Yurcich Is Ready To Go

Vacations are over and on Wednesday it was back to the office for all of the Oklahoma State Cowboys assistant coaches. We spoke to a pair of offensive assistants - running backs coach Marcus Arroyo and Cowboys backs coach Jason McEndoo - on Triple Play Sports Radio. Down the hall, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich admitted he had a good summer vacation, traveling back to Ohio to see family.

Yurcich got way from it but also admitted that he can't always completely clear football out of his mind.

"That's the excuse I give to my wife when I am not listening to her," Yurcich joked. "I think anytime you are passionate about what you do, and I don't care if it is selling ice cream cones of coaching football, then I think you are always thinking about it some.

"I think the people at Apple are always thinking about building better computers and football coaches are thinking about moving the football or stopping it if you are on defense. It is what you love to do in life and for us, most of us, are kind of wired the same way and it is tough to turn it off. Sometimes I have to turn it off and be locked into what my 3-year-old wants."

Meetings at home are often harder to get messages through as the Yurcich boys haven't mastered the focus that his quarterbacks have. The Oklahoma State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach is fortunate in his meeting room to have quarterbacks that are mature and focused including freshman John Kolar and redshirt freshman walk-on Taylor Cornelius, who was a standout in Texas at Bushland High School.

Of course that room includes the current starter in Mason Rudolph, who Yurcich admits he did not have great concerns with when the situation last season forced breaking Rudolph's redshirt and putting him out there as a starter at sixth-ranked Baylor.

"Knowing and recruiting Mason and seeing him in his high school years, we always felt he was a really good player and maybe even under the radar a little bit because he didn't do all the touring and the camps," Yurcich started. "I think we knew he had a chip on his shoulder and had an edge to him.

"We knew he had confidence and I never thought he would get the deer in the headlights look because that was something that was not in his makeup. He played good competition in high school and against really good players. We knew that and what we were most concerned about was protecting the quarterback and make sure he is upright."

Yurcich's concerns were the same a coach would have had with any quarterback breaking in for their first start, even a senior with at least some experience.

"We wanted to protect and make sure we ran the football and made it so if he played average then we had a chance to win the football game," the offensive coordinator explained. "We never want to leave the football field saying we lost because our quarterback played average. You are playing a team like Baylor then your whole team has to play good football. That was our mindset going into it."

Rudolph performed well and was helped by the extra advice and support he received from injured starter J.W. Walsh. In the spring, head coach Mike Gundy named Rudolph the starter and that left Walsh with a decision that turned out to be no decision at all. Walsh showed his loyalty and wasn't going anywhere, he's a Cowboy.

"If you are a CEO out there and you are in charge of the hiring and you know about a J.W. Walsh and what he has been through, the ins and outs of what he has had to deal with as far as injuries and competition and then you know his loyalty and his leadership, how do you not hire a guy like that?" expressed Yurcich over his veteran quarterback. "He is going to have a very bright future whether he choses football or whatever business he goes into."

Both Rudolph and Walsh will play and in practice both will work hard to compete with each other as that is how it works. It is also how all the positions on the offense will hopefully work in fall camp.

"The only way we get better is to compete and bring out the best in one another and that is the essence of college football and why it is such a beautiful game," Yurcich added.

The competition and the work on making the Cowboys a beautiful team begins on Tuesday. The first practice is at 4 p.m.


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