Spring Football Notes - Day #1

Today was the first day of spring football for the Cowboys and Coach Gundy. Which means the debut of two new analysts and some new players.

Cowboys Debut Two New Analysts

Two new analysts joined defensive analyst Bill Clay on the field for practice. Brian Vangorder is the former defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, Georgia, and Auburn in the college football ranks and the former defensive coordinator at Atlanta and linebackers coach with the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. He has been a head coach twice in the college ranks and brings an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to the defensive side. He was a personal choice of defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer and Spencer was someone Vangorder picked out that he wanted to work with.

On the offensive side, the Cowboys have added fromer standout Missouri center and offensive line coach at both Missouri and Illinois, A.J. Ricker to serve as offensive analyst. He is familiar with Josh Henson and should help a lot studying the offensive line and giving Henson a second set of eyes.

"We wanted to bring in another guy on defense to somewhat equal the staff, but also to bring in a coach that has experience in a three-down defense," Gundy said of Vangorder and his experience with three-man front defense. "I've been around offensive football for 30 years at this level and if you asked me to, I could draw the wishbone offense on a board, but I couldn't teach it because I haven't been in the room and had it taught to me over time. For me, I see that the same way on defense. He has an extensive background in a three-man defense, and we've gotten a little bit more into that. Obviously we haven't converted to that, and we won't covert to it, but I thought it would be smart to bring in someone with experience in a three-down system."

How About Communication?

Gundy was asked if the coaching staff works on game communication in the spring. The answer is they don headsets everyday and work on communicating to the field and with each other. The question could have had something to do with the Central Michigan game last season, and Gundy joked a little about that. 

"I don't know if I'll ever know all of the rules," Gundy said referring to the controversial game with the Chippewas in Stillwater. "I would like to sit here and say I would. We work on communication every day because of the style of play we're in. Our practices are open, so you guys should come and watch them if you want. It's pretty interesting because there's so much from Yurcich to the certain coaches to the quarterbacks to the quarterback. We have to do it every day all the time, so we always use the technology and verbal communication through the headset throughout the entire practice.

"With (Central Michigan), the rule book is thick and small print," Gundy continued joking with the media. "You're probably smarter than I am because when I went to college and the textbook was really thick, I dropped it the next day. I liked the thin book classes, so the rules kind of kick by butt. I'll tell you what we have thought about. We've thought about trying to find somebody that is an expert on the rules and have them with us during games for that reason. What's funny is that, as proven during the Central Michigan game, a lot of times the officials don't even know the rules because there are so many of them."

One Recruit on Hand

Bridgeport, Texas quarterback Jason Faulkenberry was on hand for the first spring practice as he was watching alongside his father. Faulkenberry will be a junior next fall and is 6-2, 180 pounds. Last season as a sophomore, he passed for 2,190-yards completing 180-of-329 passing with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 136-yards. 

Tylan Wallace Sets School Long Jump Record

Recent Cowboy signee Tylan Wallace, a receiver out of Fort Worth South Hills High School on Friday at a track meet set a new school record in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet and four inches. Very impressive and very explosive as Gundy said, once again, his son clued him in. 

"Because of him I get everything because as soon as it is on Twitter he tells me about it," Gundy said of his youngest, Gage. "Tylan is a very explosive athlete, so that is not surprising. You know his twin brother is pretty explosive too. I know he had the knee injury, but before he was hurt he did some impressive things. The two twins wanted to come to college together and Oklahoma State signed both Tylan and Tracin, who played quarterback and could play a number of positions at Oklahoma State. 

Ironically, the Cowboys have offered the Green twins at DeSoto in the 2018 class, Gemon and German. They to want to go to school together and remind me of the Wallace twins, right down to German having suffered an ACL injury last season that kept him out of all but one game.

State of the Program

Gundy was asked if he is happy with where the Oklahoma State football program is at this point. His answer varied where many might not have imagined.

"We're thrilled with it. I think the one thing that I'm most happy with is the culture that we've created here has been very positive and successful in a lot of different areas," Answered Gundy. "We went through a transition with the APR that we've made the adjustments and have been very successful in that area. We're graduating players on four-year schedules and we're very competitive in a clean fashion and winning at a rate that is fairly impressive for the history at Oklahoma State. All while doing that, our players and coaches like being here, and there's an environment that has been created where we can have some sort of a life. I enjoy that part of it, but years ago I said that the one thing that would make me happy is to have a team that when we go out on Saturdays, we know if we take care of the ball and minimize big plays we have a chance to compete with or beat anybody we play. That's really all we can ask for. If we don't play well or turn the ball over then we're not going to win, but for the fans, I want them to be able to come to the games and say, 'If we play well today, we can win.' For a long time, it wasn't that way. They would come to the stadium and there was that faithful 32,000 who would come to the stadium knowing there was probably a chance we'd get our butt kicked. That was encouraging and fulfilling for me personally."

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