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What Will OSU Seek In 2017 Recruiting Class?

Now that the 2016 recruiting class is signed, sealed and (soon-to-be) delivered, let's begin looking ahead to the 2017 class, in which the Cowboys already have a commitment in Ty Thomas of Lubbock, Texas.

It is time to take that first look at how the Recruiting Board likely sets up in the Oklahoma State Cowboys staff room on the coaches and administrative level of the West End Zone in Boone Pickens Stadium. In order to see what the Cowboys will be after then you have to first take inventory of what players will exhaust their eligibility in the 2016 season.

Another factor to take into account is the possibility of any players that might rise to the heights of Emmanuel Ogbah and look at an early entry into the NFL. Those all factor into the process of putting together a board and the needs of the program. I also like to look at the numbers that will be left at each position after the end of the season.

Let us start with the players that will exhaust their eligibility in the upcoming season.

Seniors in 2016-17
Offense
Quarterbacks - 0
Running Backs - 3 (Chris Carson, Rennie Childs, and Raymond Taylor) Taylor is still a walk-on but likely could go on scholarship, and even if he doesn't I am going to treat him that way based on performance and contributions.
Wide Receivers - 4 (Marcell Ateman, C.J. Curry, Austin Hays and Jhajuan Seales)
Cowboy Backs - 2 (Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch)
Offensive Line - 3 (Paul Lewis, Victor Salako and Michael Wilson)

Defense
Defensive Tackles - 2 (Eric Davis, Motekai Maile)
Defensive Ends - 0
Linebackers - 1 (Devante Averette)
Star Linebackers - 1 (Jordan Burton)
Cornerbacks - 1 (Ashton Lampkin)
Safeties - 3 (Derrick Moncrief - Auburn transfer, Deric Robertson, Jordan Sterns)

Specialists
Kicker - 1 (Ben Grogan)
Punter - 0
Snapper - 0

That comes out to a total of 22 players off the 85-man roster, and I know the discrepancy is running back Raymond Taylor but I explained that. Now comes any players that might possibly consider early entry into the NFL Draft. I really don't think that will come into play next year, but if it does it will most likely be one of two players on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback Mason Rudolph: Rudolph only had the three games (Baylor, OU, and Cactus Bowl) as a freshman and played really well in a full schedule as a sophomore. I think he is heading to the NFL but I think he will need and will be encouraged to complete his eligibility and play through his senior season at Oklahoma State.

Wide Receiver James Washington: Washington is very talented and has proven himself over his first two seasons. A monster season in 2016 could very well happen with Rudolph throwing the ball around a lot. Washington is fast but not world class and he has good size but not unique for the NFL. A senior season and more seasoning will be encouraged by the NFL is my guess on his draft feedback.

Position Numbers (scholarship players) following the 2016 season
Offense
Quarterback - 3
Running Back - 3
Wide Receivers - 6
Cowboy Backs - 2
Offensive Linemen - 17

Defense
Defensive Tackles - 6
Defensive Ends - 6
Linebackers - 6
Star Linebackers - 3
Cornerbacks - 6
Safeties - 7

Specialist
Kicker - 0
Punter - 1
Snapper - 0

Here's a link to the Eligibility Tracker that is found under the "FB Recruiting" tab at the top of this page.

Based on the numbers above, the Cowboys will have 66 players on scholarship, allowing 19 players to come in and take a place on the 85-man roster. But we all know attrition and other factors that will play out between now and the end of the 2016 season will likely grow that number some.

Based on all the above information, here is what I think the Recruiting Board for 2017 will look life in the staff room at Boone Pickens Stadium.

2017 Recruiting by Position Needs
Offense
Quarterbacks - 1
Running Backs - 2 or 3
Wide Receivers - 4
Cowboy Backs - 2
Offensive Line - 3

Defense
Defensive Tackles - 2
Defensive Ends - 2
Linebackers - 2
Cornerbacks - 1
Safeties - 1

Specialist 
Kicker - 1 (if needed)

That comes out to a total of 22 or 23 signees in the 2017 class. Remember Oklahoma State already has a quality safety in Ty Thomas out of Lubbock, Texas pledged in the 2017 class. We will also look at prime targets coming up at gopokes.com.


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