5c2b72a8c0478d51fd39ca00224ba30d.jpg]3299275[/img] STILLWATER — Oklahoma State offensive line coach Bob Connelly said Saturday he’s “slept a little easier at night” over the past week. Apparently, the stress from months of hopping on and off airplanes and scouting hundreds of football players across the nation can wear you out. And when two of those recruits verbally commit like they did last week, rest comes a little easier. Over the span of three days last week, OSU picked up two offensive line commits for its 2015 class — Joshua Jones of Bush High School (Texas) and Brandon Pertile of Mesa Community College (Arizona). The Cowboys also previously received a verbal commitment from Johnny Wilson of Midland Christian High School (Texas). Each is ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals. Connelly can’t comment on those three players until when, or if, they officially sign with the Cowboys come February. But he did explain how important they were to an upcoming class in dire need of offensive linemen. “It’s a big, big, big need of ours,” Connelly said. “Getting those two additions gets us to three and we’re looking to get two more guys. Potentially one junior college (and) one more high school player, because of the guys we lost last year and then obviously moving forward with three seniors this year.” Connelly was added to the OSU coaching staff after the 2014 class was signed, so these three recruits are the first of his Cowboy tenure. Connelly said he’s been working “tirelessly” in recruiting since he arrived in Stillwater. “For me, it’s been a big challenge,” Connelly said. “I’ve had to scout all over, and when you add junior college prospects, we have to expand outside Oklahoma and Texas or surrounding states. So it required a lot of travel for me this spring. Through mid-April all the way through the month of May, I was out just about every day in an airport flying all over the country trying to find guys.”
Aug 16, 2014
Mike Gundy gave his final fall camp post-practice interview Saturday afternoon outside Boone Pickens Stadium and summarized what he saw during Oklahoma State’s team scrimmage. The Cowboys ran 115 plays. Penalties were limited for the most part. Tackling was improved on defense and offensive skill players were explosive. Then, Gundy said this: “The quarterbacks played really the best that...
Oklahoma State football notebook: Mike Gundy has high praise for quarterbacks
By Kyle Fredrickson | Aug 16, 2014Mike Gundy gave his final fall camp post-practice interview Saturday afternoon outside Boone Pickens Stadium and summarized what he saw during Oklahoma State’s team scrimmage. The Cowboys ran 115 plays. Penalties were limited for the most part. Tackling was improved on defense and offensive skill players were explosive. Then, Gundy said this: “The quarterbacks played really the best that they’ve played in a scrimmage in a number of years here … They were very productive.” More high praise for the trio of quarterbacks — J.W. Walsh, Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph — who Gundy said could rotate in and out this season. But it did come with a disclaimer. Gundy said at different points during Saturday’s scrimmage inside the Sherman E. Smith Training Center, as many as eight freshmen were on the field at the same time. When asked if the quarterbacks’ success was earned or allowed by new faces on defense, Gundy said it could be a “combination of both.” “They’re obviously a little more vulnerable when there’s youth out there,” he said. “But I have a pretty good feel for when the quarterback is in the right spot mentally and physically. … I thought that they competed and made good plays today.” Bullet points from the rest of Gundy’s interview: Nine different wide receivers played in Saturday’s scrimmage. Gundy would not provide a health update for two Cowboys returning from injury this season: offensive lineman Devin Davis, who tore his ACL and damaged his meniscus last fall camp, or JUCO transfer linebacker Devante Averette, who suffered a knee injury in spring. Players will have about a 60-hour break now that fall camp has wrapped up, Gundy said. With classes starting Monday, the Cowboys won’t hit the practice field again until Tuesday. CONNELLY NOT DONE RECRUITING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN Oklahoma State offensive line coach Bob Connelly said Saturday he’s “slept a little easier at night” over the past week. Apparently, the stress from months of hopping on and off airplanes and scouting hundreds of football players across the nation can wear you out. And when two of those recruits verbally commit like they did last week, rest comes a little easier. Over the span of three days last week, OSU picked up two offensive line commitments for its 2015 class — Joshua Jones of Bush (Texas) High School and Brandon Pertile of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. The Cowboys also previously received a verbal commitment from Johnny Wilson of Midland Christian (Texas) High School. Each is ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals. Connelly can’t comment on those three players until when, or if, they officially sign with the Cowboys come February. But he did explain how important they were to an upcoming class in dire need of offensive linemen. “It’s a big, big, big need of ours,” Connelly said. “Getting those two additions gets us to three and we’re looking to get two more guys. Potentially one junior-college (and) one more high school player, because of the guys we lost last year and then obviously moving forward with three seniors this year.” Connelly was added to the OSU coaching staff after the 2014 class was signed, so these three recruits are the first of his Cowboy tenure. Connelly said he’s been working “tirelessly” in recruiting since he arrived in Stillwater. “For me, it’s been a big challenge,” Connelly said. “I’ve had to scout all over, and when you add junior-college prospects, we have to expand outside Oklahoma and Texas or surrounding states. So it required a lot of travel for me this spring. Through mid-April all the way through the month of May, I was out just about every day in an airport flying all over the country trying to find guys.” GUNDY TALKS FORMER COWBOYS IN THE NFL Gundy said Saturday there’s a new photo addition near a team entryway inside Boone Pickens Stadium. It features seven former OSU players now suiting up for the Dallas Cowboys: quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Joseph Randle, kicker Dan Bailey, wide receiver Dez Bryant, linebacker Orie Lemon, cornerback Tyler Patmon and safety Johnny Thomas. “We still have communication with them and I hear they’re doing really well,” Gundy said. “I’m not sure that there’s another school that’s in our conferences at this level that’s had that many players that have made it this far on one NFL team.” Gundy also made a comment on former OSU running back Kendall Hunter, who tore an ACL during July drills for the San Francisco 49ers. “It was unfortunate for a very good person that works extremely hard,” Gundy said. “And it’s important to him. But if anybody will battle back, it will be Kendall. And I certainly hope he does. I think he’s got three or four years in him. I hope that he battles back and can still compete.”
Aug 16, 2014
STILLWATER — Wearing No. 81 has become a sense of pride for Oklahoma State’s Jhajuan Seales. After all, he sees the success Justin Blackmon had while wearing it for the Cowboys. And after a breakout season last year, Seales is hoping he can be even better this season. Seales caught 39 passes for 571 yards and three touchdowns last season as a true freshman. Now, he’s expected to be the top...
Oklahoma State football: Jhajuan Seales talks about high expectations
BY JACOB UNRUH | Aug 16, 2014STILLWATER — Wearing No. 81 has become a sense of pride for Oklahoma State’s Jhajuan Seales. After all, he sees the success Justin Blackmon had while wearing it for the Cowboys. And after a breakout season last year, Seales is hoping he can be even better this season. Seales caught 39 passes for 571 yards and three touchdowns last season as a true freshman. Now, he’s expected to be the top target and a team leader. He recently spoke with The Oklahoman about his role, Blackmon and the offseason. Q: What does wearing No. 81 like Blackmon mean to you? A: I see all of the things that he did here, but I just come to play and do great things for the team and come along with the rest of the group. There are a lot of high expectations for you this season. How do you respond when you hear that? I don’t try to pay attention to it. I just try to get around with the young guys, try to be great as a group and as a team. It’s very important to step up and help the younger guys come up because we have a great team and they need to be directed on the right path to come up and be ready to play in big games. There were a lot of veterans on the team last year that led the team. Now, it’s a young team with you expected to lead. How different are things? It’s different, but they came in from high school ready and hungry. It’s not too different because they’re ready to learn. We still do the same routines, just bring them along and show them the ropes and get after it. You went home to Port Arthur, Texas, and spoke to kids at your former school, Memorial. What was that like? I motivated them. They asked me questions about how college is, how hard you work out here and they wanted to know tips to get to the next level. I like to let them know what they can do, how it’s possible no matter what you’re going through, I let them know what they can do to get to the next level.
Aug 16, 2014
OU baseball commitment was brought back to football by a meeting with new coach Paul Hix.
High school football: Moore's Blake Brewster returns to the football field
BY JACOB UNRUH | Aug 16, 2014MOORE — Just a few games into last season, Blake Brewster walked away from the Moore football team for what he believed to be forever. There were multiple reasons. He got banged up a little bit. There was also tension between him and the coaching staff. But mostly it was about baseball. “Baseball is more where my heart is, honestly, and I felt like I needed to focus more of my energy on that,” Brewster said. That worked out well, as he developed and played well enough that he verbally committed to Oklahoma’s baseball team this summer. It was a meeting early in the summer with new Moore coach Paul Hix that changed the direction of his senior season. It brought him back to the football field, where he has served as a leader for the Lions as they look to turn things around following a decade of losing. “We talked this summer, and he made that commitment to come out and he’s going to be here and he’s going to be a key contributor for us,” Hix said. “He has shown a lot of people what it takes to be a real committed athlete. So, he’s stuck out even though he hasn’t been around as long.” Brewster stands only around 6 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds, not necessarily a physically imposing threat. But he’ll be lined up at strong safety and possibly even some running back. It’s safety that he thrives at, with a strong sense of finding the ball. “I love coming up, making hits and making the crowd go ‘oh,’” Brewster said while also noting a goal for him is to set the team record for tackles. And as part of loaded District 6A-I-2, the Lions will need every play Brewster can deliver. They haven’t had a winning season since 2004 or made the playoffs since 2005. Hix, who was Stillwater’s offensive coordinator recently, believes they can turn things around. It’s that attitude that brought Brewster back to the football field. “He actually believes we can turn this thing around,” Brewster said. “He’s the first coach since I’ve been here that you can actually tell, you can see it in his eyes that he actually (thinks) we’re going to win this thing and we’ve got a chance. I think just being a part of that makes me want to be out here even more.” But to make the changes, Hix said it starts with getting tougher. That’s where Brewster will help as the team’s lone Division I athlete. It doesn’t matter that the label comes in baseball. “For any kid, if you’re going to look at one person that would come out and out-work everyone, it’s great that it’s him,” Hix said. “If anyone was going to have a sense of entitlement, he’s already committed to the Division I level to play baseball. “He probably could have come out here and went through the motions and been OK, but he’s been an absolute leader physically for us, mentally, emotionally and he’s been an absolute joy. I knew he would be. I knew he would provide as much off the field as he would on the field, and that’s been the case.”