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Which newcomer can make a quick impact for OSU football?

BY BRANDON CHATMON Modified: May 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm •  Published: May 8, 2011

STILLWATER — A successful spring was key for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys enter the summer with a relatively healthy roster and several young players who are starting to develop into key contributors.

Now that the coaches have a better feel for the potential of the Cowboys already on campus, it's a great time to re-evaluate which February signees could make an impact this fall.

The situation is much different heading into the 2011 football season than it was in 2010, when OSU needed true freshman to play. Getting onto the field immediately will be much tougher for this year's crop of signees.

When asked how many true freshmen could see the field this fall, head coach Mike Gundy said it depends on how many are ready to play.

“It's based on those young men and how far along they are,” Gundy said. “We would always like to play a receiver and a running back, most of our linemen will redshirt and our skill guys on the back end, we'll play them. I'm going to guess, six to eight (freshmen will play).”

Here's a look at some of OSU's February signees (who didn't participate in spring football) who have a great opportunity to play this fall and why.

*Defensive tackle James Castleman: He switched from Texas Tech to OSU late in the recruiting process and was a great coup for the Pokes. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Castleman has the size and athleticism to earn immediate playing time.

Castleman's opportunity: The Cowboys ended the spring still searching for defensive tackles to complete their rotation, and Castleman appears to have the ability to step in and fight for a spot from Day 1.

*Running back Herschel Sims: One of the headliners of the class, Sims should earn playing time immediately. He's a special talent and plays running back, a position that allows for a smooth transition into college football.

Sims' opportunity: Multiple times this spring, Gundy said he would like to have three or four running backs ready to play this fall. Kye Staley's solid spring could give OSU a solid third running back along with Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle, but expect Sims or Desmond Roland to provide additional depth at running back.

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