The Oklahoma State Cowboys report to the West End Zone for fall camp on Tuesday morning. They actually have to be in Stillwater in their living quarters by Monday evening, so they can be ready to go on Tuesday. Unlike previous report days, the team will actually practice on Tuesday, allowing for the team to get one of the NCAA acclimatization practices in shorts and helmets out of the way.
We have documented this summer from both players, our own eye witness accounts and from comments from coaches that the summer drills led by players and the strength and conditioning work led by Rob Glass and his staff went well.
Now it is time for the coaching staff to take over. There are players that will need to really get it going, and even though defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, and other coaches as well, will tell you all players need to prove something, there are some that really do need to step it up for the team's potential to be reached.
Then there are some you just want to get through fall camp with them healthy and ready to perform as they have in the recent past of their careers.
Here is our list of 10 players that by no means will coast, but let's just say they are of a proven commodity and can be counted on to start the season and play very influential roles. Just get them through camp and to Central Michigan on Thursday, Sept. 3, and go play.
We'll count them down backwards from 10 with an explanation to go with it.
10. Mason Rudolph, Soph., QB
Rudolph is the only player that appears on both lists, and I can explain. If he were able to come out and play at the level he did in the Cactus Bowl against Washington then you would take it. It was the three-game run of at Baylor, at Oklahoma, and Washington in the bowl game that earned him the starting job. Remember, he was named the starter before the first spring practice. Rudolph is already better from the spring and will get better. He needs to continue to improve but you would take him as is reporting the first day of camp and put him out there at Central Michigan.
9. Jimmy Bean, Sr., DE
I believe Bean can get better but he is a veteran and along with Emmanuel Ogbah are the top tandem at defensive end. With the defensive tackle position being new and without expected starter Vili Leveni it is important to have Bean healthy and ready to go for the season. He is really productive and because Ogbah has blossomed into a superstar talent, Bean doesn't quite get the appreciation he probably should.
8. Jeremy Seaton, Sr., Cowboy Back
I'm a little bothered by the Cowboy Back designation because you can't use the letters CB as that stand from cornerback. For now we will write it out. Seaton missed all of spring with a back issue and there was a rumor that it flared up late again in the summer. This is a tough guy and the coaches still talk about him as if they are counting on him. He is a major contributor on special teams as well. Just have Seaton healthy and ready to go would be suffice.
7. David Glidden, Sr., IR
When talking to special teams coordinator Robbie Discher, he asked the question, "who is more reliable on this team than David Glidden?" The answer may be Emmanuel Ogbah or Kevin Peterson, and that may be about it. Glidden is reliable, catches the ball, doesn't fumble, makes his blocks, knows the plays and helps other players on the field know what to do as well. He is also another player that missed spring with an injury, so just have him ready for the season.
6. Jordan Sterns, Jr., FS
Another Cowboy that last season delivered really good numbers and did it while fighting off some slight injuries. He has continued to prove he is a teammate that can be counted on day in and day out even at practice. Can he get better? Yes, but you also want to make sure you have his contributions and have him ready to go for the start of the season.
5. Seth Jacobs, Jr., WLB
Sterns fought through some injuries but Jacobs was battling a shoulder injury all season as he hurt it first against Florida State in the opener. He was tough and productive throughout the season. He even put off offseason surgery so he could go through spring and get better playing alongside Simmons and new "star" LB Jordan Burton. Jacobs is a major leader on this team and now that he's completely healthy he's set to play even better than a year ago.
4. Ryan Simmons, Sr., MLB
Oklahoma State fans fell in love with Simmons (pictured above) from his first snap as he has speed to go sideline to sideline and a thirst to play the game. Now, more than ever, as a senior his instincts are honed and he is the best he has been in his career. It's also great that Simmons now has a quality backup behind him so he doesn't have to play nearly every defensive snap in games. He will be even better playing with fresher legs throughout the season.
3. Ben Grogan, Jr., PK
If you read our special teams story with coordinator Robbie Discher then you know that Grogan hit his 22-of-28 field goals last season and all 41 of his PAT attempts with a torn labrum in his kicking hip. He missed the spring with his rehab from surgery and the reports are he has been booming it this summer feeling better than ever. Grogan really has nothing to prove except whether he will be the kickoff guy or not, and I really like it using a different player on each discipline, placements, kickoffs, and punts.
2. Kevin Peterson, Sr., CB
I've been a big fan of Peterson since his arrival as he showed early that he had those great cover skills so coveted in a cornerback. Some of that you can teach, but some of that is just natural. You can either stick on somebody or you can't. He had to be a world champion in tag when he was a kid. Big 12 offensive coordinators and quarterbacks spotlighted him in video and warned about throwing at him. Some, by his sophomore season just targeted the other side and Justin Gilbert wracked up seven interceptions as a result. Not a lot to prove from Peterson.
1. Emmanuel Ogbah, Jr., DE
Ogbah took a lot of honors last season and opened the year with two sacks of Florida State's Jameis Winston. He went on to be named the Big 12's Defensive Lineman of the Year. Ogbah comes in this season at 6-4 and nearly 280 pounds. He is physical, strong, athletic, and still hungry as he is aware the eyes of the NFL are on him, and that is a good thing if you ask me. I believe he plays for Oklahoma State, but playing for a future paycheck and a monster award like an Outland, Lombardi, or Nagurski trophy is nice too. I know he can improve and that is what should scare the opponents on the schedule for this season.