The State of Oklahoma State: An Update on Offensive Cowboys Heading into Summer
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State rides into summer on a wave of optimism. A loaded offense returns eight starters and the front seven, which was lauded last season for its depth and talent, could anchor OSU once again in 2017.Mason Rudolph has a slew of freak athletes to throw the ball to and the running game is in the midst of a renaissance. If the defense is as good as Mike Gundy thinks big things could be on the horizon for Oklahoma State.Can the Cowboys get over that schooner-sized hurdle for their second Big 12 title? Let’s take a look at the offensive side of the roster both in the present day and what it will look like in future years (note: this includes scholarship players as well as walk-ons).*Tyler Moore to sit 2017 due to NCAA transfer rules.QuarterbackMason Rudolph is a darkhorse Heisman candidate poised to break every QB record on OSU’s books. Behind him is a redshirt junior in Taylor Cornelius who should be the de facto No. 2. Mike Gundy also insinuated that either Keondre Wudtee or John Kolar may feature role in short-yardage situations, a la J.W. Walsh.Rudolph is the key. If anyone else is thrust into a major role the Cowboys prospects suffer greatly. If he plays, they have a chance to win each game on their schedule. There’s not a lot of teams who have that luxury.The future looks bright, too, with Wudtee to go along with Jelani Woods and Spencer Sanders. The Cowboys are feeling good about their prospects at QB for years to come.Running BackJustice Hill should be healed up from his offseason shoulder surgery in time for full participation in fall camp. That’s the good news. Behind Hill are a lot of question marks. The running back group is young and seemingly talented but Jeff Carr is the only other back with any experience.Either of the two incoming freshmen, Chuba Hubbard and J.D. King could make a push for serious reps if a defined hierarchy is not present heading into fall camp. Hubbard has world-class speed and King is a bigger, powerful runner who was probably a little under recruited early because he played for a smaller school. He already has D-I size and rushed for over 5,000 yards during his high school career.OSU is still trying to fill in this spot behind them for the future.Wide ReceiverI was tempted just to fill this section with fire emojis.The Cowboys might have the most talented wide receiver corps in the nation. That’s a real thing. We talk about it so much that it may lose its luster. But think about this. Of returning Big 12 receivers, James Washington and Jalen McCleskey were ranked first and fifth respectively in receiving yards a year ago.Add in Marcell Ateman, who missed last year due to injury, who was a top-10 receiver in the Big 12 with 766 yards and five scores in 2015. Former LSU-transfer Tyron Johnson is apparently about to redefine the position and then you have several young freaks, including the Tylan Wallace who is the highest rated receiver prospect at OSU since Dez.Toss C.J. Moore in the mix, and this is pretty easily OSU’s deepest spot not only now but for years to come. It’s also unclear what position Jaelyn Nolan will play as he’s a QB in high school but could be placed anywhere on a college roster.Cowboy BackThe hybrid tight end/fullback group is undergoing significant turnover as it lost two of its pioneers in Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch. Keenen Brown brings a big-play ability in the passing game and Britton Abbott may fill more of the blocking role. Incoming transfer fullback, Sione Finefeuiaki, will also vie for reps.OSU has shown a dedication to this position by continuing to recruit towards it. Although this is probably the most flexible spot in terms of being able to move players elsewhere on the roster, there is a clear emphasis on continuing to develop cowboy backs.Offensive LineRight tackle, Zachary Crabtree, has seen four offensive line coaches during his career at OSU. It’s no wonder the Cowboys have struggled to field a consistent front. The Cowboys improved last year in run blocking and sacks allowed but still were dead last in the conference.But with a seeming home run hire in Josh Henson leading the way, the Cowboys seem to be headed in the right direction. He’s already gained four more commits than total high school signees from last year’s class — four.That spot for incoming freshmen is as bare as the one next to it is full.