DeSoto, Texas football
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DeSoto, Texas football News
NewsOK articles about DeSoto, Texas football, or articles mentioning current or former DeSoto, Texas football players.
DeSoto, Texas High School Varsity Boys Football
Despite an accelerated learning curve OSU coach Mike Gundy would rather avoid, the freshmen have filled the gaps and the Cowboys are off to a 4-1 start.
Oklahoma State football: Young Cowboys are battle-tested through five games
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Oct 10, 2014STILLWATER — Back in July during Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Mike Gundy kept a folded piece of paper in an inside pocket of his suit jacket as reporters peppered the Oklahoma State coach with questions. Call it a roster cheat sheet. A necessary tool for identifying one of the youngest teams in the nation. “I wasn’t sure if I could pronounce their names the right way,” Gundy joked. Oh, how things have changed in three months. Through five games, Gundy and the OSU fanbase are well acquainted with the large group of newcomers that have made an instant impact. Nineteen freshmen, including 10 redshirts, have played this season. Three from that group have started at least one game. When the Cowboys opened the year against Florida State, a combination of 32 freshmen and sophomores were on the depth chart — tied for the most in the nation with Tulane. OSU lost 32 lettermen from last year’s roster and returned 38. That’s the lowest ratio in the country, according to nationally syndicated college football guru Phil Steele. Despite an accelerated learning curve Gundy would rather avoid, the youngsters have filled the gaps and the Cowboys are off to a 4-1 start. “I’m very pleased with all of our young guys, including the offensive line,” Gundy said. “We’re just not very good … There’s just not really a fast forward button in developing young players.” Here’s a closer look at a few of those newcomers and where they stand with a struggling Kansas team on tap. NOT FRESHMEN ANY MORE While these players might be classified as freshmen, their early season roles, wealth of playing time and contributions for OSU has led to raised expectations moving forward. Compared to many of their freshmen peers, these Cowboys might as well be grizzled veterans. RG Zach Crabtree, redshirt freshman (Mansfield, Texas) Crabtree started every game this season, but suffered an unspecified leg injury on the Cowboys’ first drive against Iowa State last week. His status against KU in uncertain, but there’s no doubt of Crabtree’s long-term future. He’s on pace to become a four-year starter because of his 6-foot-7 frame and developing skill set. Gundy has been critical of the youth on his offensive line, but Crabtree’s experience this year will be important down the road. WR James Washington, freshman (Stamford, Texas) During fall camp, receivers coach Kasey Dunn said Washington was “on the fence” for redshirting this season. Hard to believe that now. Washington has caught seven passes this season and three have been for touchdowns. His speed, strength and leaping ability has made him a favorite downfield target for quarterback Daxx Garman. Washington has been flagged numerous times for pass interference, but his aggressiveness on the edge is surely an asset for the Cowboys. S Tre Flowers, redshirt freshman (Converse, Texas) Flowers played nearly every snap last week against ISU as starting safety Larry Stephens was sidelined with an Achilles injury. But it warranted little adjustment, as Flowers has been a regular in the OSU defensive backfield rotation since Week 1. He currently ranks fifth among Cowboy tacklers with 22 stops on the year. Expect Flowers to be a key contributor moving ahead regardless of Stephens’ health status. ON THE RISE When the season began, these players weren’t necessarily considered prime contenders for extended playing time. However, through five games, they’ve established the potential as future stars. Their stats don’t quite jump off the page and there’s still much to prove, but the next seven games will be an opportunity to showcase why they belong on the field. CB Ramon Richards, freshman (San Antonio, Texas) Richards was thrown into the fire early against Texas Tech when starting cornerback Ashton Lampkin went down. And Richards responded with both an interception and allowed touchdown completion. The converted quarterback has showcased athleticism that gives coaches confidence in his now starting role, as Lampkin’s future status is not clear. But Richards has yet to be tested against the Big 12’s better passers. WR Chris Lacy, freshman (DeSoto, Texas) Lacy emerged in fall camp alongside Washington as a true freshman with playmaking skills to contribute right away. But his production hasn’t mirrored that of Washington’s, as Lacy has just four catches for 47 yards. He also dropped a touchdown pass against UTSA. But Lacy, who graduated third overall in his high school class, has the smarts to thrive in OSU’s offense. His targets could certainly rise in the coming weeks. NEXT MAN UP The Cowboys lack serious depth at both linebacker and in the secondary. Listed behind the starters are true freshmen who have yet to see meaningful snaps with the first-team defense. But as we saw with previous injuries, that could change quickly. CB Juwan Offray, freshman (New Orleans) Offray has seen limited game snaps as OSU’s top cornerback Kevin Peterson is the Cowboys’ leader in the secondary. But the simple fact that he’s listed second behind Peterson on the depth chart over slightly more experienced cornerbacks on the roster shows the coaching staff’s confidence in the young player. LB Gyasi Akem, freshman (Broken Arrow) & LB Justin Phillips, freshman (Pearland, Texas) Both Akem and Phillips have flashed big-time playmaking ability on special teams coverage, but haven’t seen many snaps at linebacker as OSU’s starters have hardly rotated out. If Josh Furman or Seth Jacobs are unable to play, they’ll likely be thrust into the spotlight.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Russell Hansbrough can't remember the previous time he rushed 20 times in a game."It'd probably be in peewee football or something like that," the Missouri running back said. "Not even in high school."Hansbrough, a junior from Arlington, Texas, ran a career-high 126 yards in the No. 24 Tigers' 38-18 season-opening win Saturday against South Dakota State. It was his first...
Mizzou RB Russell Hansbrough takes starting role
JAKE KREINBERG, Associated Press | Sep 1, 2014COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Russell Hansbrough can't remember the previous time he rushed 20 times in a game. "It'd probably be in peewee football or something like that," the Missouri running back said. "Not even in high school." Hansbrough, a junior from Arlington, Texas, ran a career-high 126 yards in the No. 24 Tigers' 38-18 season-opening win Saturday against South Dakota State. It was his first career start after backing up Henry Josey alongside Marcus Murphy in his first two seasons. But with Josey now in the NFL and Murphy seeing increased playing time at receiver, the spotlight will grow brighter on Hansbrough — something he's admitted in the past to not altogether being comfortable with. "He's a really open guy once you get to know him," said Murphy, a senior who grew up in nearby DeSoto, Texas. "I think you just have to get to know him for him to open up to you. He's a really outgoing, fun, exciting person, but he sticks to himself a lot. Once he gets to know you and get comfortable, you'll see the real Russ." Running backs coach Brian Jones says he's been working on leadership with all of his players, and that there's still some room to grow in that area. But Jones added that Hansbrough has become a more vocal member of the group as he tries to mentor younger players. Regardless of how much he says, Hansbrough can always let his performance on the field speak for him. With 6 ½ minutes remaining in the first quarter Saturday, he slipped three tackles and darted across the field before scampering 10 yards down the sideline and into the end zone. Waiting to greet him was center Evan Boehm, his roommate. "My mom printed off a picture of his very first touchdown and me holding him up in my arms," Boehm said. "And I have a poster (of that) in my room hanging up, and he has a poster in his room hanging up. That's just a special bond Russ and I have." Listed at 6-foot-3, 320-pounds, Boehm can easily lift Hansbrough, who says he is 5-foot-8, 194-pounds. Being about an inch shorter and about the same weight as Murphy makes him a bit stockier and reasonably able continue to rush about 20 times per game, coach Gary Pinkel said. "He's got a lot of ability," Pinkel said. "I think we've just seen a glimpse of really what he's capable of. He's very, very explosive. He's a quick-start guy, so he can be going fast in a really quick manner." Hansbrough and Murphy combined for 1,286 rushing yards last season, helping Missouri finish second in the Southeastern Conference with 237.9 per game. Josey, who signed Monday with the Jacksonville Jaguars to be on their practice squad, added 1,166 yards on the ground. Sophomore Morgan Steward, a few inches taller and about 20 pounds heavier than Hansbrough and Murphy, is also expected to receive playing time but missed the opener with a hip injury, Pinkel said. Steward isn't expected to be healthy for at least another 2-3 weeks. Missouri gained 215 yards on the ground against South Dakota State, but the team travels this week to Toledo, which only yielded 37 rushing yards to New Hampshire in its opener. Hansbrough gained 30 yards on 10 carries when the teams met a year ago at Missouri, where the Tigers won 38-23. Teammates are expecting Hansbrough to improve upon that figure this year. "He's always had that big-play mentality," receiver Bud Sasser said. "He's always brought his A-game to the table, and we don't expect anything less. We just really appreciate that he's on this squad, because he's a very dynamic player."
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
Kendal Thompson still hasn't decided where he'll play next season, but his friends on the Oklahoma roster have said they'll miss him.
Oklahoma football notebook: Trevor Knight, Julian Wilson will miss Kendal Thompson
BY JASON KERSEY | Feb 8, 2014Kendal Thompson still hasn't decided where he'll play next season, but his friends on the Oklahoma roster have said they'll miss him. “Wherever he ends up, I'll cheer for him,” said OU nickelback Julian Wilson, who was a teammate of Thompson's at Southmoore. “I grew up with him. That's my family, so I'm cheering for him wherever he goes.” Thompson competed with Trevor Knight and Blake Bell to become Oklahoma's starting quarterback last spring, but broke his foot on the first day of fall camp. “He handled adversity way better than I think I would've been able to,” Wilson said. “He held his head high all season through all his struggles, and he's fought it out hard and I respect that.” Thompson announced on Twitter last month that he will graduate from OU in May and transfer to another school. If he enrolls in a graduate program that OU doesn't offer, he would be immediately eligible for another Division I program. “I loved spending time with Kendal,” Knight said. “I feel like he made me a better player, but I wish him the best of luck in the future, wherever he ends up.” OU COACHES LIKED HANSEN'S ATHLETICISM Despite Oklahoma's shift toward an offense centered around a more mobile quarterback in 2013, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said his staff still looks first and foremost for great passers when recruiting signal callers. “Justice (Hansen) is that,” Stoops said. “But then you look at him, he can run. We watched his athleticism. He got hurt some this year, but when he's been out there you see it. We see it here just working out doing the things he's doing. He's an excellent athlete and a strong athlete to go with his arm.” Hansen missed five games of his senior season at Edmond Santa Fe because of injuries, but enrolled at OU early and will go through spring practices with the team. As a senior, Hansen threw for 966 yards and eight touchdowns, while rushing for 434 yards and 12 scores. BROWN WANTS MORE WINS OVER SEC TEAMS Oklahoma offensive tackle signee Orlando Brown made a last-minute, signing day switch from Tennessee, where he'd been committed for months. Brown said the Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama wasn't the only reason for his change of heart, but that it did play a role. “The win over Alabama was great, but let's go beat another SEC team and keep it consistent,” Brown said. PARKER GREW UP AN OU FAN Four-star Jenks safety Steven Parker, who signed with OU over dozens of other scholarship offers from around the country, spoke on Signing Day about the impact growing up in Oklahoma had on his decision. “It's my hometown,” Parker said. “I stayed probably about 15 minutes away from Norman, I was born in Oklahoma City. I grew up an OU fan even though my parents both are OSU.” Parker recorded four interceptions and also caught 33 passes for 594 yards as a senior for Class 6A state champion Jenks. QUOTABLE Oklahoma defensive back signee Vontre McQuinnie, after signing his National Letter of Intent at DeSoto (Texas) High School: “It's just the start of something beautiful. I feel like I'm gonna have a great four or five years.”
Feb 6, 2014
McQuinnie made a quick impact after transferring to DeSoto High School halfway through his senior season.
OU football: Prep coach says OU will have a 'beast' in defensive back Vontre McQuinnie
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Feb 6, 2014DESOTO, Texas — Vontre McQuinnie sat in the DeSoto High School gymnasium Wednesday morning and signed with Oklahoma. Strangely, though, McQuinnie — who committed to OU more than a year ago — has technically been an Oklahoma Sooner several months longer than he's been a DeSoto Eagle. McQuinnie played football in nearby Lancaster his entire life before his family moved to DeSoto midway through his senior season. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound safety decided after the move to switch schools, too. “I was kind of against it at first, but it was a decision he made,” said J.W. Smith, Jr., McQuinnie's stepfather. “I think it was a better fit. He felt like he wasn't being pushed to his potential.” Lancaster signed off on the transfer, but McQuinnie still had to sit out two games because of University Interscholastic League rules. The UIL governs public school activities in Texas. “I didn't ask any questions,” said DeSoto coach Claude Mathis. “We were about to go into the playoffs, so I was trying to end the season off well. I had too much on my mind to worry about that. “All I knew was that it was legal. That's the only thing I had to understand.” McQuinnie's transfer came at a convenient time for DeSoto, which had just lost a starting safety for the season with a broken arm. Once McQuinnie was eligible, he made an immediate impact on the DeSoto defense, adding a tough, physical presence who could play well in pass coverage and in run support. In the Eagles' 48-41, playoff quarterfinal victory over Euless Trinity, McQuinnie returned a first-quarter fumble 84 yards for a touchdown that ended up being the difference in the game. “He made a hell of a play,” said Paul Beattie, DeSoto's secondary coach. “He was a leader. He helped out the younger kids. He just fought hard the whole time he was with us. “He's a strong, strong kid. When he puts his hands on you, it's hard to get away. I can only imagine how he's gonna be in about a year after getting in the OU weight room. He'll be a beast.” McQuinnie said all OU coaches have told him that they want him to be that same physical, vocal leader in Norman. “At Lancaster, I was leader of the defense,” McQuinnie said. “Here, I was vocal. They want me to bring some personality to the defense.”
Feb 4, 2014
Vontre McQuinnie doesn't put much stock into recruiting rankings. So after the Oklahoma linebacker commit was recently downgraded from a three-star to a two-star recruit by Rivals, he certainly wasn't losing any the sleep over the questions surrounding his ability. “I really don't pay too much attention,” said McQuinnie, who chose OU over Iowa and SMU. “At the end of the day, that's not what...
OU football recruiting: Drop in star rating not much concern for Vontre McQuinnie
BY TRENT SHADID, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 4, 2014Vontre McQuinnie doesn't put much stock into recruiting rankings. So after the Oklahoma linebacker commit was recently downgraded from a three-star to a two-star recruit by Rivals, he certainly wasn't losing any the sleep over the questions surrounding his ability. “I really don't pay too much attention,” said McQuinnie, who chose OU over Iowa and SMU. “At the end of the day, that's not what determines a player. It's how hard you work and what you put into it. OU already knows what I can do. Once we sign, everyone is back to square one.” The drop in ranking can possibly be attributed to McQuinnie (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) missing time on the field after transferring schools in the middle of his senior football season. He made the move from Lancaster (Texas) to DeSoto (Texas) in late October, and although there was familiarity with the towns separated only by I-35, moving in the middle of football season made the experience difficult. “It was kind of tough with the position I was put in leaving somewhere I'd been all my life and going somewhere totally different,” McQuinnie said. “It was a whole new style and level of football going from 4A to 5A. But a lot of the students at (DeSoto) I already knew so it didn't bother me too much.” The good news for McQuinnie is after he signs on to play at OU on National Signing Day, he'll be heading to a place he's always imagined himself being. “It's always been my favorite school since I was little,” McQuinnie said. “I used to play running back and Adrian Peterson was who I looked up to. Once I got into middle school and high school a lot of the people around where I grew up were going to OU, so that made me think it's the place for me.”
Feb 4, 2014
Kennen Brown and Chris Hardeman from Alief Taylor High School are the latest Houston products committed to the Cowboys who could become top stars.
Oklahoma State football: Houston pipeline keeps producing
By Gina Mizell | Feb 4, 2014STILLWATER — Houston Alief Taylor coach Jody D. Jordan calls it “Michael Jordan Syndrome.” Kennen Brown, a 6-4 receiver, wanted to haul in the football. Teammate Chris Hardeman, a speedy and athletic defensive back, wanted to prevent Brown from catching it. “They help other guys around them get better,” Jordan said. And those practice battles will continue at the next level, as both Brown and Hardeman will sign with Oklahoma State on Wednesday and headline a strong group of Houston-area players that will join the Cowboys for the 2014 season. The others: Aldine Eisenhower's Trevion Roberts, a three-star “athlete” projected to play defensive back; Clear Lake's Matthew Mucha, a 6-6 offensive lineman rated a three-star prospect; and a pair of three-star linebackers in Pearland's Justin Phillips and Spring Klein Oak's Josh Mabin. Houston has traditionally been rich recruiting ground for OSU during Mike Gundy's tenure, particularly when longtime assistant Joe DeForest was on staff. Now, it's often the territory of cornerbacks coach Van Malone, who is from the area and began his coaching career at the high school level there. “I don't know about other (high) schools,” Jordan said, “but (OSU brings) coaches in and they come and visit with the kids. They come in the spring. Just a high visibility in building a relationship with those kids that goes a long way. “In this day and age, with the technology and everything, I don't think it's a big deal to say, ‘Hey, I'll just go.' It's not a big deal to go out of state or another part of the country.” In Hardeman (5-9, 178 pounds), the Cowboys get the son of an Alief Taylor assistant coach who has track speed. He qualified for regionals in the 100-meter dash as a freshman, then became a football starter the following fall. Big-time programs such as LSU, Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA quickly took notice of that supreme athleticism and offered. LSU earned an early commitment. But following a visit, Hardeman determined that school wasn't the right fit. Brown, a team jokester who's displayed big-play ability since his sophomore season, also drew oodles of recruiting interest from schools like Florida, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon and Wisconsin. OSU, of course, was also in play for both. Brown and Hardeman were not a package deal. But they swooped through both Norman and Stillwater together during fall camp in August. Both came away impressed. Both committed on the same day. “They just liked the atmosphere, they loved Coach Gundy,” Jordan said. “It just kind of clicked for them.” Brown joins two other receivers in the 2014 class in Chris Lacy from DeSoto, Texas, and James Washington from Stamford, Texas. At defensive back, Hardeman joins Roberts, Ramon Richards of San Antonio (Texas) Brackenridge, Dylan Harding of Jenks and Juwan Offray of New Orleans Edna Karr. When they sign their letters of intent, Brown and Hardeman will officially help keep the Houston pipeline going. Then they'll keep giving each other Michael Jordan Syndrome when they arrive in Stillwater this summer. And, with multiple key departures at both receiver and cornerback from OSU's 2013 squad, perhaps Brown and Hardeman will see the field right away in 2014. “That's the kind of kids they are,” Jordan said. “They're gonna step right in. They're not gonna sit back. They're gonna jump in there on the drills. They want to be first. They want to be seen. “Kennen wants the ball, and Chris wants him to keep him from getting the ball.”