Spring practice continued for the Cowboys on Wednesday as there was plenty of work on the passing game. MIke Gundy and fellow receiver Jalen McCleskey had good things to say about transfer wide receiver Tyron Johnson as he starts bidding for playing time.
During the fourth week of spring football and Wednesday was the 11th of the 15 practices that the NCAA allows during spring football, both offense and defense were backing up installations. It's not usual for a team in the spring to install their base offense and defense and then at some point in the spring back it up with more installation. That was going on some on both Monday and then on Wednesday's practice with offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich and his staff putting some emphasis on the passing game. It is expected that the Cowboys will hold their second scrimmage of the spring on Friday.
The a little over two hour practice went fairly smooth. One player that is getting noticed more and more by the coaching staff is LSU transfer receiver Tyron Johnson. Oklahoma State fans are really excited to see Johnson in action. I get asked about him more than just about any other player. Today the media gathered before practice to talk to players and head coach Mike Gundy and it did not take long for Johnson's name to come up.
"One thing I mentioned to our staff, and really, to our team is that so far whenever the lights come on and we keep score then he makes plays," head coach Mike Gundy said of Johnson, who had the two touchdown passes in the scrimmage last Friday. "There is something to be said for that in most team sports and if he continues to do that through the spring and into fall practice and he continues to do the right things. He's adapting to our culture and he does that then he will play a lot. He seems to be very shifty, he's durable, and he can break tackles."
The guy to ask about Johnson is his fellow Louisiana native in slot receiver and proven performer Jalen McCleskey. The standout speedster from Covington (St. Paul), La., did a lot of football training with Johnson, who is from New Orleans and Warren Easton Charter High School. Both players trained with McCleskey's father J.J., a former Tennessee collegiate standout and NFL veteran with New Orleans and Arizona. In a way, each is responsible for the other being in Stillwater. Johnson and his dad recommended McCleskey to Oklahoma State when they were on a recruiting visit to Oklahoma State. Then when Johnson made the decision to transfer away from LSU, he knew about the Cowboys and their passing offense, but McCleskey's experience certainly reinforced all of that. Now McCleskey is having fun watching his friend blossom.
"He's been doing really well," said high school friend and training partner and now Oklahoma State receiver teammate in McCleskey. "He's been getting the plays down, so now instead of thinking about what he has to do on each play he can just go out and do it. He knows what he has to do, so now he can really show what he can do on the field."
So, has it been fun?
"Most definitely, all the workouts and everything and now to end up on the same college team," McCleskey added of the fun in being together at OSU.
When you add Johnson in with McCleskey, James Washington, Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy, Obi Obialo, Tyrell Alexander, and the impending return of Dillon Stoner it is all pretty stout. It keeps the defensive secondary on alert all through practice and they admit it.
No recruits at practice on Wednesday following the visit en mass of the Belleville High School prospects from Michigan on Tuesday. Witnesses claim that the 2019 offensive line prospect Devontae Dobbs, who has close to 20 offers was the real deal at 6-4.5 and 280 pounds. The 13-year-old lineman that is slated for the Class of 2021 in Damon Payne was very impressive at 6-3.5 and 255 pounds. Yes, he is really just 13-years-old.
Cowboy signee and soon to be freshman this summer Brock Martin was there. Martin spent all of his time around the defensive line and the three-time state wrestling champ from Oologah seems to be putting weight on as he wrestled at 220 pounds and will need to get up above 240 pounds before next season if he is going to have a chance to help out at defensive end. He is already consulting Oklahoma State nutritionist Charles Hewitt to get help on putting on the weight the right way.
The entire coaching staff from Frisco (Lone Star), Texas was there watching practice.
Again, the next practice is Friday (practice #12) and it is expected to be the second major scrimmage of the spring. Spring practice concludes on Saturday, April 15 with the annual Spring Game on Legend's Weekend.