Cowboy Freshman Impresses In Early Season Workouts

STILLWATER ( – John Smith brought in one of his most heralded freshman recruiting classes in his tenure at Oklahoma State. Newly McSpadden might not be one of the recognizable names, but he has equally impressed the coaching staff.

The freshman from Vinita, Okla. is competing to make the team as a 157-pounder. This is a loaded weight class with as many as five wrestlers trying to make the team at this spot. Junior Kevin Ward has a leg up on everybody else having started the early part of the 2004 season.

"You just have to try hard and do what you can,"? McSpadden said. ?"Hopefully, it will work and I can earn a spot.?" Coach Smith is not afraid of pulling a freshman out of his redshirt year if he feels that he is the best man at that spot. With so many wrestlers competing for the same position, McSpadden will have his work cut out for him if he wants to climb to the top of the 157-pound weight class.

Justin Porter has been with the program for a year after using up his redshirt last season. Porter and McSpadden grew up working out together in Vinita. The only thing that is different now is the quality of the wrestlers that surrounds them.

McSpadden knew about many of the freshmen wrestlers before they ever arrived in Stillwater, even though many of them grew up many miles outside of Oklahoma. McSpadden knew who he was coming to compete with and work out against.

The pedigree of the names that were here before any of the freshmen arrived is much different too. There are former Olympians and several former individual champions that help train and workout alongside the wrestling team. Champions help breed champions.

"?I think it is very important to have these guys around,?" McSpadden said. ?"If these guys were not here then nobody would know what it took or if they were working hard enough. I think it helps everybody.?"

McSpadden is getting an opportunity to compete and fulfill his dreams. He has a lot of work left before he can start trying out for the national team, but getting the opportunity to start for the defending national champions as a freshman would be a dream come true for one of the lesser known freshmen on the squad.

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