For the second straight day at Oklahoma State spring football practice Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy found himself talking snakes as the picture from spring break of him going over to Okeene, Okla., and catching a live rattlesnake was on the mind of the media as they met with Gundy for the first time since spring break.
"I guess Robert, Mark, and Kyle, you too, are going to have to listen to it again," Gundy said as he started into the snake story. He had actually talked about at practice on Tuesday with myself, Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World and Kyle Fredrickson of The Oklahoman present. "You know I went over there with my boys because I thought they'd be interested in it and they were, but I was even more interested in it."
Gundy said he is going back later in April when it warms up and there are more snakes out.
"You know one of those guys told us, 'take a step and look, then take another step and look again,' Gundy said and one time he told us we had walked right past one and looking back there was a baby rattlesnake coiled up and camouflaged. I guess you call that a close call. They have enough anti-venom in the hospital over in Okeene that I'll go back."
The subject did turn to football and the Cowboys were in full pads on Wednesday. It is still early for the team to be putting in a lot of team period and heavy work with contact, but it is also not that far away. Gundy said the younger players are still going to get a lot of the reps and that includes some on the offensive line where there is a serious dividing line between the first group, mostly veteran, except for left tackle Dylan Galloway, a red-shirt freshman and the second-team that is really inexperienced.
"That's an interesting group, obviously with losing Victor (Salako) and Mike (Wilson), but we have a quality group back," Gundy said of the offensive line. (Larry Williams) comes back as one of the veteran players because he played for about six games. Then we have that second wave that I was talking about who need to get some quality work. (Brad) Lundblade is back practicing full speed. He’s an example of a guy that won't get a lot of work because we know what we're going to get out of him. The other guys have an advantage because we have terrific skill on the perimeter and that makes their lives a lot easier, from a physical standpoint. Mentally, they can get a lot of different things if people feel like they're backed into a corner and they've got to take chances to slow these guys down."
As mentioned, red-shirt freshman Dylan Galloway is on the starting offensive line as of now at left tackle. There is the possibility of a graduate transfer such as Cal-Berkeley two-year starter Aaron Cochran coming in, but Gundy was asked to compare Galloway to the red-shirt freshman that came in, started, and really played well a year ago at left guard in Marcus Keyes.
"All I can go on is the limited amount we've seen up to this point," Gundy answered. "If you ask me that in two weeks I can probably give you a more accurate answer, but I think his credentials, measurements, movement, cerebral capability to learn and understand, his toughness is all very good. He's showing some promise there, and we hope that he stays healthy because he's got some of the numbers of a guy that could play early. We'll need him to play early."
Josh Henson is there as the offensive line coach and he likes the attitude and work ethic he is getting across the board.
"Things are going well," Henson said. "The kids are working extremely hard and I like their passion and the way they're into learning and getting better. We've got a lot of work to do. A lot of technique work. We've also got to work on finishing and getting our intensity up, but I like the way they're working and that's all you can ask."
We had the chance to talk to several players such as defensive end Jordan Brailford, defensive tackle (that's right, tackle) Trey Carter, running back Jeff Carr, Cowboy back Keenen Brown, as well as some of the coaches. We'll have stories galore the next several days. Also, there were several recruits and a signee in the incoming freshman class at practice on Wednesday. Bryce Bray of Bixby was there and so was freshman-to-be Baron Odom. See the story on those guys on the Premium Board.
Oklahoma State will practice next on Friday with somewhere between 150 and 200 high school coaches in for the annual Spring Coaches Clinic.