I've been asked to do a story on how Oklahoma State will finish the 2017 recruiting class. The Cowboys lost a piece to the puzzle late last week when Lubbock (Cooper), Texas safety Ty Thomas de-pledged and switched to Arizona State. However, this week the more pertinent question might be how is Oklahoma State going to finish the 2016 class, which thanks to the Baylor situation has come into play with the Cowboys, Auburn, and in a huge way Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns.
Oklahoma State picked up junior college All-American and SWJCFC Defensive Player of the Year D.Q. Osborne. The 5-11, 320-pound Osborne is a tank inside at defensive tackle who is a two-gap player able to control the guard-to-guard area in junior college at Kilgore College last season. He makes a lot of explosive defensive plays in the form of tackle for loss, sacks, and even turnovers including interceptions. Baylor picked Osborne up late in the recruiting process last January knowing they would need an inside defensive tackle with Andrew Billings declaring for the NFL Draft early as a junior.
While that is good for Oklahoma State, Auburn picked up a running back courtesy of Baylor in Kameron Martin out of Port Arthur (Memorial), Texas. Baylor fans have to be just a little miffed that former head coach Art Briles, who got a negotiated settlement from Baylor, was advising Martin and told him going to Auburn to play for Gus Malzahn. Oklahoma State recruited Martin aggressively out of high school, but sources tell me in this situation that they weren't involved.
The Cowboys signed in-state standout running back Justice Hill out of Tulsa Booker T. Washington and also signed L.D. Brown, a speedster out of DeSoto, Texas. Then late in the recruiting process gained a pledge to walk-on from Euless (Trinity), Texas standout Ja'Ron Wilson after several schools bugged off recruiting him concerned he would not qualify academically. Oklahoma State had faith and have been rewarded by it as he is on campus this summer working out.
Texas is the school that has benefitted the most from the Baylor situation as three out of the six players that have been released from their letter of intent by Baylor have surfaced at Texas. Another, perhaps Baylor's top recruit, wide receiver prospect Devin Duvernay is at Texas and he didn't even need a release as Baylor officials forgot to file his letter of intent after signing day. He got a free pass to depart.
Duvernay's brother, also from Sachse High School, is at Texas along with two mammoth offensive linemen in J.P. Urquidez out of Copperas Cove, a 6-6, 300-pound tackle, and Patrick Hudson, a 6-4, 335-pound masher of a guard prospect out of Silsbee, Texas, are both now Longhorns.
Texas is also running neck and neck with Oklahoma for cornerback Parrish Cobb.
The question is, how is Strong and Texas pulling in all these Baylor recruiting refugees? Where did the Longhorns get the scholarships to hand out? The best guess is that Texas has asked some of its recruits that likely would have redshirted to switch colors to a gray-shirt and wait to enroll in January where they can be counted ahead in the 2017 class. That's the only solution that I can see working.
It is a plus for Strong as if Texas struggles this season he can point to the extra Baylor recruits and his gray-shirt class that will come in as extra reasons to give him more time in the role as Texas head coach.
As for Oklahoma State, most of the freshman class is on campus. Their wiggle room to bring in more players from, say, the Baylor situation was limited. With Osborne now coming in we count one unaccounted for scholarship available to Mike Gundy for the upcoming season. Oklahoma State has never really done any gray-shirting and once they are in school for the summer, you really can't stop their eligibility clock which has started.
As for 2017 and the roughly eight or so players we think will be added to that recruiting class, we see a couple of more wide receivers, another offensive lineman, a tight end, another defensive end, another linebacker, and at least two more defensive backs (either two safeties or a safety and a corner). Names and possibilities we will add to that in the near future.