Gundy Looking Forward To Spring

"We're really excited, this time of year, the spring and in the fall when we start practice are the two most fun times of the year for us as coaches because we really get to work with the players," Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy said on Triple Play Sports Radio on Friday.

Gundy also wished good luck to all the Oklahoma State teams in action this weekend. The Cowgirls play in the Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship in Oklahoma City, the Cowboys are in Ames, Iowa for the final regular season game against Iowa State, the Cowboys wrestlers travel to Norman for the Big 12 Wrestling Championships, and baseball and softball both play at home this weekend.

"This is one of the busiest weekends I've seen, and I know there is a lot going on in March. I like to see all of our teams do really well. I had said I thought our basketball team could win out those last five games, and I know it's tough up at Iowa State but I think they can get it done," Gundy added.

"I know we're excited because with the graduation of the 28 seniors we have a lot of young players and we'll have 30 minutes of individual drills every day and that is a lot more than we get in the fall," said Gundy, explaining part of the excitement for the start of spring.

Gundy will hold a press conference on Monday along with his coordinators and several players to kick off spring football with the first practice on Monday afternoon. They will practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday before letting the players go for spring break.

One topic we asked about the Orange Blitz on Saturday, April 5, an open practice versus having a spring game as in the past.

"We had a number of players after the bowl game (Jake Jenkins and Travis Cross among them) that moved on and we had the 28 seniors and we felt like it would be more beneficial for our team and for the fans to have a practice," Gundy answered. We felt like they could get a better look at the players.

"It is very difficult to split teams up and as coaches hope that a spring game goes as planned. You just don't have the depth and this was an unusual year for us with so many seniors. Next year we have 14 seniors and it would be much easier to split teams up and have somewhat of a competitive spring game.

"We've had to cut so much out of our spring games with the running clock just to try to keep players healthy and run plays that allow us to operate like we want to as an offense and a defense. We have so many young players right now that we didn't feel like it would be very beneficial and the fans would be disappointed as they left.

"This will be much more productive for our football team to practice, and we thought it would be more exciting for our fans to see us in that practice where it is more of an offense versus defense with the guys that will be playing there in the upcoming season," Gundy continued.

"I think the fans will be pleased and they'll like it because it will be very fan friendly. We'll take into account what the fans think afterward because they a a very important part of what we do around here."

As we were talking to Gundy, a story appeared on how the NCAA may be moving toward an early signing period in football recruiting, something Gundy has been a proponent of for years. It comes on the heels of the rules committee pulling the 10-second rule away at the last minute from the rules oversight committee that could have okayed the "Saban rule" as it is now being called, Gundy likes those developments.

"There are two things moving in the right direction," Gundy said. "The 10-second rule was tabled and I think that is good for all of college football and for Oklahoma State. The rule to avoid the low hit on the quarterback seems to be moving forward and I am in favor of that.

"Then this last one with the early signing period, this spring will be my 10th Big 12 head coach's meetings and every time we leave the meeting it is in the majority that the coaches want to push for an early signing period, but it has never gone anywhere. I don't know why."

The story Friday from ESPN cites the SEC coaches as being against an early signing period.

"There are so many players that commit now early and this last year we were able to hold on to all of our guys. But in history we have averaged losing one and a half (commitments) a year, three every two years," Gundy continued. "I think it is beneficial for the school and for the young men to sign and get it off of his plate where he won't be bothered and can focus on his academics and his last season of high school football. It will save the schools money because we won't have to be traveling to see him every week of the recruiting season."

Stay tuned as there will be more spring football preview material this weekend and more from Gundy and the Cowboys in the news conference on Monday.

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