No, I'm not addressing the coaching positions as I know plenty of you are addressing on a daily basis. My belief and opinion is that is something that the head coach will handle at the end of the season. I have a certain respect for the customs, traditions, and respect for individuals. There is an old rule, called golden by many, that refers to treating others as you would expect to be treated.
I'm in a public job and if people want to see me fired and that is what I truly deserve then I would want them to allow that to happen through the course of my station and that my owner handled that. Of course, the internet kind of rules that option out these days and opens it up for everybody to openly express. I'm talking here about the future of the quarterback and offensive line positions.
Starting with quarterback, there is no doubt that it is the major overriding position that determines the success of college football programs. Check the Big 12. Kansas State in first with Jake Waters, TCU in second with Trevone Boykin, Baylor right there as well with Bryce Petty, Oklahoma with the hold off on Trevor Knight running the football, and West Virginia with leading passer Clint Trickett make up the upper echelon of the league.
Oklahoma State, Texas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Kansas are in the lower half. All of those teams have quarterback problems, ranging from inexperience and poor production to injuries at Texas Tech. The only exception might be Iowa State where I think Sam Richardson is a good quarterback with little supporting cast. Across the country it is the same thing, show me a good team and they have an excellent to at least solid quarterback.
Daxx Garman deserves the respect of Cowboys fans, and he has mine. The young man is doing his best and he is getting the heck beat out of him in the process. The long drought between his playing time as a junior in high school at Jones, Okla., in 2009 to this season at Oklahoma State was not his fault, but instead I think the fault of circumstances around him.
Can he improve? I would like to think so, but my guess is the future at quarterback for the 2015 season at Oklahoma State would point toward competition between the return of J.W. Walsh and the emergence of redshirt freshman Mason Rudolph. You could even see a blending of the offense and the opportunity for both quarterbacks to play an instrumental role in the offense.
Last week, Oklahoma State received a commitment from East Mississippi Community College quarterback/athlete Todd Mays. The 6-0, 200-pound speedster starts at running back for the top ranked junior college program in the nation. Mays also plays several series at quarterback each game and some at slot receiver. He is 15-of-16 passing this season and he threw for over 3,100 yards his senior season in high school at Olive Branch, Miss., in leading them to a Class 6A state championship.
Mays told me Gundy recruited him as a quarterback, leading me to think that combined with Norman North quarterback commitment John Kolar that Gundy is looking to have a combination of throwers and run/pass quarterbacks to keep defenses guessing and off balance. The OSU offensive playbook includes both "air raid" concepts and zone read and option concepts too. Why not use both? I'm guessing that is what Gundy is thinking. I would picture Rudolph and Walsh both heavily in the mix in the spring and into preseason camp for next season.
I would think further clarification of what will be the offensive focus will come after this season is completed. I agree with that and I certainly hope this team can find a way to beat Texas or score an upset in order to keep the bowl streak alive and earn those extra practices that will be so vital to redshirts in the freshmen class like defensive lineman Trey Carter, wide receiver Keenen Brown, offensive linemen Delinote Noel, Matthew Mucha, and Lemaefe Galea'i, and injured linebackers Jason Phillips and Josh Mabin. There are a lot of players that could use the work.
Would that extra work help the offensive line? I'm not sure on the current one but you read the names of Mucha and Galea'i. I honestly think the future offensive line will be cultivated in a three prong effort.
There is the development from within. With seniors Daniel Koenig, Chris Grisbhy and Brandon Garrett departing after this season, then I want to see how Zach Crabtree, Zac Veatch, and Brad Lundblade can improve. Do any of the backup offensive linemen like Jesse Robinson or any others fit into future plans?
Another prong of offensive line development will be through recruiting, especially the addition of junior college recruits of which there are two and could be three eventually. Finally, the new graduated senior transfer rule worked against OSU on the offensive line this season with Travis Cross transferring and now starting at Houston. Any graduated seniors out there with eligibility on the offensive line will likely circle Oklahoma State as a desired destination with opportunity there.
Those two positions, quarterback and offensive line, need a game plan because there are pretty easily visible players with talent both returning and moving into the program for next season. Offensive line in important and quarterback is the determining factor in how far Oklahoma State will bounce back from the mediocrity it has found itself in this season.