Football: Poke Notes

With the new coaching staff installing a new no-huddle spread offense and a new multiple defense with more 4-3-4 personnel groups it can be expected that there will be some position changes for some of the players this spring.

The first position change we have heard of comes on the offensive line where former tight end Charlie Johnson has been moved inside to offensive tackle. The 6-4, 290-pound senior-to-be from Sherman, Texas, Johnson has played three seasons at tight end catching 19 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns.
Johnson has been best known for his blocking and he is often labled as one of the best blockers on the entire team. By moving inside it will likely help him attract attention from NFL scouts. It also clears the way for young tight ends like Brandon Pettigrew, Justin Waller and Paschal Smith to get playing time. Pettigrew, a redshirt freshman for next season, is considered to be a major pass catching threat at the position.

The Cowboys' new coaching staff, many of which have yet to move to Stillwater, have had a break since the day after signing day. All of the newly hired coaches went home to see their families, while some had their families come to Stillwater to check out possible homes. The coaching staff had off through Tuesday, but will be back at work on Wednesday with meetings scheduled during the day.

So far there seems to have been little or no fallout from head coach Mike Gundy's decision to dismiss wide receiver Prentiss Elliott from the squad. We spoke with several players who did not care to comment on record, but said they agreed with Gundy's decision and realized that the decision was best for Elliott and Oklahoma State. The hope is that the troubled freshman will accept Gundy's offer to help and place him in a situation that will allow him to become better adjusted and resume a very promising football career.

The coaching staff resumes working in anticipation of spring practice on Wednesday. The staff will also eyeball several anticipated walk-on candidates at a walk-on tryout for current Oklahoma State students interested in seeing if they can help the football team. The walk-on tryout will take place at an unannounced location on Wednesday afternoon.

March 5 will be a busy day for the Cowboy football program and on the Oklahoma State campus. ESPN College Gameday for basketball will be in Gallagher-Iba Arena for the Cowboys' game with Texas. It will also mark the debut of ESPNU, the mammoth sports networks newest network. The OSU-Texas basketball game at 8 p.m. will be televised nationally. Early in the day the Oklahoma State football team will hold its first spring practice workout under new coach Mike Gundy and his staff. Amid all this the Cowboys will host their annual Junior Day for junior college and high school football prospects in the 2006 recruiting class. The prospects are expected to be invited for the practice, a tour of the facilities, a meal and the basketball game that evening.

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