It was back to the grind on Wednesday for practice number eight for the Oklahoma State Cowboys this spring. Head coach Mike Gundy and his staff moved the anticipated scrimmage to Friday, so Wednesday was more drill work with an emphasis on tackling for the defense.
There was more inside drill, pass protection, seven-on-seven, downfield blocking work for the receivers, running backs, and Cowboy backs. It was your regular spring practice with the head coach proclaiming the offense had an edge.
"Guys were enthusiastic today and it was really good offensively," Gundy said to the close to a dozen members of the media there after practice. "I thought the effort on both sides of the ball and learning has been really good, so as a coaching staff we're really happy with where our players are at the time. The same guys are making plays that I mentioned a week ago.
"Mason [Rudolph] is doing well. [Jhajuan] Seales and [James] Washington; [Zac] Veatch and [Jordan] Frazier are doing really well at the Cowboy back. I like how Larry Williams is improving and the offensive line is steady with their improvement. [Ashton] Lampkin is making some plays. Obviously, [Jordan] Sterns is still making some plays. Mote [Maile] is showing up some, so the guys that we'd expect to make plays are doing a really good job and we just have to push forward. We will go right into a scrimmage setting on Friday to let the guys play a little bit and then let them have the weekend off."
One player that was very noticeable was sophomore Cowboy back Jordan Frazier, who after catching a short pass in team period took on a big hit from new arrival cornerback Madre Harper and never stopped moving forward. It was impressive. He also came back and made a diving grab over the middle on the very next play that was worthy of attention.
Gundy was asked about the progress, something he should know more about after Friday's scrimmage, but he was willing to give his opinion.
"I think we're certainly as far as where we thought we would be," said the head coach. "I mentioned a few names of guys who I thought had performed well up to this time. I think we've improved at running the football through seven practices. We won't know until deep in September or the middle of October where we're at, but I think we've improved in certain areas.
"We're bringing along some young players in a number of areas. We have a number of returning starters, but we don't have as much depth in the top 40 players as what we had last year, so it's a little unique. But our system has always worked and we have to develop young guys to help us in October and November."
Lots of QB Recruits on Hand
Incoming preferred walk-on for this summer Nyc Burns out of Berryhill was in Stillwater on Wednesday and he has become a regular. There were also a couple of 2017 quarterback prospects. Brandon George and his father, his coach, were on hand. The Jones, Oklahoma standout is 6-1, 192 pounds, and last season he completed 228-of-356 passing for 3,324 yards with 32 touchdowns passes and 17 interceptions. He also ran for 1,002 yards and 15 touchdowns on 156 carries.
Tanner @Taylor of Emporia, Kan., is 6-1, 170 pounds and he completed 53-of-99 passes for 912 yards with 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He also ran for 836 yards and 14 touchdowns on 140 carries.
The most notable of the prospects there was Magnolia (West), Texas cornerback Myles Jones, who is a very athletic 6-4, 175 pounds, really tall for a cornerback. He was there with his father and they are planning to visit OU as well. In addition to OSU, Jones has offers from Baylor, Texas A&M, OU, Mississippi State, Houston, Colorado, and TCU.
Dayton @Metcalf is a legacy as his dad, Shane, played at Oklahoma State. The younger Metcalf is a 6-4, 209-pound athlete who plays multiple positions at Hooker, Okla. He is looking at the Cowboys backs as a tight end.