Most Important Newcomers: 1 Ben Grogan

Who are the youngsters from the Oklahoma State team - either a first-year player, a redshirt freshman or a transfer who has not played a regular role as a starter, backup who saw significant minutes or on special teams - capable of making significant contributions this fall? Robert Allen has ranked the top 10 players in this feature over the last few weeks, culminating today with No. 1.

No. 1
Ben Grogan, P/K
6-1, 175, Fr.
Arlington (Martin), Texas

I know this one could have been easy to pick going into the series and it's not a great revelation. Last season Quinn Sharp was responsible for 156 points, 72 points on PATs and another 84 points on field goals. His point total was the difference in only one game, that rainy and sloppy win at Kansas.

But his points were difference makers in many games throughout his career including a very rewarding night in Glendale, Arizona in overtime against Stanford. Sharp also last season had a combined 8,952 yards on punts and kickoffs. That comes to very close to an average of 58 yards of field position with every swing of his leg.

Earlier this week, Mike Gundy sized up his specialist for this upcoming season by saying he liked the work of UCLA transfer Kip Smith on kickoffs and punts. He also likes what he has seen of Michael Reichenstein on punts, and of Tuttle, Okla., walk-on Bobby Stonebraker as a kicker.

He also said, "I hope that new guy can kick because he's going to have to do some of it, and I really think he will be our kicker."

I think Gundy was thinking on field goals and extra points when he made that statement, but he followed it up with, "I'm told he is really good and he can do all of it, but we will see," explained Gundy. "We will let them compete the first few weeks."

Graduate assistant Ty Linder coaches the special teams with supervision from the head coach. Linder was absolutely sold on Grogan and extremely excited when the Cowboys landed the two-time All-State kicker in Texas.

It was Grogan that beat out current TCU kicker and preseason All-Big 12 selection Jade Oberkrom in high school at Arlington Martin.

Grogan actually reminds you of former OSU and current Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey. They are about the same size and resemble each other. In his high school career, Grogan was 65-of-65 on extra points including one that he drop kicked through. He was 17-of-21 on field goals including one night as a senior when he hit three beyond 50 yards, including a 56-yard longest.

In the past, including Bailey and Sharp, it was former assistant coach Joe DeForest who recruited award-winning specialist. This one is on Gundy and Linder and it looks like they may be off to a good start.

Everybody needs to hope so as we conclude this series with Ben Grogan ranking as our projected most important newcomer.

Links to the previous stories:
No. 10 Brandon Sheperd
No. 9 Jhajuan Seales
No. 8 Vincent Taylor
No. 7 Ra'Shaad Samples
No. 6 Vili Leveni
No. 5 Rennie Childs
No. 4 Tyler Patmon
No. 3 Jimmy Bean
No. 2 Sam Wren


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