Three New Cowboys Join Cotton Bowl Party
Just as planned the Cowboys added three new players to the squad as preparation continued for the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. National quarterback recruit Robbie Reid of Texas 5A Division I Champion Galena Park North Shore, Reid's teammate and defensive back Stephen James, and Galveston Ball linebacker Roderick Johnson went through their first college practice. The trio join midterm additions wide receiver Phillip Jones and defensive end Maurice Cummings that signed with OSU last Februrary but held out to enroll at midterm. Jones' delay was because of a knee injury, while Cummings was pursuing his academic eligiblity. The new trio worked out in just shorts and helmets while the rest of the squad going through final preparations for the Cotton Bowl with Ole Miss were in shoulder pads too. The three new freshman cannot have contact by NCAA rule for their first three practices. All are allowed to workout as a result that they have graduated, been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, and have been accepted and enrolled for the spring at OSU. Reid wore his high school number of "14" and did throw some passes with the scout unit in pass defense drills. He completed his first pass into the left flat and threw the ball well overall. James (#9) and Johnson (#2) really just stretched and watched what was going on. It was easy to see that they were readily accepted by their older "new" Cowboy teammates. "We had five guys that are midsemester guys join the team, some in Stillwater and some here," said Miles. "Not much to say about their performance, just that we were glad to have them here and that they are learning the Cowboy way. This is no more than an orientation to out football. They will only be able to participate in a passive manner before the Cotton Bowl. They are a part of our team, but not active participants in this year. They are all talented and will make significant contributions as this program evolves. It's an advantage to those of us that are bowl teams to get guys on board and get them in the workouts." Miles made it clear that he let the players know they were here because of the squad this year and the way they performed. He didn't want to talk about specific players but did say it pretty nice to go from your high school graduation to a bowl game rather than two-a-days in August. The team went through a smooth practice that featured special teams, offense and defense game plan work. Miles called it just"what the team needed." Earlier in the day, OSU quarterback Josh Fields completed a key pass at the Cotton Bowl SBC Big Play Luncheon as he hit a lucky fan, oddly enough from Jackson, Miss., with a pass in the ballroom for a ticket voucher from Delta Air Lines. Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning missed on a connection with his fan overthrowing the receiver. The Luncheon emceed by the Voice of the Dallas Cowboys Brad Sham featured outstanding video pieces on both teams, speeches from both head coaches and other Cotton Bowl key figures. The Cowboys finished 2003 by going to Medieval Times to enjoy chicken and ribs and watch the show featuring jousting and combat from actors portraying the "Knights of the Realm." Following the show it was back to the hotel for an 11 p.m. curfew. The team will go through a walk through in the Cotton Bowl tomorrow afternoon to put the wraps on their preparation for the 1 p.m. kickoff against the Rebels on Friday.
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