Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

As advertised throughout the late winter and early spring, Oklahoma State football recruiting for the 2015 class is progressing methodically and much more deliberate than in maybe a few years past. The reason is obvious as a small senior class next year guarantees a smaller recruiting class and less room for any errors.

The Cowboys are going to have a nice build up toward another veteran team over the next two seasons. The OSU coaching staff wants to be able to bring in players that will complement that foundation of talent and experience either by shoring up positions lacking some depth or adding game changing playmakers that have the talent to make a difference in a hurry.

Let's take each of the Cowboys commitments thus far in the 2015 recruiting class and check on how they fit into that profile that we believe head coach Mike Gundy, his coaching staff, and recruiting coordinator Johnny Barr and his office staff are working to execute. We'll work backwards by commitment date, which means starting off with the Mother's Day pledge from Nacogdoches, Texas cornerback Jaylon Lane.

Jaylon Lane, CB, 6-2, 180, Nacogdoches, Texas
Lane is a very talented player and has shown his ability to take the ball away, He has a combined nine interceptions in his last two seasons and he has returned two of those (both last season) for touchdowns.

Lane has excellent ball skills and often runs the route with the receiver and at the point of the catch is in a better position to make it than the offensive player. He is also a kickoff return talent.

Lane really gives the Cowboys a young player that can hopefully move toward replacing the role of Justin Gilbert. He will have to work to develop to maximize his talents to get in the same breath with an NFL first-round draft choice.

Taaj Bakari, DT, 6-2, 287, Mansfield (Legacy), Texas
The real bonus with Bakari is that he has experience playing at defensive end in a 3-4 alignment at Legacy. He is very athletic for his size, but you can tell he is strong enough to be a gap controlling defensive tackle.

He has good, quick feet and that will translate, you hope, to being both a run stopper and gap control tackle, and in passing situations, either an inside or outside of a three-man front pass rusher that can be equally as effective in getting off pass blocks by power inside players and longer armed tackles and tight ends.

Ronald Jones, RB, 6-0, 187, McKinney (McKinney North), Texas
Jones has blazing speed and excellent moves. He will tell you he is a two-cut back that makes his moves bang-bang and then turns it straight up the field. He is much more versatile and slippery than that when you watch him on video. He is looking to turn it up field, which is great, but he can also work the defense around with more than two cuts and keep the run alive.

He is just the kind of back that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy craves for this style of offense. He was also a key to launching the recruiting class in the positive direction it is heading.

Johnny Wilson, OL, 6-4, 290, Midland (Midland Christian), Texas
Wilson fulfills two positives in that he is a specific type of offensive lineman. Although he has been a tackle in high school he has all the attributes of a center that offensive line coach Bob Connelly is looking for.

Sometimes fans and recruiting reporters, like myself, get so caught up in tackles on the offensive line but a really stout offensive line is built from the inside out with a heady and powerful presence at center. Connelly is going to make sure he has candidates to fill that role in the future.

The other positive with Wilson is he is a winner and has been a part of a dominating three-time state championship program and he is a two-time All State performer heading into his senior season.

John Kolar, QB, 6-4, 190, Norman (Norman North), Oklahoma
Kolar was the starter as he came on board early and that is just what you like to see in the building of a recruiting class, even one that will likely include two quarterbacks. Kolar was not well known at the time Oklahoma State and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich jumped in.

Kolar had taken over for his highly publicized teammate and now Alabama freshman Davis Cornwell, and outplayed Cornwell in the second half of the season in leading the Timberwolves to the playoffs. His key stat is last season's touchdown-to-interception ratio, with 15 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.

Since his commitment to Oklahoma State he has been promoted to a four-star recruit by at least one recruiting rankings on the internet. Also, congratulations are in order as he has been selected to play in the Semper Fi All-American Game sponsored by the United States Marine Corps.

When you think about it, five commitments of this quality really doesn't seem like the class is slow. I would guess that you will see the size of the commitments double by the end of the summer and maybe go as high as 12 with the last five or six prospects in the class filling in between the start of the season and signing day next February.


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