STILLWATER – You can forgive Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy if he and the rest of his coaching staff, especially on defense, held their breath during the second scrimmage of the spring on Friday. Gundy told the media on Wednesday that the plan was for the scrimmage to be the same as last week, but in football nothing is ever exactly the same. That's what makes the sport so intriguing.
It wasn't exactly set up the same either as the scrimmage went a little longer. We would guess around 125 plays. The emphasis seemed to be on the run game as it started out with Chris Carson breaking an early big run and finishing off the drive with a tough run in the red zone for a score. Later in the scrimmage the smaller but getting stronger and often elusive Jeff Carr broke loose on a few runs including a touchdown run.
"I think it went really well," frequent scrimmage and game star and wide receiver James Washington said of the scrimmage on offense. "Our running backs and the o-linemen, they were dominating up front. It was outstanding by the whole offense. Everyone was blocking and we were scoring touchdowns. It was fun."
Two other differences from last week's scrimmage were the addition of some special teams as the snappers, kickers, and holders worked on their duties as field goals and extra points were included. In the last half-hour of the scrimmage starting quarterback Mason Rudolph got more rest and the two quarterbacks battling for the second line on the depth chart at quarters, Taylor Cornelius and John Kolar, took turns running both the first and second team offensive units.
"Taylor Cornelius and John Kolar both did well," Washington said. "John Kolar running the ball and Taylor Cornelius is throwing deep balls. They're working with the running backs and receivers and getting everyone on point. It's great."
Washington also took time to brag about the defense some. He pointed out the same player that has been getting a lot of positive publicity this week in cornerback Ramon Richards. Richards scooped a fumble in the scrimmage Friday afternoon. With Ashton Lampkin out with an injury, Darius Curry took advantage and thanks to an aggressive pass rush picked off a pass and returned it for what could have been a score. The defense also had a couple of sacks on the day.
"[Ramon Richards has] definitely gotten better since last season. He and Jordan Sterns and Ashton Lampkin," Washington added. "They're all coming out here every day and giving me their 100 percent effort and helping me get better."
"It was good. We got a bunch of young guys out there," added defensive leader and senior safety Jordan Sterns. "I liked how we flew around and got to the ball and tried to make plays. I like where we're at, but there's still a lot to improve though. We're looking forward to that every day, coming out here and getting better. A bunch of those guys work hard and just to see it finally pay off and let them go out there and fly around. You can see them having fun and it often reminds me of my freshman spring when I first went out there, so it's always good to see."
Two of those younger players that played last season are defensive ends Jarrell Owens and Jordan Brailford. They were involved in a lot in the scrimmage including Owens with a sack and both Owens and Brailford on that pass rush that forced an errant throw to Curry for the pick. They were really active all the time they were on the field.
Back to the offense, and you go back to Carson and Carr at running back as they made plays and their effort was noticeable. Give Jhajuan Seales some love too as the senior-to-be had several long receptions taking advantage of situations as the Cowboys secondary is riding through some injury problems that Gundy and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer spoke of on Wednesday.
The Cowboys have now completed 12 of the 15 NCAA-allotted spring practice dates. They are scheduled to go on Monday and Wednesday before completing spring ball with a date in Boone Pickens Stadium with the fans at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16, for what Gundy described as he hopes will be a game. But there will be an hour and a half of football that will give the fans an idea of what this team will be like next fall.
Recruits on Friday
There were a number of recruits that watched the Cowboys scrimmage Friday and the most impressive physically was Shawnee, Okla., offensive lineman Creed Humphrey. Humphrey has offers from the likes of Texas, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Houston, Kansas State, and more. He is still waiting on in-state Big 12 schools Oklahoma State and OU. The OSU offer could have come this afternoon as he spent time after the scrimmage with Gundy and offensive line coach Greg Adkins.
Also in attendance at the scrimmage were Ada tight end Vaughn Appleman, Ooogah linebacker Brock Martin, McAlester quarterback Braden Parker, and Putnam City defensive end Robert Clay and his younger brother Collin.
Martin is a 6-4, 220-pound linebacker who we have a high opinion of. He is a really active player. He also has a scholarship offer from Wyoming.