Bowl Prep Begins With Two Good Practices

STILLWATER - The Oklahoma State Cowboys have two good practices in the books as head coach Mike Gundy and his coaching staff have worked hard the last two days with Friday afternoon and an early Saturday afternoon workout to begin preparation for the 2012 Fiesta Bowl against No. 4 Stanford.

The Cowboys have gone back to the basics during the early bowl preparations with a lot of team work on both inside drill and seven-on-seven work. The early work has featured a lot of the younger players getting reps going against the veterans on the team.

There is also work against the scout or demonstration teams, and the red jerseys are out representing the Stanford Cardinal with big, strong-armed quarterback Ryan Howard playing the role of Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck.

A lot of Cowboy fans are very interested in how the younger players and red-shirt players are developing. Many of them are showing improvement.

Freshman defensive end Jimmy Bean out of Denton Guyer played early in the year. One of the needs for him to improve is simply to get bigger. He will get more opportunites in the offseason with Rob Glass and his strength staff, but he is already bigger right now than when he came in. His upper body and arms are already bigger. He is a very athletic player on the edge of the defensive line.

On offense, a player to watch is receiver Torrance Carr. Since he returned to full speed and active duty late in September he has been assigned to play the top receiver from that week's opponent on the scout team.

Carr is a freaky strong, physical and fast athlete. He is built like a tight end with receiver speed. He makes plays and, at times, when he is really on, he shows glimpses of being like previous standout targets Adarius Bowman, Dez Bryant, and currently Justin Blackmon. Just glimpses, but he has potential to develop.

Mike Gundy has changed the Cowboys practice schedule this week due to some predicted inclement weather, and the OSU head coach wants to get the best work in before breaking for Christmas.

The Cowboys will work out Sunday evening, a day that day was originally planned as an off day. They will now take off Monday (expected rain all day) and maybe Tuesday. Depending on the weather, the Cowboys will get three more practices the rest of the week before breaking for Christmas and then reconvening in Phoenix on Dec. 26.

On the recruiting front, the Cowboys have four visitors on campus this weekend. We reported on Friday who the four expected visitors were, and all four arrived for the weekend and were watching practice on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Calvin Barnett, of Navarro (Texas) College and a second-team NJCAA All-American, and Richland High School linebacker Jeremiah Tshimanga are already committed to the Cowboys.

Barnett and tight end Blake Jackson of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College are expected to sign next week and enroll for the mid-term in January. Tshimanga is an early graduate and is also expected for the spring semester.

The other visitors this weekend are Houston (Westside) offensive tackle German Ifedi and Port Lavaca Calhoun running back Daniel Brooks. Ifedi is currently committed to Texas A&M and the speedy Brooks is an OU commitment.

Also visiting this weekend are Fiesta Bowl staff members to meet with OSU officials and to conduct the gift suite for the Cowboys players to pick out their bowl gifts.

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