STILLWATER – The routine for Oklahoma State football players in the summer includes strength and conditioning sessions with Rob Glass and his five-coach staff, usually in the morning or in the afternoon. Those sessions take place on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Make ups are taken care of on Wednesdays. Fridays are special with early morning stadium steps while the sun is coming up and that is followed by a weightlifting session in the weight room underneath the West End Zone of Boone Pickens Stadium.
The players also get together in the late afternoon on Monday and Thursday, and the later in the summer will add Tuesday's for football drills in sessions called metabolics.
It was fun to check that out earlier this week with the freshmen and newcomers having reported, including graduate senior transfers Barry J. Sanders of Stanford and Louisiana-Monroe cornerback Lenzy Pipkins.
Missing from the Thursday night metabolics session was quarterback Mason Rudolph but the Cowboys flagship QB is on an excused absence in Thibodeaux, La., at the Manning Passing Academy as one of the college quarterback counselors for the camp. Saturday night Rudolph will get another chance under the watchful eye of the Mannings to compete in the skills challenge. Last summer he finished as the runner-up to Baylor quarterback Seth Russell. Russell is back along with Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Mississippi's Chad Kelly, Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, Central Michigan's Cooper Rush, Miami's Brad Kaya, Illinois' Wes Lunt, and Clemson's Deshaun Watson.
Rudolph's absence allowed me to watch Taylor Cornelius run practice along with John Kolar, and see newcomers Keodre Wudtee and walk-on Nyc Burns. Wudtee can really zip the football and he is a big, strong freshman quarterback. He looks the part and tested well. He's got the advertised speed and athletic ability as he ran around 4.6 in the forty. Burns has put the work in and he throws the ball really well. He is much better than your average walk-on.
Barry J. Sanders (pictured above) looked good and talking to him casually beforehand, he is excited. Having just arrived about a week and a half ago, one of his observations was that the summer workload at OSU is harder than he was used to at Stanford. Pipkins is also a really athletic player with good size and better than 4.5 speed while being a bigger corner.
Junior college defensive end Tralund Webber is another newcomer with good size and athletic ability. The expectation is he will help out immediately at defensive end coming out if Blinn.
Speaking of the running backs, that group looks good overall. Sanders admit he will get in better shape as he dives into the OSU work program. Chris Carson, Rennie Childs, and especially sophomore Jeff Carr look good. Carr has put on weight and looks the part even more than in the spring. The two freshman running backs came in and tested well with forty times under 4.5 for Justice Hill out of Tulsa and L.D. Brown out of DeSoto.
Another freshman skill player, Tyrell Alexander, the wide receiver out of Lancaster, Texas, came in and tested well and he looks the part to go with James Washington, Jalen McCleskey, Jhajuan Seales, Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy, and Austin Hays. Also, add Dillon Stoner of Jenks in there as he is also in great shape and ready to roll.
The offensive line veterans all were present and accounted for and the freshmen have reported with Minnesota native Matt Kegel and Dylan Galloway out of Coppell, Texas showing up early in the weight room and in workouts. Teven Jenkins also show some explosive athleticism, but I would put it at doubtful if any of the freshmen would factor for the upcoming season. Junior college transfer Shane Richards out of New Mexico Military will take much of the summer to catch up in conditioning.
I did not see as much of the defense, but corner Ramon Richards, safety Jordan Sterns, and the defensive linemen as a whole with tackles Vincent Taylor, Motekiai Maile, Vili Leveni, Darrion Daniels, Eric Davis, Ben Hughes and defensive ends Jordan Brailford, Jarrell Owens, Cole Walterscheid, Trey Carter all looking strong.
At linebacker, Chad Whitener was participating and directing the defensive effort in practice.
It's also needed to point out that junior college transfer corner Malik Kearse and high school early enrollee Madre Harper along with the senior transfer Pipkins all look good. Pipkins is big and Kearse and Harper have gained some weight and muscle since the spring. They were skinny back in April.
This is a key period for the Cowboys and the results of summer past and the hopeful results of this summer is why head coach Mike Gundy calls Rob Glass the most important person in the football program. He is not kidding.