Top Veterans: No. 9 Quinn Sharp

This is the second installment of our preseason series on the Top 10 Veteran Players for 2011. To be eligibile you have to be a veteran player that has either started or played a significant role as a backup player. The criteria to be on this list is that you play a vital position to the success of this season.

No. 9 - Quinn Sharp, P/K
6-1, 189, Jr.
Mansfield (Summit), Texas

Give former Oklahoma State kicker Dan Bailey credit as he filled in nicely at the Alamo Bowl when he had to punt and kickoff after Sharp missed the bowl due to academic suspension.

There is a concern because Sharp is a huge weapon as one of the best punters in the nation, averaging 45.1 yards per punt in his redshirt freshman season and 46.2 yards per punt last season. He is the number-one kickoff specialist in the country and that is documented.

Now that Bailey, the 2010 Lou Groza Award winner, has graduated, it appears Sharp is the number one option to kick field goals and extra points this season.

Sharp's academic issues really came down to some medical issues and those have been corrected. He had a tremendous spring and did finish as the leader on kicking placements over talented walk-on and former Oklahoma All-State kicker Bobby Stonebreaker out of Tuttle.

Lest any fans forget, as good as Sharp has been on punting and kickoffs, he was the top-rated field goal kicker in the United States coming out of high school when he signed with the Cowboys.

Freshman Matt Green, out of Lexington, Ky., has joined the team this summer and all three will compete for the placement job in August. Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest would prefer that one guy not do it all. But he also wants to use the best guy and Sharp, at this stage, appears the be the best on all three jobs.

We may have Sharp too low at No. 9 if he is doing all the kicking. His health and well being will be huge this season. The good thing is that while he may be so good at all three to be a candidate for both the Ray Guy and Lou Groza Awards, there is depth.

Sometimes the season comes down to a play or two, or a kick or two. Oklahoma State fans don't have to think back too far on that one to remember Dan Bailey's 42-yard game winner against Texas A&M last September. Sharp or whoever needs to be ready to hit one like that because with all the important road games on the schedule you know the situation is bound to come up.

The Top 10 Veteran Cowboys
No. 10 Grant Garner


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