Oklahoma State’s recruiting class, barring any last minute surprises, is going to wind up being ranked around 35th in the nation and third in the Big 12 Conference behind Oklahoma and Texas and ahead of a very unimpressive but overrated group from Baylor.
Frankly, I like the Iowa State and West Virginia hauls better than the Bears, who really had to scramble and took a multitude of players I expect to see heading to FCS schools. Even the steal they took from Oklahoma State in Tyler Henderson is an unheralded player who honestly I do think is a really good find. I thought that for Oklahoma State and I do for Baylor as well.
In general, Oklahoma State recruited a good skill class, especially at quarterback, running back and wide receiver. I like the linebackers and defensive backs. The numbers are good on the defensive line, but the only one I’m completely convinced on is Oologah’s Brock Martin.
The class is typical in that it is underrated. I trust the rating system as it is based on math, number of recruits and their stars divided by the total recruits signed gets you an average value per signee. It’s the stars I don’t always trust.
With Scout, they have wide receiver L.C. Greenwood, wide receiver Tylan Wallace, and junior college linebacker Patrick Macon as the only 4-stars. I would add running back J.D. King, defensive end Brock Martin, and Sunnyvale safety Trey Sterling, who may be the steal of the recruiting class as far as talent evaluation.
I would have the class about 10 positions higher, somewhere between 24 to 26 in the national team rankings, but as somebody might tell you, I’m a homer. I understand that but I still think it is interesting how Oklahoma State recruits classes ranked from 30th to 45th every year and then wins 10 games two out of every three years or so, and I’m betting it is three in a row with this upcoming season. Either the stars aren’t in line or Gundy and his staff and Rob Glass and his staff are miracle workers.
Quarterback Jelani Woods, QB, 6-7, 225, Ellenwood (Cedar Grove), Ga.
The goal of head coach Mike Gundy is to get one quarterback every class and Woods is very interesting as he is big. He looks like a power forward, but watch him on tape, he is athletic and can throw. He will need some work in the passing game as all high school quarterbacks do but he has the raw materials. I don’t think he is quite as polished as Keondre Wudtee was coming in last season but he is gifted.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, 6-1, 190, Sherwood Park (Bev Facey Community School), Alberta, Canada
J.D. King, RB, 5-11, 205, Fitzgerald, Ga.
I used to think that these two were completely different style of backs but then you watch tape of them right after the other and you realize that Hubbard is a little faster and King is a little bigger, but they do about the same things on tape. Both can run inside, Hubbard is not a track athlete that plays football. He is a very fast man who is a football player that runs track. Give him credit as he finished his last game playing with a broken fibula in the left leg. The most often asked question is which one is ready to step up and offset Freshman All-American Justice Hill next season. I can’t tell. I think you will have to wait and see it play out. It could be either one, it could be both, or maybe they both need a year to get used to the collegiate level. My best guess is you will be able to pick one as I think they both will get ready.
LC Greenwood, WR, 6-3, 206, Garland (Lakeview Centennial), Texas
Braydon Johnson, WR, 6-1, 185, Arlington (Bowie), Texas
Tylan Wallace, WR, 6-0, 177, Fort Worth (South Hills), Texas
Boy, OSU wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn is a lucky man. First, he has an embarrassment of riches with the wide receivers he has right now like James Washington, Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy, Jalen McCleskey, Tyron Johnson, Dillon Stoner, Tyrell Alexander, and Obi Obialo. Now, he adds a trio like this to the mix as all three of these guys have a chance to really be outstanding. Greenwood reminds me of a Justin Blackmon-type of athlete. Tylan Wallace reminds me of James Washington when he was coming in as a freshman. Braydon Johnson reminds me of Rashaun Woods in style of receiver. If we are all making these comparisons still in a few years then Dunn is the luckiest man on the planet.
Sione Finefeuiaki, FB, 6-0, 245, College of San Mateo/Santa Clara (Wilcox), Calf.
Baron Odom, TE, 6-4, 230, Wynnewood, Okla.
I liked Tyler Henderson a lot. I thought he was underrated and had some big play ability, but he’s gone and I like Baron Odom. Odom has a good frame and is the kind of athlete that I think Rob Glass and his staff are really good at developing. He is also an Oklahoman and he values what is Oklahoma and when push comes to shove then I think that attitude will be a big plus. He will be a project early on. Finefeuiaki is just what Cowboys backs coach Jason McEndoo tweeted the day he committed. McEndoo did not identify Finefeuiaki by name but he tweeted that he had his dozer for this season, as in bulldozer. He does, as Finefeuiaki knows how to block and blow up defenders. Mason Rudolph and the running backs are going to love Sione.
Tyler Moore, OC, 6-4, 305, Univ. of Minnesota/Galena Park (North Shore), Texas
Arlington Hambright, OL, 6-5, 306, Garden City C.C., Kan./Ypsilanti (Belleville), Mich.
I sure don’t want Moore and Hambright to have a complex. Moore is really valuable with two years of starting experience and being a really good player he can step in at center as Brad Lundblade graduates and be there for two seasons. Hambright could jump right into the starting lineup if he is one of those junior college players that the light comes on immediately. If not, then he needs to get ready for the 2018 season. Makes no mistake, there are a few scholarships left after signing day this year and if they can find a transfer or a fifth-year graduate transfer then O-line will get first dibs on those leftover scholarships.
Brendon Evers, DT, 6-2, 291, Bixby, Oklahoma
Fua Leilua, DT/DE, 6-3, 300, Snow C.C./Weber State/Spanish Fork, Utah
Enoch Smith Jr., DT, 6-3, 297, Michigan State/Butler Co. C.C./Chicago (Mt. Carmel), Ill.
I love the numbers and the size is good as well, but there are questions across the board here. Evers is a tough player who needs to fill out some and then I think he will be fine. He needs to be able to play the one technique inside and I think he will be okay there. Leilua is the most known commodity, but he will have to prove he is ready. Smith was a tremendous high school player who has not done anything in college yet. Again, I love the looks of the trio, but the proof will come in the fall and the next two seasons, especially for Leilua and Smith.
Brock Martin, DE, 6-4, 220, Oologah, Okla.
This may be the best one-man defensive end class that I’ve seen in awhile. I guess you can doubt Martin because he had an ACL injury that after surgery he was back on the field in five months. I guess you could doubt Martin because he played Class 4A football. I think if you doubt Brock Martin then you are making a huge mistake. Go watch him wrestle as he tears guys up. He does the same on the football field and was so physical and imposing that the Mustangs used him as a blocker on offense in short yardage and red zone. Why wouldn’t you? He destroys anything in front of him. He is just a darned good football player.
Patrick Macon, LB, 6-2, 225, Arizona Western C.C., Ariz./Milligan (Central), Tenn.
Macon comes in at a good time as with Devante Averette graduating and this spring the plan is to give middle linebacker Chad Whitener a break from contact, so Macon, who will play both middle and weak-side, will be there to soak up plenty of reps along with Justin Phillips and that should help him get ready to play a lot next fall. He is a playmaker as his stats show.
Brendan Vaughn, LB, 6-1, 213, Forney, Texas
The first time I saw Vaughn in person was last spring at Coppell High School for the Nike The Opening Regional and he was the second best overall athlete, according to the Nike SPARQ testing. He is amazing and I believe that he could help out early, if need be. There is a chance he won’t be needed with Kirk Tucker and Calvin Bundage returning.
LaMarcus Morton, CB, 6-1, 185, Gilmer, Texas
Morton is very talented and I think he is a potential 4-star type of player in the class. He comes from a really strong high school program and the margin of error here is really slim. In every way he looks like a player that will succeed and help the program.
Kris McCune, DB, 6-1, 190, Dallas (Dallas Christian), Texas
Thabo Mwaniki, Saf., 5-11, 185, Denton (Guyer), Texas
Malcolm Rodriguez, QB/SS, 6-0, 200, Wagoner, Okla.
Trey Sterling, DB, 6-0, 190, Sunnyvale, Texas
They say there is strength in numbers, but this group has strength in strength and the group has speed and athletic ability. Sterling is an All-State player who was outstanding at running back and also has the big defensive numbers to show. If he doesn’t play well on defense, and I believe he will, then you could put him at running back. All of these players were two-way players in high school as Rodriguez and Mwaniki played quarterback, and I believe that is highly valuable in defensive backs and especially in safeties. This group will cement the safety positions for a long time. I like McCune and Sterling as strong safeties and I like Rodriguez and Mwaniki as free safeties.
Jake McClure, PK/P, 6-3, 196, East Brainerd (East Hamilton), Tenn.
J.J. McCleskey told me that McClure has an NFL leg, and having played in the NFL then McCleskey knows what he is talking about. I look to see him compete right away for the placements chores of field goals and PATs. It could be a battle for kickoffs as well.
Tracin Wallace, Ath./QB/CB, 6-0, 175, Fort Worth (South Hills), Texas
The beautiful thing here is that coming off ACL surgery twice on the same knee the Cowboys will give Wallace all the time he needs to be 100 percent ready and confident before he comes back. Tracin is a really gifted player who could be the next package quarterback based on what I saw on video. Time is a key factor here and it is on Tracin’s side right now.