Cowboys Depth In Focus: Cowboys Backs

The 16,000 or so Oklahoma State football fans that were in Boone Pickens Stadium a week ago were either looking down at their single sheet roster or they were asking the fans around them who caught that 10-yard touchdown pass that quarterback Mason Rudolph threaded through to the back of the end zone. The number was 86 and he appeared to be a good size player.

Actually, No. 86 used to be a really big guy as Zac Veatch packed on some 35 pounds since his arrival in Stillwater from Broken Arrow so he could start at right guard last season. But in the offseason head coach Mike Gundy and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich decided to bring Veatch back to the role he played as a freshman, a blocking tight end. However, Veatch showed after shedding some 35 pounds that he can catch the football.

"Losing weight probably helped and getting faster," Veatch said of converting back to tight end "I've been doing ball drills before practice and just getting better. We're versatile as a group. When people ask, I say tight end and Cowboy Back. Then people ask what a Cowboy Back is."

The term is new. The first time I heard it was when Gundy was explaining what the Cowboys were going to do with the assortment of Jeremy Seaton, Blake Jarwin, Jordan Frazier, Britton Abbott, and Veatch.

The Cowboys can use that compliment of players to combine for a more powerful backfield presence, as tight ends to strengthen one side of the line or both sides, and they will split those players out to gain strength and power outside.

I like to say that the Cowboy Backs give the offense its flavor. Based on where they line-up the offense is either chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.

"We've come a long way since practice number one with this group, with the tight ends and the Cowboy Backs - what we're calling this hybrid position - I've counted up some of our reps and we've been on the field about 90 percent of the reps in the spring," new assistant coach Jason McEndoo, who is coaching the group said during spring practice. "We're doing a lot of multiple things and we're just trying to build the foundation."

"It's unbelievable the way we've come together as a group," Veatch added. "Coach McEndoo has done an unbelievable job really emphasizing unity and being together."

Seaton missed all of the spring with back issues, but is expected to be ready for the season. Jarwin has come a long way and is a really strong threat. Veatch has transitioned back to the role in a really smooth fashion. The redshirt freshman Frazier is talented and the walk-on Abbott is a former quarterback just like Seaton and is a big, physical player. He fits in nicely.

"Goals for this group moving forward is just to continue to build a foundation," McEndoo said when asked about his group. "We want to get the offense installed and ready to go for the fall and then we'll come back and look and see what we really want to hang our hat on. This group is going to continue to be versatile and establish a presence and finish every play."

They really aren't a secret, but honestly, I'm not sure they are totally understood, especially by opponents, and that is a great thing. They are a weapon and in one that is capable of hitting you over the head before you see it coming.

Here is my best guess on the depth at Cowboy Back:
Fullback #1
Jeremy Seaton, 6-2, 250, Sr., Cashion, Okla.
Blake Jarwin, 6-5, 242, Jr., Tuttle, Okla.

Fullback #2
Zac Veatch, 6-4, 265, Jr, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Britton Abbott, 6-3, 235, RS-Fr., Liberal, Kan.

Tight End #1
Jeremy Seaton, 6-2, 250, Sr., Cashion, Okla.
Blake Jarwin, 6-5, 242, Jr., Tuttle, Okla.
Jordan Frazier, 6-5, 255, RS-Fr., Springfield, Mo.

Tight End #2
Zac Veatch, 6-4, 265, Jr., Broken Arrow, Okla.

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