Newcomers Get An Early Wake Up Call

The early risers among the newcomers had the advantage this morning as the wake up call came at 6:05 a.m. with practice starting at 7:40 a.m. to accomodate Fan Appreciation and Media Days.

Two players on the offense continue to impress as both wide receivers Seth Newton and Prentiss Elliott made several impressive plays in the team passing period. The two started off catching just about every ball thrown their direction in the passing drills. Then in the team period Newton went up at about the 10-yard-line and took away a ball thrown up for grabs by quarterback Mike Friess. It was a spectacular catch highlighting Newton's leaping ability and hands. To make it even better he came down on his feet and ran the ball into the endzone.

Elliott got lose for a pair of deep passes, and also broke open several short passes for big gains. Elliott is every bit as elusive and quick as he was built up to be.

The offensive linemen, of which there are nine of them in the morning group, got a long work period of the basics with line coach Chuck Moller. It is a more difficult transition than you would imagine as many of these guys are starting with a new stance and learning all the facets of the offensive line play at Oklahoma State. Physically, Chris Simon, Jeray Chatham, David Washington, walkon Willie Peace, walkon Blake Botek, and newcomer and former Arkansas signee Jeremy Palmoore all measure up and have good size and strength. Simon and Washington may be the two most ready to help depth wise.

On the defensive side Martel Van Zant is progressing rapidly as he is showing a lot of natural football instincts and knowledge of the game. He can really cover and already shows some ability to adjust to different coverages. He has rarely been beaten in one on one situations so far. In fact, all of the big plays mentioned earlier by receivers were away from Van Zant or came with Van Zant on the sidelines.

Judging from the special teams period there are plenty of candidates among the newcomers that will help on special teams. Elliott comes up again as he will have to be looked at on returns, likely kickoff returns. Van Zant and walkon linebacker Jeremiah Burton of Enid might be candidates for coverage unit duty.

It was another workout that covered basics from stretching and agilities to individual drills to team work with the coaches taking plenty of time to go over details and teaching it slowly. It's very apparent how much slower the pace of the workout is from the workout in the afternoon with all returning players.

One note on a returning player that is working out in the morning. Safety Charlie Ward has been working very hard and looks good in workouts. I spoke to Charlie and he is confident he is going to be able to help the team. Here is a guy that has twice undergone season ending knee surgery after showing a great deal of potential, including being very close to earning a starting job as a true freshman.

"I feel better than I have since the first knee surgery," said Ward after the practice. "I feel like I did as a freshman, and I'm determined to get on the field."

After two days of work expect Miles now to have the pace of the workouts pick up as they move toward joining the vasity in the first full pads workout on Friday.

After the workout the newcomers experienced meeting with the fans and the media. Only a few were really requested for interviews, Van Zant, Elliott, and big defensive tackle Walter Thomas were the busiest.

The newcomers continue orientation this afternoon, while the varsity works out at 4:10 p.m.

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