The best stock, rather the best player, at the end of the season was Brandon Sheperd. As the hero of the bowl game and the Bedlam game, Sheperd couldn't be stopped by a blown shoe as he pranced into the end zone in Norman with one shoe on and one stocking foot.
Sheperd is a premier athlete and he is really acting like a player that wants it. His offseason has been strong and the determined native of St. Louis, Missouri is doing the right things on and off the field. He heads the list of returning starters and has already formed a trusting relationship with starting quarterback Mason Rudolph.
7 Brandon Sheperd, WR/IR, Sr., 6-1, 197
13 David Glidden, IR, Sr., 5-7, 185
81 Jhajuan Seales, WR, Jr., 6-2, 200
28 James Washington, WR, So., 6-0, 195
3 Marcell Ateman, WR, Jr., 6-4, 210
8 C.J. Curry, WR/IR, Jr., 6-2, 205
80 Kameron Doolittle, WR/IR, Sr., 5-8, 200
17 Austin Hays, WR/IR, Jr., 6-2, 190
15 Chris Lacy, WR, So., 6-3, 195
5 Blake Webb, IR, Jr., 5-11, 190
Waiting to be Discovered
6 Keenen Brown, WR, RS-Fr., 6-3, 210
2 Caleb Muncrief, IR, Sr., 5-8, 190
82 Cole Neph, WR, RS-Fr., 6-3, 205
Now that he is handling all the receivers, wide and inside, veteran Cowboys assistant Kasey Dunn has priorities. You would think one of them is to maximize the young receivers that have come in and stood out last season like James Washington, Chris Lacy, and even a player that redshirted in promising big target Keenen Brown.
Washington is amazing and impressed from day one in the summer and in fall camp. He just kept making plays to the point that it became expected rather than a pleasant surprise. He is going to get better, and as a bonus was way under-publicized in the media with all the young receivers around the league, especially at Baylor, that were making noise.
Underpublicized is not a bad thing sometimes. Washington will team with Lacy, who also played last season, and redshirt freshman Kennen Brown to potentially blow away opposing secondaries. With the power of Rudolph this will be a lot of fun to watch.
While Sheperd and that young group is exciting, the Cowboys also return "Mr. Dependable" in David Glidden. The inside receiver just keeps making plays and is so tough on the ball and after the catch. There were games last season where he knew he was getting the ball, everyone in the stands knew he was getting it, the defense knew he was getting it, and he still made the plays one after the other. Glidden is a leader and a real force on the offense.
Even with the addition of a tight end or two at times, and Mike Gundy's love of running the football, there is still room for more contributions. Honestly, if these two players will break out and perform the way they have shown they can on a consistent basis then the offense will really be explosive.
An off-the-field situation last season seemed to stymie Jhajuan Seales, and he has so much ability. Marcell Ateman brings basketball skills to the football field and that is a fantastic thing in this day and age of spread football. Whether it's post-up ability or simply having better ball skills than the defensive back where you can go up and over and take the ball away, either will make for big plays and Ateman has both if he will use them.
C.J. Curry is a big body receiver who is known as an excellent blocker. If he will catch the ball consistently then he is a good bet to run routes that will move the chains.
One player that has maximized his abilities and will be used a lot is walk-on Kameron Doolittle. The former All-State player in high school at Edmond and All-SWJCFC player on a conference champion at NEO is now 5-8, 200 pounds and runs a 4.4 and change in the forty. He has lots of potential and is a determined player that, like Curry, is also a good blocking receiver and is considered a superior player on special teams.
Austin Hays is looking to come back from injury and started to make real progress on the field at the end of last season. Cole Neph is a walk-on who has lots of potential coming from Owasso and was a star on the scout team as a redshirt.