How OSU Won The Big 12: A Recruiting Analysis

We could get really deep here as we look back on the five previous classes that Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and his staff recruited leading up to the 2011 season. They were classes that brought OSU an undisputed Big 12 Championship, a BCS berth, a 41-38 Fiesta Bowl win over Stanford and a final ranking of third in the BCS and AP football polls.

It was a glorious season and one that will never be forgotten. What sometimes is forgotten or lost in the thrill of victory is how that winning team was built.

To begin with there were walkons that were major contributors to the cause. In the case of former Edmond Santa Fe quarterback and New York Yankees 2002 second round draft choice Brandon Weeden, he was one of the largest contributors and he was technically a walk-on, but remember, he did sign with Oklahoma State in November of 2001 to play baseball.

Other walkons that also miss out on making the recruiting list below include wide receiver Colton Chelf, who walked on from NEO; center Casey LaBrue, who was a walkon transfer from Missouri State; and linebacker Tyler Johnson, a walk-on from pro baseball after being drafted by the Angels out of Haskell, Okla., where he was an All-State linebacker and running back.

Nearly all of the rest of the players came in during one of the previous five recruiting classes, which we list below (2007 Sunday, 2008 added Monday, 2009 added Tuesday, 2010 added Wednesday, and 2011 added Thursday).

We could go really in-depth here, but what we did was list the star rating that gave them coming out in their recruiting season and then a brief description of how their career developed and turned out. From there you can go more in-depth if you want to.

Personally, I just want to appreciate the results and salute those that were responsible as players and coaches/recruiters.

Class of 2010

*** Gerron Anthony OL 6-3 315 Tyler, TX (John Tyler) – Still developing as an offensive lineman.

*** Kris Catlin LB 6-1 215 San Antonio, TX (Madison) – Still looking to increase his playing time.

** Davidell Collins DE/OL 6-6 255 Bearden, AR (Bearden) – Hard worker that has made strides and played as a backup in the 2011 Big 12 Championship season.

*** Lavocheya Cooper S 6-1 185 Arp, TX (Arp) – Overcame a spring knee injury to get back on the field and contribute to the Big 12 title.

*** Zachary Craig DB 6-3 180 Spring Branch, TX (Smithson Valley) – Ended up being thrust into the nickel back role and played well there the second half of the 2011 season.

*** Eli Dickerson OL 6-6 280 The Woodlands, TX (College Park) – Still developing as an offensive lineman.

**** Chris Dinkins WR 6-2 205 Tyler, TX (Lee) – Had to give up football as a result of constant headaches.

*** Justin Gilbert DB/WR 6-0 180 Huntsville, TX (Huntsville) – A major contributor as corner on defense and kick returner where he returned two for touchdowns this season and already has four in his career. He was the Defensive MVP in the Fiesta Bowl.

*** Deion Imade S 6-0 175 Rowlett, TX (Rowlett) – Had 28 tackles in 10 games on defense as backup and nickel and on special teams before being injured.

*** Jacob Jenkins OL 6-3 255 Gilmer, TX (Gilmer) – Developing offensive lineman that could emerge as the center to replace Garner in 2012

*** Kevin Johnson WR 6-2 190 Houston, TX (Cypress Ridge) – Has yet to emerge within the receiver corps.

*** Daniel Koenig OL 6-6 260 Cape Coral, FL (Cape Coral) – A tough, hard-nosed player that is likely to start in 2012 at tackle. He played some tackle and blocking tight end in the 2011 season.

**** Shaun Lewis LB 6-1 210 Missouri City, TX (Hightower) – Made the freshman All-American team in 2010 and has been a two year starter that is a leader on the defense. He had 61 tackles and two interceptions and two fumble recoveries including a touchdown vs. Iowa State in the Big 12 title season. An example that the star system does work.

*** Christian Littlehead DT 6-3 305 Tahlequah, OK (Sequoyah) – Emerged as a starter and played well in 2011, but missed the Fiesta Bowl because of off the field issue.

*** Stephen Maeweather LB 6-3 215 Houston, TX (Sharpstown) – Never made it Stillwater due to academics.

*** Montra Nelson WR 6-3 215 Arlington, TX (Bowie) – Left the team before the start of the 2011 season.

*** Joe Okafor DE 6-7 250 Bellaire, TX (Bellaire) – Working toward helping out at DT in the future.

**** Joseph Randle RB 6-0 190 Wichita, KS (Southeast) – Has been a sensational player in his first two seasons and last season rushed for over 1,200 yards and scored 24 touchdowns.

*** Tommie Saunders LB 6-1 195 San Antonio, TX (Madison) – Did not qualify academically out of high school.

*** Nathan Sorenson QB 6-3 200 Texarkana, TX (Texas HS) – Red-shirted and then played some baseball and then transferred.

*** Larry Stephens DB 6-0 180 Houston, TX (North Shore) – Played in all 12 games last season and was a huge help on special teams.

*** Javius Townsend OL 6-4 280 Dallas, TX (Madison) – Left the program after his first year.

*** Diamonte Wheeler DT 6-3 255 Arlington, TX (Bowie) – Working to try and find some playing time at DT in the future.

Mid-Year Enrollees

*** Johnny Deaton QB 6-2 195 Sand Springs, OK (Charles Page) – Wanted to play and transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma State and played well for them last season.

*** Devin Hedgepeth DB 6-0 190 Derby, KS (Derby) – Was playing a lot and playing really well when he tore his achilles at Texas A&M.

**** Caleb Lavey LB 6-3 215 Celina, TX (Celina) – Started every game at middle linebacker and really improved over the course of the season into a solid player and has room to continue improving.

*** Malcolm Murray DB 6-2 205 Glendale, Calif. (Junipero Serra/Mt. SAC) – Was in Stillwater long enough to unpack and then pack again.

FINAL SCORE: 12 significant contributors, 12 to the 2011 Big 12 Championship season

Class of 2009

NR Levy Adcock, OL, 6-6, 300, So., Claremore, OK (Claremore/NEO A&M J.C.) – A late signee during the summer because many did not know he was available, Adcock went on to play three straight seasons, start for two, be All-Big 12 for two, and earn All-American honors during the 2011 season and he will play in the NFL.

*** Jordan Barnes, LB, 6-1, 220, Fr., Fort Wayne, IN (Homestead) – Was in Stillwater for a season and a half and never found playing time and left.

** Michael Bowie, OL, 6-5, 315, Fr., Sand Springs, OK (Charles Page) – He did not qualify academically, but he would make it back in time to win the Big 12 title.

** Clint Chelf, QB, 6-3, 205, Fr., Enid, OK (Enid) – Served as the back-up the last two seasons behind Weeden, he earns his opportunity to start this spring.

*** LeRon Furr, LB, 6-3, 220, Fr., Columbus, GA (Carver) – Was close to contributing at times but decided to transfer.

** Parker Graham, OL, 6-7, 255, Fr., Webb City, MO (Webb City) – A major contributor on the offensive line during the 2011 season after Rush was injured at Texas A&M.

** Michael Harrison, WR, 6-2, 190, Fr., Dallas, TX (Hillcrest) – Over 250-yards receiving and three touchdowns in the 2011 season, he could emerge as a primary receiver in 2012.

** Andrew Hudson, DL, 6-5, 230, Fr., Amarillo, TX (Bushland) – Outstanding young man that suffered a brutal concussion against Nebraska in 2010 and is now throwing the discus on the track team.

**** Daytawion Lowe, DB, 6-1, 185, Fr., Midwest City, OK (Carl Albert) – Emerged as the starter after Johnny Thomas was ruled ineligible. Lowe missed the 2010 season with an injury but you would have never known it.

*** Andrae May, DB, 6-1, 170, Fr., Houston, TX (North Shore) – A major contributor as a backup in the 2011 season.

** Joe Mitchell, DB, 6-3, 215, Fr., Katy, TX (Morton Ranch) – Another key backup at weakside linebacker in the 2011 season.

** Charlie Moore, WR, 6-2, 200, Fr., Bullard, TX (Bullard) – Good blocker, good special teams performer and contributor that will have a chance for a larger role in 2012.

*** Tracy Moore, WR, 6-3, 225, Fr., Tulsa, OK (Union) – In and out of the doghouse, Moore's talent is outstanding but he needs to be more consistent. Missed a chance to have lots of success in the Fiesta Bowl, he had 45 receptions for 672-yards and four touchdowns in the Big 12 title campaign.

*** David Paulsen, FB, 6-3, 240, Fr., Marietta, GA (George Walton) – Team player and dependable FB and special teams performer, a fan favorite.

** Colton Richardson, LB, 6-3, 195, Fr., Ada, OK (Ada) – Got into trouble in Ada and never made it to OSU.

** Ryan Robinson, DL, 6-4, 235, Fr., Buford, GA (Mill Creek) – Did not qualify, but like Bowie would get his work done and improve in junior college and make it back in time for 2011.

*** Anthony Rogers, DL, 6-4, 235, Fr., North Little Rock, AR (N. Little Rock) – Another really good story of a player that improves, ends up playing a lot and has a chance to get even better.

**** Jeremy Smith, RB, 5-11, 205, Fr., Tulsa, OK (Union) – Accounted for over 700-yards and nine touchdowns in the 2011 season. Smith is a tough running back that excels in short yardage and goal line situations.

*** Brandon Webb, OL, 6-4, 290, Fr., Owasso, OK (Owasso) – A key backup on the offensive line at guard so far. Now it is time to win a starting role.

Mid-Year Enrollees

*** Darius Hart, DE, 6-6, 255, Jr., Poplarville, MS (Pearl River CC) – Did a nice job as a backup and key contributor for two seasons.

** Horace Hubbard, DT, 6-5, 295, Jr., Gretna, VA (Fort Scott CC) – Overrated and never made it on the field.

*** Andrew McGee, DB, 6-1, 195, Jr., Magee, MS (Copiah-Lincoln CC) – Tremendous player and young man, McGee came back to have an excellent season and lead the Big 12 in interceptions after suffering a broken neck in 2009.

**** Anthony Morgan, OL, 6-4, 320, Jr., Lancaster, TX (Navarro JC) – Played a role as a backup on the offensive line for two seasons.

**** Dexter Pratt, RB, 6-2, 225, Fr., Navasota, TX (Navasota) – Never fulfilled his talent and got into trouble off the field and left the program.

FINAL SCORE: 15 significant contributors, 13 to the 2011 Big 12 Championship season

Class of 2008

** Isaiah Anderson, WR, 6-0, 175, Fr.,Wichita Falls, Texas/Wichita Falls – Speedy receiver that has progressed throughout his career and had four touchdown receptions in the 2011 season.

*** Cooper Bassett, TE, 6-5, 235, Fr., Tuttle, Okla./Tuttle – Coaches rave about Bassett's leadership and he was quick to embrace a mid-career move to defensive end where he played a lot in 2011 with a sack and an interception. He is set to start there in 2012.

*** Justin Blackmon, WR, 6-2, 190, Fr., Ardmore, Okla./Plainview – Two-time Biletnikoff Award winner, two-time unanimous All-American, that goes down as one of the greatest receivers in college football history setting a mark for consecutive 100-yard plus games with a touchdown. He was one of the greatest factors in OSU winning a Big 12 title and going to the BCS.

*** Donald Booker, LB, 6-0, 225, Jr., Houston, Texas/Klein Forest/Navarro JC – Tremendous speed and desire, Booker played a huge role in the success in the 2009 season before exhausting his eligibility.

** Brodrick Brown, DB, 5-8, 165, Fr., Houston, Texas/Westfield – Very unsung prospect that has played huge and earned All-Big 12 first-team honors in the Cowboys 2011 championship season. Will finish as a three-year starter after the 2012 season.

** DeJuan Davis, OL, 6-4, 295, Fr., Fort Worth, Texas/Crowley – Gave effort and tried both sides of the line of scrimmage before ending his career.

****Alfred DuPree, LB, 6-2, 215, Fr., Dallas, Texas/Skyline – Never made it to campus because of academics.

*** Jeremy Gray, DE, 6-6, 250, Fr., Sherman, Texas/Sherman – Lasted less than a year in the program.

*** Patrick Hoog, OL, 6-4, 295, Fr., Castroville, Texas/Medina Valley – Was in the program for several seasons and helped in practice before transferring to UTSA.

*** Justin Horton, TE, 6-4, 220, Fr., Henderson, Texas/Henderson – Has continued to work hard to find ways to contribute and has also become bigger to help with blocking. He had four receptions in the 2011 season.

*** Victor Johnson, S, 6-1, 175, Fr., Waco, Texas/Waco – He was a spectacular player on defense that could not adhere to the rules in the program and was forced to leave.

** Tolu Moala, LB, 6-1, 230, Jr., Torrance, Calf./Torrance/El Camino Real C.C. – A fan favorite that as a late pickup in the recruiting class that played a key role in several wins including the 2010 win over Texas A&M. Graduated after the 2010 season.

** Travis Miller, RB, 5-11, 185, Fr., Marlin, Texas/Marlin – Showed promise but struggled with the physicality of the position and left the program after the 2009 season

*** Jamal Mosley, TE, 6-4, 230, Fr., Memphis, Tenn./Kingsbury – Very good player that ran into a situation off the field that forced him to leave the program.

*** Nigel Nicholas, DE, 6-3, 260, Fr., Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland – A true success story that just keeps getting better and better as he moved inside to DT and was a difference maker despite injuries in the 2011 championship season. He will be a key player in 2012 as well.

*** Adrian Richards, WR, 6-4, 190, Fr., Mesquite, Texas/Mesquite – Absolutely fantastic looking player that never was able to contribute and left the program.

*** Quinn Sharp, K, 6-1, 185, Fr., Mansfield, Texas/Summit – Came in as America's best kicking prospect and now heads into his senior season as the best triple threat (kicker, kickoffs, and punter) in college football. He is a very valuable weapon that had a huge role in the Big 12 Championship and BCS season.

**** Kye Staley, RB, 6-0, 215, Fr., Guthrie, Okla./Guthrie – One of the best stories in Cowboy football as he overcame a career-threatening knee injury to become an All-Big 12 second-team fullback in the 2011 championship season. He will be back in 2012.

** Lane Taylor, OL, 6-2, 300, Fr., Arlington, Texas/Martin – As good a two-star offensive lineman as you could ever hope to have that will finish as a four-year starter, a rarity in college football for an OL.

** Johnny Thomas, DB, 6-1, 175, Fr., Texas City, Texas/Texas City – Very talented player that missed the 2011 Big 12 title season because of academic suspension but played on the scout team throughout the season to help the offense prepare.

2008 Mid-Year Enrollees

*** Lucien Antoine, S, 6-2, 210, Jr., Coral Springs, Fla./Ft. Scott CC – Hard hitting safety that made an impact in his two years.

*** Chris Donaldson, DT, 6-2, 285, So., Anderson, S.C. (Coffeyville Community College) – Ended up starting most of two seasons and played well enough to earn time in the NFL.

*** Maurice Gray, DB, 5-9, 180, Jr., Kathleen, Ga./Warner Robins/Butler CC – A solid contributor on defense and special teams over his two seasons.

**** Beau Johnson, RB, 5-11, 210, Jr., Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett/Butler County CC

*** Markelle Martin, S, 6-1, 180, Fr., Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider – All-American and All-Big 12 safety that absolutely rocked opposing receivers and sometimes saved his best hits for bowl games as he really belted Juron Criner of Arizona and Ty Montgomery of Stanford. A captain on the Big 12 Champions, he will play in the NFL.

*** Swanson Miller, DT, 6-4, 300, Jr., Alachua, Fla./Santa Fe/Butler County CC – Another two year starter that was drafted and played in the NFL.

*** Andrew Mitchell, OL, 6-5, 300, Jr., Choctaw, Okla./Snow CC – Came through big in his senior season in 2010 and finished out the season as a starter on the OL. He played one season in the NFL for Cincinnati before injuries finished his career.

*** Jeremiah Price, DE, 6-2, 245, Jr., Collins, Miss./Jones County JC – Outstanding player that made contributions in his two seasons as both a starter and a DE in the rotation.

FINAL SCORE: 19 significant contributors, 9 to the 2011 Big 12 Championship season.

Class of 2007

*** Kenny Alexander, LB, 6-1, 210, Fr., McKinney, Texas (North) – A good squad player that made some contributions on the field.

*** Hubert Anyiam, WR, 6-0, 175, Fr., Garland, Texas (North) – Suffered through some injury problems, but when healthy was a major contributor which included the first half of this Big 12 Championship season.

*** Jamie Blatnick, DE, 6-3, 250, Fr., Celina, Texas (Celina) – A major contributor on defense that was a leader and a significant playmaker.

**** Desmond Bryant, WR, 6-1, 220, Fr., Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin) – One of the most explosive offensive players in OSU history, he left school early after an NCAA suspension and was not a part of the Big 12 Championship season.

**** William Cole, CB, 6-0, 175, Fr., Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill) – Tremendous athlete that never made a contribution and left school.

** Josh Cooper, WR, 6-1, 175, Fr., Mustang, Oklahoma (Mustang) – A great example of the stars system. He was a huge playmaker in high school that someone felt wouldn't transition to the college level. They were wrong as he leaves OSU as one of the most productive receivers in school history.

**** Damian Davis, WR, 6-5, 190, Fr., Mart, Texas (Mart) – Helped win the Missouri game in 2009, a very significant victory in OSU history, but struggled with following team rules.

*** Deron Fontenot, S, 5-10, 200, Fr., McKinney, Texas (North) – Injury plagued career, but a good leader that contributed when healthy.

*** Grant Garner, OL, 6-3, 265, Fr., Mesquite, Texas (North) – Over achiever that earned All-American honors from Sports Illustrated and anchored the Big 12 Championship offensive line.

**** Jared Glover, LB, 6-5, 220, Fr., Bixby, Oklahoma (Bixby) – Good player that suffered a multitude of injuries that ended his career.

*** Kendall Hunter, RB, 5-8, 180, Fr., Tyler, Texas (John Tyler) – One of the best running backs in OSU history and now playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Hunter played four straight years ending his eligibility after the 2010 season.

*** Ahmad Jones, DL, 6-3, 310, Fr., Silsbee, Texas (Silsbee) – Never got on campus.

**** Richetti Jones, DE, 6-4, 240, Fr., Dallas, Texas (Lincoln) – Lived up to his billing after he rehabbed his hip injury and went on to become a really good player and then eventually in his final season was a major playmaker on defense with that memorable touchdown in the Bedlam win.

** Nick Martinez, OL, 6-4, 290, Fr., Floresville, Texas (Floresville) – Another example of the flawed star system showing it is a real guessing game sometimes as Martinez started most of three seasons at three different positions on the line.

**** Adrian Moore, S, 6-0, 200, Fr., Pine Bluff, Arkansas (White Hall) – Very promising player that never made it on campus.

*** Quinton Prince, DL, 6-4, 295, Fr., Oklahoma City, Okla. (Heritage Hall) – Another Oklahoma product that never made an impact.

** Jacolby Reed, DB, 5-11, 175, Fr., Houston, Texas (Jersey Village) – Never made an impact.

*** Marcus Richardson, LB, 6-0, 220, Fr., Seguin, Texas (Seguin) – Showed promise but left the program.

*** Jonathan Rush, OL, 6-5, 250, Fr., Killeen, Texas (Killeen) – Has had an injury plagued career but has still managed to be a major contributor and should anchor the offensive line in 2012 after getting a sixth-year of eligibility.

*** James Thomas, DB, 6-0, 180, Fr., La Marque, Texas (La Marque) – May be one of the best off the bench players in school history as he has had a knack for being there to make plays on the ball. Leader on the Big 12 Champions.

** Marc Yerry, DS, 6-4, 200, Freshman, Waxhaw, North Carolina (Weddington) – Came in, red-shirted, shared the snapping duties, then left a year early.

*** Wilson Youman, TE, 6-4, 240, Freshman, St. Martinville, Louisiana (St. Martinville) – Fought through obstacles including the elimination of the TE position under Dana Holgorsen to become a two-way player (TE/DE) on the Championship team last season.

2007 Mid-Year Enrollees

**** Tonga Tea, Jr., Defensive Lineman, 6-0, 315, Jr., Anchorage, Alaska (East HS/Snow CC) – Good player that played his two years and graduated.

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