Fourth Of July Random Thoughts

Like many Oklahoma State fans, I can't wait for the month of July to flash by as the Cowboys report for fall camp on Thursday, Aug. 1. The next day is the Cowboys first practice and on Saturday it's media and fan appreciation days. It won't be long. As I heard on the radio the other day, and I like this saying, "July is the Saturday of summer."

When the players return to campus on Monday for classes resuming in the second semester of summer school and the continuation of the summer workouts, Rob Glass and staff will be pushing harder and the strength and conditioning program jumps up with a little more energy and intensity. It is designed that way.

The player-led workouts also increase as those will be on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays the rest of the summer.

Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh have been very effective and very coach-like in their running of the offensive skill and seven-on-seven workouts. No surprise there as Chelf is a veteran of four previous summers in the program and Walsh is the son of a very successful high school football coach. I've seen a lot of summer workouts but these are efficient as they come in making use of time and no wasted reps.

Just as offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich would want, the tempo is very quick with two offensive units always ready to go -- one play is over and the other unit jumps in instantly. The quarterbacks have the offense running through a lot of plays.

Of the freshmen in the skill positions, inside receiver Ra'Shaad Samples, running back Rennie Childs and wide receiver Marcell Ateman as all have shown up well in the workouts.

Parker Graham, Brandon Webb, and others have led the offensive line work and that has gone well. You can't tell much other than conditioning until the pads go on, but junior college transfer Colby Hegwood does look as good as expected. He is a big young man. The freshmen all look tremendous and Rob Glass said they all work well in the weight room.

Defensively, end Vili Leveni, tackle Vincent Taylor and all of the back seven athletes on defense including linebacker/athlete Dawson Bassett are solid, and some border on spectacular (for incoming freshmen).

This is really a solid group of recruits and that comes from Glass, who is able to see and evaluate potential based on strength, speed, conditioning and work ethic. Glass and his staff see it first with the newcomers.

Junior college transfer defensive end Sam Wren continues to impress with his summer work. The leadership on defense from returning starters Calvin Barnett, James Castleman, Caleb Lavey, Shaun Lewis, and Daytawion Lowe has been very good.

The summer is halfway home and the next three weeks are critical to the development of the upcoming season. Wins and losses in the fall aren't totally decided in July but there is a solid percentage of success established during the "Saturday of summer."

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