Spring Fooball Notes

Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy said the squad would workout on Thursday, but he hasn't determined just what kind of practice it will be. The Cowboys have an 80-play scrimmage planned for noon on Saturday, but the current weather forecast is for 100 percent rain on Saturday. Right now Gundy says the staff is flexible with how they will map out the rest of the week.

"We'll be in shoulder pads tomorrow," said Gundy. "We could be in full pads because we can use it as a full pad day, it just depends on injuries and how we feel. My guess is we'll be out here in full pads. I'm a little concerned right now with the weather they are predicting for Saturday. If there were a chance we may need to move Saturday's practice to Friday because we can't practice in thunderstorms, we may go shorts. That's something we'll talk about (staff) tomorrow."

Once the Cowboys get their indoor facility then they will be able to stick with a firm schedule, but that may be a year away.

At the start of practice associate head coach and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest was assisted by the entire staff in working extra points and field goals and kickoff returns. It was the first time this spring the Cowboys had worked kickoff returns, and the mostly veteran crew looked sharp. The new additions to the return unit are kick returners as Andrew Alexander, Daniel McLemore and Greg Gold, who all took turns returning the kicks. The drill was three-quarter speed, but all three returners showed promise zipping through big holes provided by the veteran blockers.

The linebackers and running backs got an early start to the full-contact fireworks with an isolation drill earlier in the practice in the end zone. The drill featured two linebackers taking on a lead blocking fullback and a tailback in a simulated iso play. It didn't take long for the first big hit of the spring as linebacker Lawrence Pinson blew up walk on fullback Brian Murray-Lee in a collision that echoed throughout the mostly empty Boone Pickens Stadium and drew plenty of response from onlookers, both in uniform and in the stands.

Gundy was watching and got involved in encouraging freshman fullback John Johnson who got the best of linebacker Roderick Johnson with a lead block that put Johnson on the turf. All in all it was the most spirited drill so far this spring.

Several players were missing the action on Wednesday. Fullback Shawn Willis is being held out as a precautionary measure following the auto accident he was in over spring break. Willis said his vehicle rolled over a couple of times, but he should be back soon. Tight end Paschal Smith was out with the flu. Center David Washington was missing, but we understand that may have been an academic commitment.

The rest of the missing have been out throughout the spring including defensive end Nathan Peterson (knee surgery), defensive end Darnell Smith (shoulder surgery), defensive end Marque Fountain (shoulder surgery), defensive end William Bell (knee surgery), defensive end Tremayne Standberry (knee scope), wide receiver Chijuan Mack (knee surgery), running back Seymore Shaw (knee scope), and offensive linemen Blake Botek (knee injury).

Peterson's rehab from the knee surgery looks like it is going well as he was running hard Wednesday and looked good in his work out.

Recent Oklahoma State signees Zac Robinson and Andre Sexton were at the Cowboys practice on Wednesday checking on their future team and also working on necessary arrangements to be in school next fall. Both players watched the scrimmage and admitted they badly wanted to be out there. Sexton was named the Houston Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year for his 126 tackles, three interceptions and seven fumble recoveries last season at Cypress Falls High School. The 6-1, 190-pound defensive back could play corner or safety.

Robinson was a record-setting quarterback at Littleton Chatfield High School near Denver. OSU won a late recruiting battle with OU and Kansas State to get the 6-3, 187-pounder. In high school his team ran a no-huddle, spread-offense similar to the attack being installed this spring at OSU.

With the scrimmage during Wednesday's practice there was a full crew of officials from the Big 12, some of the officials were veterans and other were area officials that the Big 12 is considering adding to the conference roster. We did find out that one of the top referees in the Big 12 has hung up the whistle. Hal Dowden of Heavener, Okla., recognized as one of the best officials in college football, decided after working the Capitol One Bowl with his crew this January to retire. Dowden is highly respected and has served in this conference dating back to the Big Eight. Dowden's position will be replaced by Willie Davenport, who worked the OSU-Iowa State game last season at Boone Pickens Stadium. Davenport had been working regularly in the Sun Belt Conference.

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