Which Oklahoma State Cowboys earned recognition for their play during the 2015 season?

The 2015 Pokey Awards recognize the play of the Oklahoma State Cowboys throughout the 2015 season.

We bring back the Pokey Awards, which in the beginning of this institution were an early staple. Now with all apologies to the Oklahoma State coaching staff which gave out awards at the annual Cowboys Football Senior Banquet, we have our own categories and most of them are serious, but a couple are for fun. 

We want to recognize that the 10-2 regular season for the Cowboys, sending them to the prestigious Sugar Bowl is a product of talent, but beyond that we feel it was an extraordinary effort by the players and a smart job by the coaching staff of game planning, knowing opponents, and designing schemes that put the players in the best position for success. 

Anybody that disputes that wasn't paying attention or doesn't really know their football and can't analyze football talent and offensive and defensive schemes. This team often times out-smarted, out-hustled, and out-prepared opponents that were either more or as talented than the Cowboys. Don't mistake that for us portraying the Cowboys aren't talented because they are. It's just that college football is in a time of such parity that preparation, scheme and effort are magnified.

Okay, here we go with the Pokey Awards:

POKEY AWARD for EFFORT - EMMANUEL OGBAH, DE, Jr., Fort Bend (Bush), Texas
Ogbah is one of the most talented players in all of college football, but on a hot day in the middle of August you will find him in a team period where he doesn't have to push himself playing his butt off. He will come off of a rotation in preseason camp or in the middle of the week in practice with sweat dripping all over him and wobbling because he has given every ounce of effort he has. A couple of swigs of Gatorade and he is back out there doing it again. His effort shows up every game as he is so consistent. Ogbah never takes a day off. The proof of this is that he had a sack and/or a tackle for loss in every game except the win over TCU. In that game remember he had two pass deflections, one that led to an early interception that set up a touchdown. He led the conference in sacks and tackles for losses, was tied for fifth in fumbles forced, and led all defensive linemen in total tackles. If his effort really was a motor, like football analysts like to use, it would be a Hemi.

POKEY AWARD for TOUGHNESS - JORDAN STERNS, FS, Jr., Cibolo (Steele), Texas
Sterns was third in the league in tackles with 103, and 68 unassisted. He sticks his nose and throws his body around freely. A lot of his tackles came on hits that would qualify as teeth rattling. I think if you polled his teammates on who they would want to take down a dark, dangerous alley that he would come up quite often on those ballots. 

POKEY AWARD for COURAGE - BRAD LUNDBLADE, OC, So., Argyle (Liberty Christian), Texas
Lundblade, a walk-on albeit a highly recruited one that turned down a number of scholarships, was pressed into duty before his time as a true freshman last year and then started at center every game this season because of the lack of numbers and talent on the offensive line. He has never flinched and has stood in there against some outstanding defensive tackle talent like Andrew Billings of Baylor, Travis Britz of Kansas State, Kyle Rose of West Virginia, and Davion Pierson of TCU. Lundblade took them on, got beat some but held his own against some talent and a few players that will soon be drawing a check in the NFL.

POKEY AWARD for SMARTS - RYAN SIMMONS, MLB, Sr., Cibolo (Steele), Texas
A real tragedy that Simmons tore his MCL and had to have surgery to repair it. A partial tear and he would have been back likely for the games with Baylor and Oklahoma, and the Cowboys would have benefitted greatly from his presence. A tremendous athlete at middle or inside linebacker from his freshman season on as he could go sideline to sideline to make plays. He started out as a "see ball, get ball" guy but learned a lot through coaching and from predecessor Caleb Lavey. The last two seasons he has been the guy that moves defensive linemen and fellow linebackers, even some members of the secondary into the right places and gets their "eyes" right in these days of offensive eye candy. Simmons also a good tackler and could anticipate where the play was going. Believe me, defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer would have loved to have had him the entire season. 

If you are looking for the last guy on the team that would ever give up the ship then you will find it in Glidden. I'm not saying there wouldn't be competition, but Glidden is a never say die kind of guy. That attitude has come in handy for him as he has had plenty of individual adversity in the form of injuries but nobody has played any more hurt or come back any quicker from injuries than the mighty mite from Mustang. He is tough too as he will dish it out as much as he takes it when defenders come in to make the tackle. He is also a very effective blocker. On the field and especially on the sidelines you will see Glidden urging, cajoling, pushing, convincing teammates that with the effort success is on the way. Mike Gundy always preaches attitude and body language and after Glidden is gone then Gundy will have to look for another player on the squad that reinforces it like Glidden. Oh yeah, he also caught 53 passes, most on the team, for 807 yards and three touchdowns this season. 

POKEY AWARD for TIMING - JAMES WASHINGTON, WR, So., Stamford, Texas and MIKETAVIUS JONES, CB, Sr., Galena Park (North Shore), Texas
Timing is a little vague for us but Jones is the easiest to explain as much of what he did for the Cowboys this season on both defense and special teams was based on timing. On defense, Jones is a specialty blitzer from the corner and he was really good at it as 2.5 sacks resulted in 35 yards in losses. The only player that had more sack yards was Ogbah. On special teams it's also about timing and Jones could not have timed it better then on homecoming when he blocked the Kansas punt and then scooped it and scored. Washington uses timing on so many of his receptions as he has become the deep ball guy and goes up and gets the ball so well or stops and adjusts to get the back shoulder throws. He is only six-foot tall but his superb timing for going for the ball allows him to play like he is much taller. 

POKEY AWARD for UNSUNG HEROES - SETH JACOBS, WLB, Jr., Arroyo Grande, Calf., and JIMMY BEAN, DE, Sr., Denton (Guyer), Texas
Jacobs is a personal award for me as I have marveled at the way he makes plays and then just fades into the fabric of the defense. He is not a demonstrative guy and never does the celebration or body language that calls attention to himself. He is also a player that has played with aches and pains too. Last season he played on a shoulder that badly needed surgery to repair and played with pain every week. This season he has 64 tackles, 43 unassisted, 8.5 tackles for loss, a sack, 2 interceptions, and a couple of forced fumbles. Jimmy Bean, like MLB Ryan Simmons, is sorely missed after a torn ACL at Texas Tech ended his season. Bean played in the shadow of Emmanuel Ogbah, although most of us, including Ogbah, felt they were equals in the bookend attack the pair could launch when Bean was healthy. Remember now that Bean only played in the first eight games and he had 25 tackles, 10.5 tacles for loss and 5.5 sacks. That was still good enough for Bean to be in the top 10 in both categories in the conference.

POKEY AWARD for WALK-ONS of the YEAR - BLAKE JARWIN, TE/FB, Jr., Tuttle, Okla., and RAYMOND TAYLOR, RB, Jr., Wichita (Collegiate), Kan./Kansas State
Jarwin earned All-Big 12 honors from the coaches for his play as he had 14 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He was also a dependable blocker before missing the last two games of the regular season after fracturing multiple ribs at Iowa State. He played several plays after suffering the injury, so he could qualify for the toughness award as well. Taylor rose from the ranks to become the starter at running back this season and had the best yards per carry average with more than 10 carries. Taylor had 46 carries for 294 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry. 

POKEY AWARD for COACH on the FIELD - J.W. WALSH, QB, Sr., Denton (Guyer), Texas
Walsh is the son of very successful Guyer High School head coach John Walsh and his plan is to follow in the family business. His current coaches and teammates all recognize that he will be very good at it. He is an extra coach with the quarterbacks, just ask Mason Rudolph how much he has learned and picked up from Walsh. He doubles with David Glidden as the leaders in attitude and body language as he never shows defeat. His football IQ is at the genius level. 

POKEY AWARD for TEAM MVP - MASON RUDOLPH, QB, So., Rock Hill (Northwestern), S.C. 
Rudolph was severely missed in the Bedlam game as he and Walsh have developed a unique two-quarterback system that is perfect for Oklahoma State. Rudolph completed nearly 63 percent of his passes this season for 3,591 yards with 21 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. Expect that to only improve over the next two seasons. Rudolph is smart and while not overly vocal he does inspire tremendous confidence in his teammates with his body language and the way he acts on the field and in the face of competition and adversity. 

It was late in the 69-14 blowout win over the Roadrunners and Gundy was not wanting to score and run it up on his former OC as a player at Oklahoma State in UTSA head coach Larry Coker. Taylor, then a fourth-string running back, took a handoff and started right where the play was supposed to go but right guard Jesse Robinson was stoned on the play and was on the ground blocking the hole. Taylor darted to the left and caught the defensive end leaning in and got around him and into the clear for the 58-yard touchdown. Not trying to score, not blocking the play well, and the much maligned Cowboy run game had its longest gain of the season at this point. It helped move Taylor up the depth chart.

GoPokes Top Stories