Orange Blitz: Lampkin Makes An Impression

STILLWATER - While looking around and noticing what was going on after the Orange Blitz was completed the media (looking for interviews) and the fans (looking for pictures and autographs or just attention) competed for player's time. There was new speedster running back and slot receiver Tyreek Hill hugging fans and taking pictures.

Earlier this week Hill put on a show for the media in a closed to everybody but the media 85-play scrimmage. Hill had to have over 200 rushing and receiving yards combined along with three touchdowns. The transfer from Garden City (Kan.) Community College, originally from Douglas, Ga., has an electric personality, but he has been resistant to show much of it to Mike Gundy.

Hill did show OSU fans his take off speed during Saturday's Oragne Blitz, one of his best attributes. He had several promising runs but nothing as big as last Tuesday's jaw dropping 82-yard touchdown run.

Hill can play both running back and slot receiver. He looks to be a difference maker and the kind of home-run play guy that can really make a difference in how a defense plays the Cowboys offense.

"We split him out and throw to him, worked him out there," Gundy said of the variety of roles for Hill. "Over the last week or so we put him in the backfield. We need to make a decision in early August as to where we want to play him.

"Part of it is how he develops and we have to see how he adjusts to the physical part of football at this level. What is the best way for us to get him the football. We need to get him to touch the football 10 to 15 times a game. Maybe, if we can play him at running back some and receiver some then we can get him enough touches to help our offense."

I could see playing Hill in both places, which could really make it tough on defenses to totally take him out of the offense. If he is in the offense, then that is only going to make things better and open it up for other players like Jhajuan Seales, who caught a long ball from J.W. Walsh in the seven-on-seven drill during Orange Blitz, for Brandon Sheperd, who took off an a big gain on a reverse during the team period or scrimmage in the Orange Blitz, or it could leave Blake Webb in one-on-one coverage.

From one side of the ball to the other side of the ball, Gundy was asked if with one week to go in spring drills whether has he become more secure with any particular areas of his football team?

"I have a lot of questions because of inexperience," Gundy said. "Experience and depth give coaches, at least me, a comfort zone, your defensive line, your wide receivers, and potentially your running backs, but we don't know because we didn't have all those guys out there. Other than that we are really young. We're young at corner, you know (Kevin) Peterson and (Ashton) Lampkin are back. They've played some, but they haven't played a lot. We're young at safety."

I'll agree that the Cowboys are very young in the secondary with corners such as red-shirt freshman Darius Curry, red-shirt freshman Jerel Morrow, and red-shirt freshman Taylor Lewis backing up starters Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lampkin.

However, I think Gundy needs to be a little more confident and secure in Peterson and Lampkin. Peterson already has a cover corner reputation growing around the Big 12, and in the scrimmage Lampkin made a nice pick off the Walsh throw following the deflection by young C.J. Curry on a diving attempt to catch a pass.

"It was just a good break and I just got it out and I appreciate that," said Lampkin. "(Curry) kind of tipped it up a little bit and I broke on it and it was a good play. Thank God for being in the right place at the right time."

"We press 24/7 and 90 out of 100 snaps," Kevin Peterson said of the corner and secondary play in general. "Everybody understands press and, in my opinion, that is easier to do than zone. That was the goal from the beginning for me and Ashton to be able to look across the field before plays. He and I came in together.

"He is my best friend and I'm the first to congratulate him and he is always the first to congratulate me," Lampkin added.

They may be young but give it four more practices and Gundy just might be feeling pretty good about those two starting corners. Now the depth, well, that crew is really young but remember it is all more aggressive and that is easier to learn and to understand.

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