Cowboys Newcomers Open Up - Practice Report #1

The newcomers, mixed with a few veterans, came out at nine a,m this morning for the first football practice of the 2004 season. There were close to 40 players that participated in the practice this morning. The remainder of the squad consisting of all returning players will practice this afternoon at 4:10 p.m. It was a typical first practice with a lot of teaching and indoctrination going on. It was easy to tell that this group of newcomers measures up and looks good physicals and athletically.

                Some of the more impressive players from this morning include DT Walter Thomas, CB Martel Van Zant, WR Prentiss Elliott, WR Seth Newton, OL David Washington, TE Brandon Pettigrew, and OL Jeremy Palmoore. Palmoore originally signed with Arkansas in the 2003 recruiting class, but attneded Hargrave Military Academy to get eligible. Arkansas didn't honor their scholarship with him freeing him up to come and be eligible at OSU immediately.

Thomas admitted he was still out of shape, but he was an imposing sight and moved well.    

            "I feel real good about it (being here)," said Thomas. "I just need to get in shape like the rest of the guys did this summer and be ready to play. In another week or so I should be ready. I'm going to be ready to play UCLA if they need me. I'm just doing what I do, play hard and do the best that I can."

Martel Van Zant is a great looking athlete and with his sign language interpreter Allie Lee he seemed to be understanding all of the instructions from coaches Joe DeForest and Doug Mallory. Prentiss Elliott flashed the speed expected and really caught the ball well.

"He's got a chance to be real good," said wide receivers coach Todd Monken, who was glad to have Elliott working in his group with the receivers. "He is a special athlete. What he'll do for us, whether it's wide receiver, cornerback, running back, I don't know. The key is keeping him healthy and getting him ready to go, because he is awfully, awfully talented."

Seth Newton, who has really big hands, is 6-3, 180 pounds and he too caught the ball well. The receivers were working with quarterbacks Al Pena and Mike Friess, who filled a void by joining the newcomers. All of the offensive linemen looked good, including some very quality walkons. Washington lined up at center and that may be an accurate foreshadowing. Palmoore was the biggest of the offensive linemen and he worked at left tackle during the team portion of the practice. Brandon Pettigrew really looks like he could contribute early as he ran good routes and caught the ball well. At 6-5, 240 pounds he is impressive and runs like a big wide receiver.

        Still, it was hard to read a lot into it as so much of the time was devoted to teaching and beginning to familiarize the players to the Oklahoma State offensive and defensive schemes.  

      "It was a normal freshman, newcomer practice," said a hoarse head coach Les Miles. "A lot of teaching, moving slowly with talented young guys, guys that will be the future here at Oklahoma State. They are a long ways away."

Miles has to be happy with the 11 new walkons that reported with the rest of the newcomers as it is an impressive looking group that has the look of an NCAA Division I-AA or Division II recruiting class. It is by far the best group of walkons that I have seen since I have covered Cowboy football. Miles seemed to agree with the assessement.

All of the players that joined the squad last January at midterm particpated in the newcomer workout including quarterback Robert Reid. Reid, who had shoulder surgery early this summer stood on the sideline and eyeballed the practice. His rehabilitation continues and according to head coach Les Miles is ahead of schedule.

"I think it is a very strong group of walkon particpants," said Miles. "They are big, strong physical guys that have some athletic ability. I think the walkon class is a good one."

After orientation this afternoon while the varsity works out and meetings tonight, the newcomers get an early wake up call on Tuesday for a 7:40 a.m. practice moved up to accommodate Fan Appreciation Day and Media Day.

Oklahoma State Football Newcomer Roster *designates walkon player

7 Martel Van Zant, CB, 6-2, 200, Fr., Tyler (Lee), TX
11 Prentiss Elliott, WR, 6-0, 175, Fr, Tulsa (TSST), TX
16 Seth Newton, WR, 6-3, 180, Fr., Girard, KS
29 Mike Hamilton, RB, 6-1, 230, Fr., Melbourne, FL
*36 Lawrence Davis, S, 6-0, 190, Fr, Rock Island, IL
*38 Chase Pulliam, S, Fr
*46 Chad Baniecki, FB, 6-2, 210, Fr, Chandler (Seton Catholic), AZ
47 Jason Ricks, K, 6-1, 180, Fr, Round Rock (Westwood), TX
*49 Stewart Pearcy, K, Fr, San Angelo (Central), TX\
*53 Seb Clements, LB, Fr, Sanger, TX
*54 Jeremiah Burton, LB, 6-2, 220, Fr, Enid, OK
*58 Roger Brown, OL, Fr, Tomball, TX
*60 Kade Kusik, OL, 6-4, 270, RS Fr, Kingfisher (Redlands CC), OK
*62 Blake Botek, OL, 6-4, 325, Fr, Grand Ledge, MI
63 David Washington, OL, 6-4, 275, Fr, Guthrie, OK
*64 Willie Peace, OL, 6-5, 300, Fr, San Antonio (O'Connor), TX
*65 Derek Nicholas, OL, 6-7, 255, Fr, Edmond (Deer Creek), OK
67 Jeremy Palmoore, OL, 6-6, 320, RS Fr, Memphis (Hamilton/Hargrave Military Academy), TN
73 Jeray Chatham, OL, 6-4, 260, Fr, Houston (Westfield), TX
77 Walter Thomas, DL, 6-5, 340, Fr, Galveston (Ball), TX
79 Chris Simon, OL, 6-5, 330, Fr. Waller, TX
82 Justin Waller, TE, 6-4, 240, Fr, Ponca City, OK
87 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, 6-5, 230, Fr, Tyler (Lee), TX
98 William Bell, DE, 6-4, 230, Fr, Belton, TX

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