One Cowboy senior that really enjoyed his recruitment, so much that he has been a real asset in recruiting while playing at Oklahoma State, is Richetti Jones. Jones, having his best season ever with a career high in sacks and a career first interception this season, loved being recruited as an All-American out of Dallas Lincoln High School. His reputation as a player-host for recruits on visits is that, Richetti always gets his man.
"I told the coaches that you need to put me on the payroll because I've been able to get all these guys to commit," said Jones, who is looking to a career in broadcasting or, perhaps, coaching. "Sometimes, I tell the coaches that I've got him ready and now the ball is back in your court. My whole goal when I get a recruit is to get them to commit, to fall in love with the school, and then hand them back to the coach."
Jones is so in to the process of recruiting he has even tried to groom a successor to his role in showing recruits around.
"I've had a lot of guys that I've recruited, but the one that I feel that took my recruiting tactics and applies them today is Nigel (Nicholas)," said Jones. "I feel like he can really get the job done."
Head coach Mike Gundy, who has always bragged on Jones' ability to recruit, gives this entire senior class, who has had so much to do with the on the field success, a lot of credit for the recruiting prowess the Cowboys have enjoyed. It is not just what they have done on the field in winning games, but also the accomplishments off the field.
"That means as much to us as a coaching staff as anything because in recruiting, it never fails, we'll have six or eight of the parents of the players that we sign they will be more concerned with our players and how they handle themselves here than they will X's and O's or how soon their son is going to play," explained Gundy. "I have to give a lot of credit to the way they've handled the development of our team over the last several years."
Now the Cowboys need to continue replenishing the players in the program. It is a never ending process and while this season has been "off the charts" successful, you have to remember that many of the commitments in this class, many of the recruits still being pursued where cultivated from the summer of 2010 through now. This class while it will receive some impact from the Cowboys strong national championship contending 2011 season will be built on past seasons. It is 2013 and 2014 as recruiting classes that will most be impacted by the success of this season.
Speaking of success on the field, I think you will find it amazing how many of the players committed to the Cowboys are involved in playoff football and also how many of the prospects they are still recruiting are also in winning programs.
As for the class for 2012, here is where the Cowboys stand:
Committed: Wes Lunt, QB, 6-5, 200, 4.9, Rochester, Illinois
Gundy and offensive coordinator Todd Monken wanted a quarterback committed for the class in the spring or early summer and Monken tapped into his Illinois roots and a connection with Rochester head coach Derek Leonard to tab Wes Lunt. Lunt is just what you want for this offense in size, ability and skill set. As a junior, he led Rochester to a 14-0 record and a Class 4A State Championship. This season, after missing the first part of the schedule to a late summer conditioning injury, he has come on and been sensational again. Last week he propelled the Rockets into the semifinals with a 55-21 win in which he threw for 419-yards on 27-of-40 passing with three touchdowns. Earlier this season he threw for an Illinois single-game state record by throwing for 597 yards, yes, in a game. So far, and remember with a late start, Lunt has completed 183-of-246 passes for 2,528 yards. He is completing 74.4 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Recruiting: Barry J. Sanders, RB, 5-11, 185, 4.4, Oklahoma City (Heritage Hall), Okla.
Quinton White, RB, 5-7, 183, 4.4, College Station (A&M Consolidated), Texas
Trey Williams, RB, 5-9, 175, 4.4, Spring (Dekaney), Texas
Most Cowboy fans either think or hope that Barry J. Sanders, the standout at Class 3A powerhouse Heritage Hall and the son of 1988 Oklahoma State Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders, will wind up with the Cowboys. Sanders has long been an Oklahoma State fan and OSU is on top with Stanford and Florida State, where he has visited, as well as Alabama. Sanders has said he will make his announcement at the Jan. 7 U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio. Something private is likely to be decided before that.
In the first round of the Oklahoma high school playoffs Sanders helped the Chargers to a 66-6 win over Chandler with 137 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. On the season at that point he had 99 carries for 950 yards and 20 touchdowns total. He is averaging close to 10 yards a carry.
Trey Williams of Spring Dekaney is a back the Cowboys recruited along with many other schools before he committed in the spring to Texas A&M. Williams pulled in several recruits with him including previous OSU commitment Bralon Addison out of Fort Bend Hightower. Williams has since shown an interest in Oklahoma State as he recently tweeted about a phone call he received from Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy and how cool he thought Gundy was. Williams' play has been very uncool to opponents. Dekaney is just four years into varsity competition and they are on to the second round of the Texas high school playoffs with a 27-21 win over The Woddlands College Park. Williams rushed for 322 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries. On the season he had 2,740-yards on 293 carries. He has 6,960 and 69 touchdowns in his career.
There were reports in November that Williams was on twitter about Mike Gundy calling him and Williams saying Gundy was "pretty cool." Williams confirmed that and said that Gundy has called him a couple of times and that Texas Tech also calls him. Williams said he is proudly and solidly committed to the Aggies, but said he likes the phone calls.
Quinton White committed to Tulsa early, but just recently in November switched his commitment from Tulsa to Texas Tech. He has shown an interest in Oklahoma State and had a very good season before an MCL knee sprain compromised his performance in a first round playoff game. White still played but could only get 39 yards on 10 carries in the season ending loss.
Committed: C.J. Curry, WR, 6-2, 210, 4.45, Flowery Branch, Georgia
Kendall Sanders, WR, 6-0, 175, 4.5, Athens, Texas
Blake Webb, ATH, 5-11 1/2, 175, 4.49, The Woodlands, Texas
Recruiting: Bralon Addison, ATH, 5-9 ½, 187, 4.4, Fort Bend (Hightower), Texas
Brandon Sheperd, WR, 6-2, 192, 4.46, Chesterfield (Parkway Central), Mo.
Javon Williams, WR, 6-5, 178, 4.5, Chandler, Ariz.
Keon Hatcher, WR, 6-1, 191, 4.6, Owasso, Okla.
Curry is a big-time player that switched his commitment from Georgia to Oklahoma State in August and has led his team into the second round of the Georgia high school 4A playoffs. He played despite an ankle injury in the first round game and caught a key pass in a drive that ended with a 36-yard "Hail Mary" pass to win 41-38 over Johns Creek and propel Flowery Branch into a showdown with Thomas County. Curry, despite being double-teamed most of the time has close to 800 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season. His highlight tape is off-the-charts impressive.
Kendall Sanders is one of the best skill athletes in Texas and despite Athens just missing the playoffs, Sanders was named this past week to the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio on Jan. 7. Sanders rushed for 818 yards and 15 touchdowns this season while catching 34 passes for 530-yards and another 5 touchdowns. He set the school single-season touchdown record last season with 24 touchdowns.
Webb came out for the playoffs on fire as he caught three touchdowns in the first half of The Woodlands 42-31 win over Klein Collins. Webb's touchdowns were for 41, 66, and 49 yards. Going into the playoffs he had 42 receptions for 776 yards and 14 touchdowns. Webb is a burner that will play naturally at the slot receiver.
Oklahoma State is still looking to add another receiver to the class and the candidates are strong with Sheperd ranking just behind national sensation Dorial Green-Beckam in Missouri. Sheperd helped Parkway Central to a 10-2 record before losing to Parkway East in the playoffs. He finished the season with 47 receptions for 808 yards and averaged 17.2 yards per catch. He scored 15 touchdowns. Sheperd will visit OSU on Dec. 3 and then Missouri the next weekend. It is down to those two schools.
Javon Williams was having a tremendous season until an ankle injury sidelined him a few games. He is back and helped Chandler to a first round playoff 35-34 in overtime. On the season he has 33 receptions for 923 yards and seven touchdowns.
He is being recruited by Oklahoma State, Arizona State, San Diego State and several other West Coast schools.
Keon Hatcher is having another strong season for Owasso, who has advanced into the second round of the playoffs with a strong 45-34 win over Norman. Hatcher is committed to Arkansas, but Oklahoma State has reportedly maintained a relationship in recruiting.
Addison is listed as an athlete and he plays quarterback most of the time for a very stout Hightower squad. In their playoff opening win over Clear Brook 47-21, Addison rushed 13 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 10-of-13 passes for 118 yards and another touchdown. Addison was once committed to the Cowboys but then switched to Texas A&M. He has continued to keep a relationship with Oklahoma State and his recruiting coach Joe DeForest.
Committed: Dominic Ramacher, ATH, 6-3, 230, 4.7, Denton (Guyer), Texas
Zac Veatch, TE, 6-4, 255, 4.8, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Recruiting: Blake Jackson, TE, 6-4, 235, Scottsdale C.C., Ariz.
Dominic Ramacher is an all-purpose athlete that is bigger in size and could wind up on either side of the ball. He is a possibility for fullback, tight end, defensive end, and inside linebacker. He continues the "pipeline" from Denton Guyer that has been so good to the Cowboys and Ramacher is having a great season that continues for the Wildcats with another game in Cowboys Stadium in the second round of the Texas playoffs in Class 5A Division II with a showdown against Mansfield after a 41-35 win over Hebron.
Zac Veatch is likely to wind up playing at center or, maybe, guard for the Cowboys. He is a tremendous blocker that has good receiving stats, but is likely to outgrow tight end in college. He is a major force at tight end and defensive end for Broken Arrow that bombed Bixby 58-19 in a first round playoff game and now looks forward to hosting Lawton in the second round.
Blake Jackson has been offered by the Cowboys and is a big time attraction as a true tight end prospect that can block and be a major factor in the passing game. Scottsdale finished 7-4 this season and late in the year when the Artichokes upset No. 11 in the nation Snow J.C. 40-30, Jackson caught two touchdown passes and a fourth quarter reception that set up the game winning score.
Committed: Greg Brantley, OL, 6-7, 310, na, Carthage, Texas
Donald Hawkins, OT, 6-5, 320, Tunica (Rosa Fort), Miss./Northwest Mississippi C.C.
Paul Lewis, OL, 6-2 1/2, 282, 5.15. Galena Park (North Shore), Texas
Recruiting: Blake Belcher, OL, 6-6, 275, 5.1, Guthrie, Okla.
Daniel Glauser, OL, 6-7, 320, na, New Mexico Military Institute/Rheinfelden, Switzerland
Jeremiah Poutasi, OL, 6-5 ½, 315, na, Las Vegas (Desert Pines), Nev.
No stats here, but lots of playoff competitors and that is a good thing as Greg Brantley has Carthage on the right track. One of the best linemen in the East Texas region, Brantley and Carthage beat Liberty-Eylau 28-7 to open the playoffs with North Forney up in the second round. Lewis and Galena Park North Shore are also on to the second round of the playoffs.
Hawkins and Northwest Mississippi lost an appeal over a ruling on a three-way tie in the league that cost Northwest Mississippi a spot in the state playoffs. Hawkins, who will transfer at midterm, has concluded his junior college career. He says he will be at Oklahoma State for the spring semester.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is still recruiting offensive linemen including the trio of Guthrie standout Blake Belcher, who made an earlier commitment to Tulsa; Swiss native Daniel Glauser, who after being coached by a native Oklahoman came to the states and is really a standout for a very good New Mexico Military Institute junior college squad and has drawn a lot of offers. Jeremiah Poutasi is another prospect that has drawn lots of offers coming out of Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas.