Cowboys Football: Young Receivers Pick It Up

STILLWATER - Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy spoke with his team about picking up the effort following Tuesday's practice. Fall camp is 13 practices old with another six to go before two days off Sunday and Monday. There will be plenty of work to do in the two weeks leading up to the season opener with Savannah State, but the rest of camp is critical for setting the tone for the season.

"They are doing okay, not great, and we had that discussion today," said Gundy on the grinding and effort in practice. "That falls back on having a number of mature leaders on both sides of the ball out there.

"(Justin) Blackmon was such a great practice player, and (Brandon) Weeden was a good practice player, (and) Markelle (Martin) for that matter. Those guys really practiced well. They were kind of the leaders of the team.

"We have guys that are stepping up. At this time last year we were practicing in midseason form in preseason and now we're practicing in preseason form in preseason just because of some of the youth," added Gundy.

Obviously, the receivers and quarterback Wes Lunt are still a major topic of discussion with the reported success of the passing offense in Saturday's scrimmage. When the head coach reveals that in a 115-play scrimmage that 51 passes were completed with no recorded dropped passes that is a topic with a shelf life of longer than one day.

Especially when the starting quarterback is a 6-4, 220-pound freshman that has had exactly 28 career practices as a college quarterback and the receivers include some veterans, but a healthy dose of (five) freshmen.

The head coach addressed the quarterback and how Lunt is continuing to progress as the starting quarterback.

"He's doing fine," answered Gundy. "He's progressing well. He's got a better feel for the offense now than he did in the spring. We've been out there now (during camp) and he's ahead of where I thought he would be. He's doing fine. He'll develop and have some growing pains, but he's doing fine."

As for the receivers, their position coach Kasey Dunn gave a run down on each one.

C.J. Curry: "C.J. Curry is doing really well," said Dunn. "He started getting after it and then started having little nicks like young guys do as we were running our offense and it catches up with you at some point. He leveled out a little bit lately, but he is still catching the ball and is a strong, powerful guy."

Brandon Sheperd: "Brandon Sheperd is really progressing along nicely. He got off probably a little slow but he has picked it up lately. He is kind of on the rise right now and is doing some good things catching the ball and making a ton of plays. The hardest thing for him is just to make sure he is running the right direction."

Jhajuan Seales: "Jhajuan Seales has such a huge ceiling. He has so much talent and ability and when it all comes together for him with understanding the plays and the nuances for him and the wrinkles with coverage he will be a great one. He will be a really good football player."

Austin Hays: "Austin Hays is really a smart guy and understands what we are doing and the scheme. He is very athletic, very athletic and catches all the balls to him. He is the guy that has been very solid and steady throughout camp so far."

Inside receiver Blake Webb got the glowing compliments from inside receivers coach Doug Meacham last week, and he has continued to play well. Dunn said he is impressed with the way the freshmen receivers get along so well together and how they are always hanging out. The walk to the facility together, walk to the field, walk back, eat meals, and then walk home together.

The older receivers have really adopted the young guys and are coaching them right along with the coaching staff.

"We're really high end and low end (with regards to experience)," explained Dunn. "We don't have the sophomore, junior type player right now through attrition. Tracy Moore, Isaiah Anderson, Charlie Moore have really taken those guys under their wing.

"Tracy and Isaiah especially. This is their last hurrah and if they are going to have that great season and senior year on their way out they are going to need these guys to stand up and make critical plays for us this season. Who knows when or where, but there is going to come a time when C.J. Curry has to make a play, when Brandon Sheperd has to make a play, Austin Hays has to make a play.

"If Tracy or Isaiah pass on helping get those guys ready then they are just hurting themselves. They haven't, they've been great with those guys."

The defense will continue to put their work in as well. Wednesday brings another two-a-day workout for the Cowboys. Thursday will be just one practice and then Friday back to two before a scrimmage scheduled for Saturday evening in the stadium.


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