It was a full day as Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy met with the media before practice for a marathon 37 minute session and then the media gathered just inside the Sherman Smith Training Center to interview the Oklahoma State coordinators Mike Yurcich and Glenn Spencer and a few of the Oklahoma State players.
As we reported to you in our spring football previews, on the defensive side of the ball there are a couple of position changes that will impact the defense in a big way as former cornerback Ramon Richards is moving to safety full-time, after playing about 50 percent of the snaps he was on the field for last season at either safety or nickel back. The belief is that Richards is more suited for safety and that will give the back of the back end of the Oklahoma State defense a decided veteran presence with Richards and Tre Flowers at the safeties. Spencer said that Richards is actually more suited to the middle of the field as the deepest protection in coverage and the last guard on the defense.
Gundy and Spencer both mentioned the switch and the move of former safety Kenneth Edison-McGruder to the star linebacker as ways to get the best 11 players on the field on defense. Oddly enough, Oklahoma State entertained Clemson cornerback Adrian Baker this past weekend on an official visit as he looks for a new home as a fifth-year graduate transfer. He would give the corner position some veteran presence, even though, Baker has missed a lot of time with injury and red-shirt at Clemson.
Until they learn if Baker or any other veteran fifth-year corner is joining the ranks the Cowboys have bigger, more physical corner Darius Curry there along with young pups like A.J. Green and Madre Harper, who both played some last season, and red-shirt freshman Rodarius Williams, who worked against the high-powered offensive receivers as a scout team defender last fall.
"I'm anxious to see those guys cover James Washington, Marcell Ateman and the other receivers on our offense," Spencer said. "They played some last season, Green and Harper, but they didn't get many reps."
"They'll get a lot of work," Gundy emphasized. "They are young, but we need them to improve and that is a position where we need those guys to play well for us sooner than you might expect them to."
All three of them have size and they are gifted with speed and agility. Green has been especially impressive and don't forget a true freshman that reporter at mid-year as Gilmer High School All-State player LaMarcus Morton played both wide receiver and cornerback for the powerhouse Buckeyes in Class 3A in Texas. He has size and comes from a Texas program that does things in a big way.
Cornerback will be a position to watch all the way through the April 15 spring game because for the Cowboys to do what they want with defensive personnel. those three (or four) young pups have to perform well.