Pat Kinnison

Who Are The Contenders To Start On Offense?

Robert Allen provides a glimpse at the position battles as Oklahoma State prepares to start fall practice.

This is not a two-deep but it's more of a position contending depth chart. You and I both know that Mason Rudolph is the starting quarterback. However, Taylor Cornelius, John Kolar and freshman Keondre Wudtee are competing for the rest of the quarterback depth chart. It is that way at other positions and then at some, like offensive line and defensive end, there is more competition and even the chance that a contender could move ahead of an expected or returning starter.

That said, here is our contenders depth chart to open camp. Most of this is assembled from our summer series that went position by position.

Offense

Quarterbacks

2 Mason Rudolph, 6-5, 235, Jr.
Rock Hill (Northwestern), S.C.
Mason is one of the best returning quarterback in the Big 12 and in the nation. He is physically stronger and was improved in all areas this spring. He is excited about some new wrinkles in the offense that will suit his talents and make the offense better. When you consider the difficulty Oklahoma State had rushing the football last season and you see that he threw for a 62.3 completion percentage and for 3,770 yards and 21 touchdowns with only 9 interceptions then it is exciting to think about what he could do with a decent running game to make the defense play more honest. It is the hope that you get to see that this season. Rudolph has always been a leader since he arrived in Stillwater and he has his hands on the button of this team. They respect him, believe in him, and will back him in all situations.

14 Taylor Cornelius, 6-6, 225, RS-So.
Bushland, Texas
You have to go off practice and spring games with him as there is little sample size in real games other than the UTSA and Kansas games from last season. He is an excellent athlete and very smart. He can pass and is capable of running. He doesn't say a whole lot as he just does his job. If needed, the coaching staff believes he could win games.

9 John Kolar, 6-4, 200, RS-Fr.
Norman (Norman North), Okla.
Kolar had some highlight runs in the spring including a 50-yard scoring run in a scrimmage, but he struggled some in throwing the football. There's a good chance that he comes back stronger in the summer and into fall camp. He is a strong possibility to be used some in a package for the offense, maybe not as extensive as J.W. Walsh but something smaller that can be used as a change-up or surprise against the defense.

11 Keondre Wudtee, 6-4, 200, Fr.
Bossier City (Parkway), La.
One of the few freshmen that squeezes in here because he will be put in the competition for the backup quarterback role in fall camp. He is tremendously athletic and has a big arm. He needs work on his passing technique as he throws off his back foot and doesn’t transfer his weight. He still can spin it.

Running Backs

26 Barry J. Sanders, 5-10, 203, Sr.
Stanford/Oklahoma City (Heritage Hall), Okla.
His name sparks memories of his father and even memories of what he accomplished in his prep career at Heritage Hall. The reality is that he was a backup, albeit a productive one when he got the opportunity stuck behind very good players even Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffery at Stanford. He comes to Oklahoma State looking to make a one-year career brilliant at the school where many thought he would start his college career. He has speed, moves, and could be the style of back that makes the OSU offensive line better and more confident.

32 Chris Carson, 6-1, 215, Sr.
Lilburn (Parkview), Ga./Butler Co. C.C., Kan.
Carson was better in the spring than he was in preseason practice last fall and even during the season in practice. It appeared that he had dropped a few pounds and was little quicker. It did not show up in the spring game on April 16, but it sure did in the two major scrimmages during the spring. In both of those scrimmages he was productive, ran with purpose and showed some ability to escape. He has always been productive as a receiver out of the backfield. I think it is safe to consider him the leader on the depth chart heading to August and that the showdown at the position could be Barry J. Sanders and Carson.

20 Jeff Carr, 5-7, 180, So.
Temple, Texas
He has matured physically and it showed this spring as he combined his usual speed and abilities with added strength and endurance. Carr could be considered second on the depth chart or right there with senior Rennie Childs.

23 Rennie Childs, 5-10, 208, Sr.
Houston (Cypress Ridge), Texas
Childs still has a redshirt year available in case anybody notices. Childs is a veteran who is determined to win the job but I don't see that happening or at least likely. He had his best day of the spring, honestly, in the spring game and that might be the momentum builder for the fall and the competition he will face there. Bottom line, Childs seems to give you indications he is going to explode and then can't totally ignite. We'll see if he can finish the running back job at some point this year.

Cowboy Backs

47 Blake Jarwin, CW, 6-5, 248, RS-Sr.
Tuttle, Okla.
A walk-on that has since been awarded a scholarship, Jarwin may be one of if not the best overall athlete on the team. He is definitely a product of the hard work in the weight room as his frame is filled out and he is solid, if not spectacular, in all testing ranging from the forty to the 5-10-5 shuttle to all the lifts. Asked this spring if the NFL is a goal for him after this season he replied, "absolutely."  Last season he caught 17 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. I could see those numbers tripled this season as Rudolph has learned that Jarwin in a heckuva check down receiver. If there is a weakness it might be staying on blocks and keeping contact with the defender after first engaging. He is one of those great effort guys that is a leadership example as he is always working to get better.

86 Zac Veatch, CW, 6-3, 265, RS-Sr.
Broken Arrow, Okla.
A former offensive guard that played as a blocking tight end during his redshirt freshman season using the old extra pullover jersey to get in games with an 80s number. Now he wears 86 full time. He is just as effective in the backfield lined up as a fullback or an H-back as he is on the line of scrimmage as a tight end. Veatch was originally presumed to be a blocker for this position but in his first action in the 2015 spring game he caught a touchdown pass and last season he caught five passes for 72 yards. He has good hands.

85 Jordan Frazier, CW, 6-4, 265, RS-So.
Springfield (Lighthouse Christian), Mo.
Frazier is progressing and in one practice this spring really gained a lot of attention when on one play he caught the ball, turned and flat exploded into a safety that was there to tackle him. It was one of those "ah ha" moments. The next play he caught a pass over the middle by diving and making a pretty athletic catch after the ball had been deflected some just after leaving the quarterback's hand. It's plays like that which cause coaches to be more confident and put you in games.

6 Keenan Brown, CW, 6-3, 242, RS-So.
Houston (Alief Taylor), Texas
Brown has had a hard luck career so far. After redshirting as a freshman, he had a very promising spring in 2015 and made a circus catch in the spring game only to injure his foot in fall camp and be compromised all season. As he tried to get healthy he continued to get bigger physically and thus the move from wide receiver to Cowboy back. He is a very talented athlete, but you can't underestimate the time and patience needed to learn a new position. He is primarily a tight end, H-back or flex right now and doesn't line up as a fullback.

82 Cole Neph, CW, 6-3, 230, RS-So.
Owasso, Okla.
Neph stands out with long flowing red hair and as a really outstanding athlete. He was the player, as a freshman, that played Washington quarterback Cyler Miles on the scout team in preparation for the Cactus Bowl and did such a good job he drew rave reviews from the first-team defense and the defensive coaching staff. Last season he played primarily on special teams, but don't second guess when you see Neph in the game as he has proven himself to be a scholarship-caliber athlete.

48 Dawson Bassett, CW, 6-4, 234, RS-Jr.
Tuttle, Okla.
Bassett has had an interesting Cowboy career but has been a contributor on special teams and continues to show up at practice and in drills. His experience makes him a valuable asset at the position.

41 Britton Abbott, CW, 6-2, 246, RS-Fr.
Liberal, Kan.
A former high school quarterback and a tough, hard-nosed player, Abbott could be considered the fullback specialist among the Cowboy backs. He is very comfortable being in the backfield and blowing up defenders in power-run situations or as a stay home pass protector. He is also going to be a really good contributor on special teams, especially the return units as he excels at blocking in the open field.

Wide Receivers

28 James Washington, WR, 6-0, 205, Jr.
Stamford, Texas
The unquestioned leader and star of the receiver corps, Washington had another strong spring. He is not overwelming in size but is a very explosive athlete and showed it last season with 53 catches for 1,087 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged over 20 yards a catch last fall. He has had arguably one of the best two-year starts for an OSU receiver with 81 receptions for over 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns. If he stays healthy and the Cowboy offense almost always has a chance for an explosive big play in the passing game.

3 Marcell Ateman, WR, 6-4, 215, Sr.
Wylie (East), Texas
Ateman has matured each season and improved himself. He is now more of a physical receiver than he has ever been using his size and basketball "post like" skills to make plays. He has become a favorite of Rudolph on the fade route. Ateman is the likely starter outside opposite of Washington.

81 Jhajuan Seales, WR, 6-0, 205, RS-Sr.
Port Arthur (Memorial), Texas
Seales has always had great athletic ability and knows the game of football, but he has had off the field experiences that can best be described as setbacks that have kept him from being the very best he can be. In his three seasons on the field he has averaged 14.6 yards, 15.4 yards, and 17.8 yards per catch. He has 75 receptions for 1,170 yards in his career. On the first play of the spring game he grabbed a pass on a slant on a run-pass option and blew by the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown. Seales admits it, knows it, that he can play at the next level. The ability is there but he has to stay engaged to the game and his team and avoid off the field junk.

15 Chris Lacy, WR, 6-3, 205, Jr.
DeSoto, Texas
Lacy has all the size and ability and nearly every practice will make a play that will have you shaking your head and saying wow. He needs to be more consistent and that is improving all the time. Off the field he is an engineering student and the kind of sharp individual that impresses everybody.

1 Jalen McCleskey, IR, 5-10, 170, So.
Covington (St. Paul's), La.
McCleskey may be the least known player with the most potential on the team. The offseason weight program has him a little stronger and thicker with no loss of that special speed he has. He is one of the three fastest players on the team. He is quite capable in both the short and long passing games. He shows no fear in both catching short passes and catching punts on special teams. He is also a potential big play guy in the running game and was as a true freshman. His dad played in the NFL and he benefits from that knowledge passed on.

17 Austin Hays, IR, 6-2, 195, RS-Sr.
San Antonio (Reagan), Texas
Hays will do most of his work in the slot this upcoming season. Remember he played as a true freshmen, one of the only receivers in a talented class that did. Injuries caused him to catch up with a later redshirt and it is injuries that continue to pester his career. He had a broken knuckle in the spring that cost him time.

80 Dillon Stoner, WR/IR, 6-0, 184, Fr.
Jenks, Okla.
The Player of the Year in Oklahoma as a senior at Jenks High School, he led the Trojans to another state championship. He played offense, defense, and special teams and his ability in the latter almost insures he will be one of the first freshmen to play this season. He has good speed and is mature physically. Already showing up in summer workouts with the veterans.

10 Tyrell Alexander, WR, 6-1, 180, Fr.
Lancaster, Texas
A very explosive athlete that has the ability to play as a freshman. Alexander showed up this summer and tested well and has looked good in workouts. Because of the use of so many receivers in the offense it gives him a chance to get on the field.

Offensive Line

73 Victor Salako, LT, 6-6, 335, RS-Sr.
Huntsville (Grissom), Ala/UAB
Salako had surgery right after the season to correct a leg injury that compromised his performance the last half of the season. He truly looks the part and his strength has increased under Rob Glass. He is much more athletic than most want to give him credit and moves his feet well. Spring was an improvement for him and Greg Adkins felt he was one of the better offensive linemen over the 15 practices of the spring.

60 Zachary Crabtree, RT, 6-7, 310, RS-Jr.
Mansfield, Texas
Crabtree is one of the strongest players on the offensive line and is a solid fixture. He had a good spring, according to all sources, and is also recognized as a leader with the offensive line and with the team overall. His long arms and big frame help a lot with pass protection and he may be the best run blocker overall of the offensive line.

74 Michael Wilson, LG, 6-6, 305, RS-Sr.
Aledo, Texas
Wilson had a solid spring and I believe he will be starting somewhere on the offensive line this fall. However, it might not be at right guard as newcomer Larry Williams could be the guy that moves into that slot and frees up Wilson to move to another position. His experience helps too as he goes into his senior season with two years of starting behind him.

64 Jesse Robinson, RG, 6-5, 315, RS-Jr.
Beford (L.D. Bell), Texas
Robinson is a big physical mauler of an offensive lineman but the question with him at times is focus and attention to detail. When he is playing his best, he is good. He has a good attitude and you know wants to be really good. He could get pushed, so we will see how determined he is to solidify that position this August.

71 Brad Lundblade, OC, 6-3, 300, Jr.
Argyle (Liberty Christian), Texas
A rarity in that he started a game and played in a bunch as a true freshman, Lundblade is a favorite player with teammates and coaches because of his attitude. He loves playing, plays his butt off, knows what he is supposed to do and makes good calls as a center. The issue with Lundblade is purely physical. Last season he was overmatched physically by some of the veteran and huge inside technique defensive tackles in the Big 12. That has to improve.

75 Marcus Keyes, LT, 6-3, 310, RS-Fr.
Port Allen, La.
Keyes may have been the most improved offensive lineman on the team in the spring as each week he was getting more and more mention from head coach Mike Gundy. Admittedly, Keyes is still young, but he is strong, physical and athletic and it showed throughout spring. He had days where he dominated in practice and that is rare for a player as young as he is.

78 Matthew Mucha, RT, 6-5, 300, RS-So.
Seabrook (Clear Lake), Texas
It is time for Mucha to make a push and really see what he can do to find playing time. He is smart and athletic with strength and an ability to be really physical the questions that still need to be answered. He's had trouble filling out his frame since he arrived but he held his weight it seemed better this spring than we have seen in the past.

56 Larry Williams, LG, 6-4, 318, RS-Jr.
Wilmington (Laney), N.C./East Carolina/Hutchinson C.C., Kan.
Williams could be the key to making any shift or position changes to the offensive line as he could slide in at left guard, even right guard and allow for some movement. He was impressive early on in offseason conditioning and the first week or so of spring drills, but he did seem to hit a wall and then successfully climbed over it. He saw time with the first team and proved he could physically match up with the Cowboys deep and talented defensive tackles.

66 Lemaefe Galea'i, RG, 6-4, 325, RS-So.
Euless (Trinity), Texas
The time is now for Galea'i and we have heard that from several people. He got heavy last season, obviously well past the 325 pounds he was listed at but it seemed that Rob Glass and company and the nutrition advice from Charles Hewitt may have made a difference and he slimmed down progressively through the spring. He was much better at the end of the 15 practices than he was in the beginning.

72 Johnny Wilson, OC, 6-3, 305, RS-Fr.
Midland (Midland Christian), Texas
Another young pup that made strides in the spring. He has been able to put weight on that looks good on his frame and he plays with an attitude. He is not ready yet, but made loads of improvement in the spring and if he keeps that up then it may not be long. I see a real clear opportunity for him to jump up and increase competition at center and help make everybody better, including himself.



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