Gundy: This Is Best Group Of Walk-ons

Walk-ons are important to every college football program and Mike Gundy says the group of players walking on at Oklahoma State this season is the best in his 12 years as head coach.

The names Nyc Burns, Ja’Ron Wilson and Michael Wilson are not well known to most Oklahoma State football fans, but they are to the Cowboys coaching staff.

The quarterback from Berryhill High School in Tulsa (Burns), the standout running back from Euless Trinity High School who rushed for nearly 5,000 yards and 64 touchdowns in his career (Ja’Ron Wilson), and the 6-7, 310-pound true freshman offensive lineman from Round Rock, Texas (Michael Wilson) are part of what Mike Gundy calls the best group of walk-ons in his 12 years as head coach.

“It's hard to compare what everyone else has, but this is the best group we've ever had,” Gundy said on Saturday during OSU Football Media Day. “There’s two reasons for that. One, because we have a plan and a system set up to be able to go out and bring young men in that at some point probably should have gotten a scholarship at this level or maybe right below. That's something that's just my opinion.

“And then our administration is backing us up because there's a lot of requirements involved in bringing walk-ons financially. There are things we can do now. We can’t feed them, obviously in all of pre-season, but during the season there's a lot of things we can do, academic resources. We go right up to the line of a NCAA standpoint and say this is everything we can do. We're going to do every single thing we can to make this best, this is the best place for you to walk-on.

“So this group we have now is the best group we've had overall, and for Oklahoma State to continue to play at the level we have, we have to have as many walk-ons as possible that can help us, because what that does is allows us to find out if they fit our system and allows them to find out if we can fit their system, and it has to work for both sides.

“Raymond Taylor scored for us last year and made some key runs. Well, he didn't feel like he was going to get what he wanted this year, so he moved on, and I think he's at Tulsa now. That's awesome for him, but he was good for us while he was here, and I think we were probably good for him, and that's really what you get from the walk-ons. With the rules set up the way it is now, it allows him some freedom, and I think it's good. There's a lot of kids in this state that don't get recruited as hard as they should.” 

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