Now we are pulling these candidates from the brand new just reported freshmen and junior college players, the ones that reported in January, the redshirt freshmen and sophomores that played some last season, and even some third-year players that are either sophomores or juniors. The only criteria is that they have yet to regularly hold down a position in the two-deep depth chart.
Reviewing the first three players featured. Number 10 is freshman wide receiver James Washington, who has come in this summer and impressed the strength staff and his teammates with his work ethic and athleticism.
Number nine is Darius Curry, who impressed as a redshirt last season and gives the defensive staff a luxury of having a big, physical corner that can help against big and physical receivers. He is a good cover corner at his size.
Number eight is Sione Palelei, who has done a marvelous job of rehab on his knee injury of last fall during his senior season. He brings speed and power in a great combination to the running back position and has the ability to also be a home-run hitter at the position.
Number seven is Vili Leveni, who redshirted last season. He really used the season well in working on his frame and putting on good weight to get to 6-3 and 275 pounds. He is versatile enough to play end or line up inside in the right situations.
Number six is Emmanuel Ogbah, the second defensive end to make the list. Ogbah has a little more experience than Leveni, and he is big, strong and explosive and a real threat to the overall welfare of opposing quarterbacks.
Number five is Tre Flowers.
Flowers came to OSU last season as a top-notch safety prospect and was able to red shirt. The year was a benefit to him as he used it well in the weight room to fill out his 6-3 frame to 190 pounds plus. He is very athletic and doubled this spring as a long jumper for the Oklahoma State track program.
His older brother Rodney was a defensive end at Langston University, and his sister Aleshia played basketball at South Florida. He has an uncle, Erik Flowers, that played for several teams during his NFL career.
Flowers emerged in the spring at the safety position with veterans Daytawion Lowe, Shamiel Gary and Zack Craig graduating. Flowers showed the coaches that he could catch up with the players competing for time and he offered that longer frame along with the athletic ability to cover receivers.
He is just scratching the surface on his ability to play at safety and he will only get better. It is his size that will give receivers and especially quarterbacks problems. They will have to throw the ball to keep it away from him, throw passes out and away for receivers to go get. Any passes thrown on top will become jump balls and Flowers will have an excellent chance to get it.
He will need to learn the physical aspect and how to coil his body to effectively deliver blows as a defender and make tackles without risking injuries. He will show a different look to Cowboy fans that are used to the compact frame of Lowe. He is much more like Craig back there at the safety. His long body has a chance to be a factor on special teams too. He could become a lot like Craig in blocking kicks and if he recovers then think scoop and score.