Walk-On Leads Team Dunn/Blackmon

STILLWATER - Sometimes heroes come out of nowhere, and while the internally labeled "BCS National Championship" of Oklahoma State's offseason speed and conditioning program conducted by coordinator of strength and conditioning Rob Glass isn't an official contest, don't tell that to the Cowboy football players that earned their way into Tuesday's final.

The talking was heavy between the two teams. One was coached by new wide receviers coach Kasey Dunn and selected by team captain and AllAmerican and Biletnikoff Award winning receiver Justin Blackmon, and the other coached by defensive coordinator Bill Young and captained and chosen by defensive lineman Nigel Nicholas.

This was a battle down to the wire and at the end it was a new walkon, safety Elliott Jeffcoat, that clinched the 32-29 victory for Team Dunn/Blackmon when he surged to victory over linebacker Tyler Johnson on the obstacle course.

"I don't even know his name he's so new. Elliott Jeffcoat, and that is awesome," said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. "That is great for him and great for everybody to see him do that."

He was working on proving his point Tuesday. Jeffcoat wasn't only good on the obstacle course. The South Carolina native that earned All Region III-AA honors as a running back his senior season and led Batesburg-Leesville to the Upper 2A state semifinals also won points for his team on the bags drill and in the one-on-one tug event.

"We had the first overall pick," said Team Dunn/Blackmon member Tracy Moore of having an unsung competitior like Jeffcoat. "Justin took (Justin) Horton because he is big, athletic, and strong. Other than that people kept overlooking some of the walk-ons and they didn't understand what they can do, but Justin saw the talent in them like Elliott."

As mentioned, the competition was hotly contested as Justin Blackmon, Tracy Moore, fellow wide receiver Justin Horton, walk-on linebacker Teddy Johnson, and center Casey LaBrue helped pace Team Dunn/Blackmon to a 6-2 advantage on the sled pull. Blackmon, Horton, LaBrue, Johnson, and wide receiver Charlie Moore helped the leaders double their advantage to 12-4 after the tractor tire flip. You should be getting the point that Blackmon did choose a lot of wide receivers.

The shuttle run became a big equalizer for Team Young/Nicholas as wide receiver Hubert Anyiam started it by nudging Blackmon in a close call. Redshirt freshman receiver Kenneth Johnson, quarterback Johnny Deaton, safety Daytawion Lowe, cornerback Nehemiah Mundy, offensive lineman DeJuan Davis, and linebacker Tyler Johnson all picked up wins and the 7-1 event victory narrowed the score to 13-11 in favor of Team Dunn/Blackmon.

After the Pro Agility Drill left it 18-14 in favor of Team Dunn/Blackmon, the lead changed hands at the tug-of-war.

Each team supplied four competitors for each go round. Team Young/Nicholas saw All-Big 12 offensive tackle Levy Adcock anchor a group of defensive lineman Daniel Cooley, linebacker Tyler Johnson up front and deceivingly strong Daytawion Lowe for a win. That come-from-behind classic battle propelled the team to a sweep of the tug-of-war for a 20-18 lead. After the one-on-one tug events the score was tied 23-23.

Two final speed events determined the title and led to Jeffcoat's clinching run on the obstacle course which featured a bear crawl, sled push, hoop run, bags, and a blocking dummy before a sprint to the finish.

Opponents Tracy Moore (Dunn) and Daytawion Lowe (Young) admit it gets heated but it's productive competition to sharpen those instincts.

"We've always got fight and we don't ever give up," said Lowe, who missed last season with a shoulder injury but is expected to be a huge contributor on defense in 2011. "It's always good competition no matter who we put out there. All you have to do is have heart and compete."

"That is a whole lot of fun," said Moore.

"It's always interesting to see which players that the captains draft for their team because they know it is competition and there are a lot of bragging rights," said Gundy. "It builds a lot of team continuity, and some of the guys that hold themselves in high regard realize that some of their teammates don't (hold them in as high as regard) because they don't get drafted as high. It's about our fifth or sixth year and the players have fun with it and it is part of what we do and who we are in the offseason."

Gundy also saw two-time competition champion coach Joe DeForest's team, led by captain defensive end Richetti Jones, defeat offensive line coach Joe Wickline and his team selected by captain Jonathan Rush for third place.

The Cowboys finish the rest of their offseason work this week and spring football begins with the first of 15 practices Monday.


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