Artrell Woods' injury was a reminder there are more important things than wins and losses. It's uncertain whether Woods will play football again after a freak accident in the weight room. But it's encouraging the sophomore wide receiver has had feeling in his legs and was released from intensive care on Sunday. But because it's highly unlikely Woods will play this year, OSU coaches must now determine which candidates will be considered for key roles opposite all-Big 12 receiver Adarius Bowman. "Monday morning will be the first time we all have met as a staff in a month, and this is the first subject we'll address,” offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said. "Somebody will step up.” OSU has good depth at receiver. Fedora plans to get junior tight end Brandon Pettigrew more involved, which should help freshman receivers who will be asked to mature quickly. Missouri's two standout tight ends (Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman) and Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett have been listed on most preseason all-Big 12 teams. Pettigrew has been overlooked. Big 12 defensive coordinators won't overlook Pettigrew, who has good size and speed and creates matchup problems over the middle. Bowman, who averaged 19.5 yards a catch last year, also will draw attention from young receivers. Depth isn't a concern. But Woods' injury, combined with Anthony Parks transferring, could force several talented freshman wideouts to play prominent roles. Jeremy Broadway and Woods were slated to compete for the starter's role. Woods played sparingly last season but blossomed in the spring. Broadway sat out following a two-a-days wrist injury and now becomes the odds-on favorite. True freshman Dez Bryant has received rave reviews since he arrived on campus seven weeks ago. Rated one of the top players in the country, regardless of position, Bryant has game-altering talent. Whether Bryant can play a key role in a high profile opener remains to be seen. Hubert Anyiam, another true freshman, also has turned some heads this summer. Like Bryant, Anyiam has good size and speed. Mustang's Josh Cooper might carve out a reserve role. Damian Davis is another talented freshman but might be a redshirt candidate. Another option is incoming freshman William Cole, who was projected to play defense. Described by his high school coach as "Reggie Bush with a ball in his hands,” Cole played wideout earlier in his career. There's ample talent. But this isn't a season where the Cowboys open with a couple of cupcakes to ease youngsters into Division I football.
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Tight end Brandon Pettigrew will be a viable option this year for Oklahoma State's offense.