Give Oklahoma State credit as Mike Gundy and his staff closed strong with two of the top players in the state of Oklahoma and a very talented quarterback from Louisiana in Keondre Wudtee. It was a good closing day with a class that also had seven offensive linemen and four cornerbacks to hit needs.
However, the Cowboys also pulled in a monster class of preferred walk-ons. What? Preferred walk-ons? That is a new term for talented players that coaches believe don't need to tryout, just get to campus and when they get their chance to earn playing time, then be ready.
The brother duo of Pleasanton, Texas twins Cade and Zach Smith are defenders with defensive end, linebacker and safety experience that can really play. Nyc Burns is a quarterback that had a strong senior season and is only in need of some added experience and he is from down the road at Tulsa Berryhill. The offensive linemen are very impressive with Jenks' Sheldon Barnes, who is 6-5, 310 pounds; Michael Michael Wilson of Round Rock, Texas, who stands an impressive 6-8, 305 pounds, and Norman North's Walker Reed (6-6, 300).
Mike Groce is the Cowboys assistant coordinator of recruiting and has put together the Pokes' preferred walk-on program that had at least 12 players pledging to join the Cowboys without having to tryout which is really the definition of a preferred walk-on. Those walk-ons all get meals now thanks to the NCAA. Groce has a strong group but with a big assist from running backs coach Marcos Arroyo has garnered the monster of all preferred walk-ons in Euless Trinity running back Ja'Ron Wilson.
Wilson is 5-10, 185 pounds and had offers from the likes of Kansas, Illinois, Fresno State and an assortment of others. Wilson, who is a blend of styles as a runner, finished with a total of 4,994 rushing yards and 64 touchdowns in his career including this season with 192 carries for 1,860 yards and 21 touchdowns. As a junior, he carried 261 times for 1,791 yards and 22 touchdowns. That is off the charts kind of walk-on attention.
OSU Preferred Walk-Ons
Sheldon Barnes, OL, 6-5, 310, Jenks, Okla.
Javarius Blair, CB/SS, 6-0, 180, Lexington (Lafayette), Ky.
Nyc Burns, QB, 6-5, 185, Tulsa (Berryhill), Okla.
Jacob Clark, OL, 6-3, 275, Bentonville, Ark.
Jake Cox, OL, 6-4, 275, Whitesboro, Texas
Jake Dyer, LB, 6-0, 195, Whitesboro, Texas
Walker Reed, OL, 6-6, 300, Norman (Norman North), Okla.
Cade Smith, LB/DE, 6-4, 230, Pleasanton, Texas
Zach Smith, LB/DB, 6-4, 200, Pleasanton, Texas
Ry Schneider, OL, 6-3, 310, Minco, Okla.
Ja'Ron Wilson, RB, 5-10, 185, Euless (Trinity), Texas
Michael Wilson, OL, 6-8, 305, Round Rock, Texas