NGSC Sports

Expectations for the Oklahoma State Cowboys

Picked by many publications to win the Big XII conference, Oklahoma State finished the 2013 football season 10-3. With losses to West Virginia, Oklahoma during the regular season and a subsequent loss to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl, many are wondering what’s next for the Cowboys. Below is a list of key losses for OSU as well as a breakdown of the team by position.

 

  • Key Losses

QB Clint Chelf, WR Josh Stewart, WR Tracy Moore, WR Blake Jackson WR Charlie Moore, DT Calvin Barnett, LB Shaun Lewis, LB Caleb Lavey, CB Justin Gilbert, SS Shamiel Garey, FS Daytawion Low

 

  • Quarterback

During the 2013 season, quarterback J.W. Walsh lost his starting position to senior Clint Chelf, who would go on to claim second-team All-Big XII honors.  While there is a wealth of talent at the quarterback position on the roster, Walsh has gone on to assert himself as the team’s leader at the onset of spring football. Others such as Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph do not have the command of the offense the way Walsh does and it would be surprising if he doesn’t go on to win the starting position and have a very good 2014 football season.

 

  • Running Back

The Cowboys are happy to have their leading rusher Desmond Roland back in the fold for the 2014 season.  Roland rushed for 811 yards on 176 attempts and 13 touchdowns last season. He was also featured in the passing game as he hauled in nine receptions for 83 yards and three touchdowns.

How talented is junior college signee, running back Tyreek Hill? Hill is so talented that many are talking about him being a one-and-done player for the Cowboys. During spring football, Hill has provided an electricity from the running back position that hasn’t been seen in Stillwater since, Tatum Bell.

With that said, Hill has world-class speed and is faster than Bell and has greater wiggle. Hill is also being worked in at the wide receiver position and will be utilized in a hybrid running back/wide receiver role to keep he and Roland on the field at the same time. This newfound thunder and lightening combo has the potential to be special in 2014.

 

  • Wide Receiver

The wide receiver position is going to need some of the young guys to really come into their own. Sophomore Jhjuan Seales is the teams only returning starting wide receiver as James Stewart declared himself eligible for the NFL draft. At six-foot-two 198 Lbs. Seales has all the potential in the world to become big-time playmaker for the Cowboys. Boasting a time of 4.4 in the 40-yard dash Seales has excellent body control and does a very good job attacking the football.  Blake Webb is another talented player who might be one of the fastest on the team. Webb is coming back from injury but is expected to step up this year. Marcel Ateman, Brandon Sheperd and David Glidden who all contributed last year are also expected to increase their level of production. The wide receiver corps is relatively inexperienced but is expected to produce at a high level in 2014.

 

  • Offensive Line

In 2013 the senior-laden group ranked 10th in the nation and first in the Big XII in pass protection. While this is another young unit on the Cowboys’ roster, they have a bevy of young talent at the position. Additionally, tackle Devin Davis regarded as the teams best offensive lineman will be returning from injury. New Offensive line coach Bob Connelly who has an outstanding track record should work wonders for this group and get them to gel sooner rather than later.

 

  • Defensive Line

The Cowboys no longer have DT Clavin Barnett in the middle of their defensive front and will rely on incumbent senior James Castleman to produce at a similar level compared to his predecessor. He will likely be asked to bring along Ofa Hautau, as he is being projected to start alongside Castleman. At defensive end Oklahoma State’s coaching staff is excited about the continued development of Jim Bean. Bean had his coming out party against Missouri when he recorded seven tackles and a sack and by all accounts is following that up with terrific spring practices.

Head coach Mike Gundy spoke about Bean and just how far he’s come, “A couple years ago, he wasn’t sure if college football was for him,” Gundy said. “There were a lot of issues with structure and discipline and accountability that he wasn’t sure if he fit the role of a college football player, but he’s done very well. He understands the importance, and he has an important future at Oklahoma State.”

Bean will be a big part of the Cowboys’ defense. With Sam Wren, Naim Mustafaa and Emmanuel Ogbah improving their play this spring, Gundy is on record saying that he believes this defensive front might be better than last years despite the inexperience.


  • Linebacker

Ryan Simmons is the lone returning starter at the linebacker position. Last year Simmons recorded 62 tackles (9.5 for loss), and one interception. The rangy Dante Averette from Ellsworth junior college and Seth Jacobs who earned playing time last year are expected to fill roles vacated by Caleb Lavey and Shaun Lewis. Simmons, clearly the leader of the group is essentially the coach on the field and is responsible for getting his fellow linebackers in position pre-snap to make plays.

 

  • Cornerback

Replacing a playmaker of Justin Gilbert’s caliber is never easy, but Kevin Peterson will have every opportunity to make the fans in Stillwater forget about him, as he becomes the No.1 cornerback on the roster. In 2013 Peterson lined up on the opposite side of Gilbert as the teams’ No.2 cornerback. Peterson finished the season with 23 tackles and two interceptions.

Peterson has made some stellar plays this spring according to coaches and they are looking forward to seeing how he’ll perform this year. Ashton Lampkin saw limited action last year and will likely become the teams No.2 cornerback in 2014. Peterson and Ashton give their team two very athletic cornerbacks with very good change of direction and ability to track the football. Miketavius Jones, Darius Curry, Taylor Lewis will all be expected to contribute as well.

 

  • Safety

Oklahoma State will be replacing both safeties in 2014 as Shamiel Gray and Daytawion Lowe have graduated and are no longer with the program. Lyndell Johnson who was expected to be a major contributor was dismissed from the team, leaving the Cowbyos thin and inexperienced at the position. Senior Larry Stephens and sophomores Deric Robertson and Jordan Sterns will all be competing for the vacant safety positions.

  • Overall

While this is a very inexperienced team on multiple fronts, the talent that Oklahoma State has accumulated should sustain them. Year after year the Cowboys have lost critical players, but they perennially remain near the top of the Big XII conference. I expect 2014 to be no different than any other. The OSU staff does very well recruiting junior college players, which enables them to accrue talent that can quickly assimilate college lifestyle, as well as a college football playbook. While this 2014 team will be one of the less experienced teams Oklahoma State has had in recent years, I fully expect them to win the conference title and finish no wore than third in the Big XII.

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