STILLWATER - Monday was the start of the third week of spring football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and they were back in the Sherman Smith Training Center for practice number seven. The dress was full pads and the practice ran about two hours with a good long inside drill and pass pro for the offensive and defensive fronts.
There was a team period to conclude and even some red-zone and goal-line work. The other practices this week will be on Wednesday and then on Friday there is practice and throughout the day the coaching staff and program will be hosting their annual spring coach's clinic.
There are two prominent Cowboys that are not practicing this spring but will surely be ready to continue to influence the offense in their seniors seasons.
Inside receiver David Glidden was about the only offensive weapon at times last season as he was a receiver that then quarterback Daxx Garman always seemed to be able to find. Tight end and fullback Jeremy Seaton has been a steady force whether as a blocker or a receiver. It's amazing how successful the Cashion High School standout quarterback has made the transition to tight end and fullback.
Seaton has a back that has given him problems. This spring he is at practice and helping with new tight ends coach Jason McEndoo and helping the tight ends from his protégé for several seasons in Blake Jarwin to Zac Veatch, who has moved back from guard, and also Jordan Frazier and Dawson Bassett.
Seaton's back is making improvement but there is no sense in a proven performer like Seaton taking chances in the spring.
"We'll limit his reps in the spring because we have a number of young fullbacks and tight ends that we want to get a lot of work," head coach Mike Gundy said. "Seaton is a veteran guy that has been around. He's going to play both positions for us. He is going to get limited reps in the spring, and these young guys are going to get a lot of work."
"I'd like to be getting more reps, but I know that I need to take care of this back and my goal is to be there when the team needs me in the fall because we have a chance to have a really successful season," Seaton explained.
"I think we have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. I know the seniors on this team, and that includes Glidden, who is going through a spring kind of like me, all want to take this team back to the Big 12 Championship. We all saw that in our first year here and we want to finish that way."
Seaton had a career-high 13 catches last season for 162 yards but for the first time in three seasons he did not have a touchdown catch. He's okay with that but he should get opportunities to get back in the end zone this season.
Glidden was the man at times last season, as he was the leading receiver or tied for that honor in six straight games from the narrow win at Kansas through the first start for then freshman Mason Rudolph at quarterback against Baylor on the road.
Glidden was a iron horse with 42 receptions for 598 yards and three touchdowns. Glidden moved the chains. He also help this team weather a tough time offensively and transition to a brighter finish to the season. It was a transition that needed to happen for the program.
"I'm glad it's that way. It's something that Gundy preaches to us all the time," said Glidden, who is laying out of contact work following shoulder surgery after the season. "You have your ups and your downs. It's going to be like that in football. It's going to be like that in life.
"I think in the big picture of things, it made this group a lot stronger. We went through the five-win streak and we went through the five-game losing streak. We bounced back strong from that, and I think that shows a lot of character from those older guys from last year and even the guys that are coming back and are going to be leading the team in the locker room again. It's definitely some positive momentum that you want to have going in to the spring. Like I said, I'm glad it ended the way it did."
Glidden agrees with his classmate Seaton and that is the desire for the seniors in the program is to contribute with getting the Cowboys back to the top in the Big 12 and what happens from that point is up to a committee.
"We have one goal and that is to be playing for a Big 12 championship in our last regular season game," Glidden added. "If that's where we're at, then it will work itself out."
There were some visitors at practice Monday including former Oklahoma State head coach and current radio personality Pat Jones. Jones was there to eyeball Gundy's squad and see his former quarterback. Jones stayed until almost the conclusion of practice.
There was also a recruit on hand as Argyle (Liberty Christian), Texas quarterback Nick Starkel was on hand with his father and his throwing coach. Starkel arrived early enough to speak with Gundy and have lunch at Karsten Creek with offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. He sat in on a quarterback meeting this afternoon and was there for all of practice.
Starkel was in California during spring break and spent time at San Diego State and UCLA. He has several offers and Oklahoma State has been there from the beginning. Starkel is also friends with current OSU center Brad Lundblade.
Again, the next practice for the Cowboys is Wednesday afternoon. Spring practice ends on Saturday, April 18 with the Orange Blitz Spring Game.