Spring Football Practice: April 7

STILLWATER - Running back prospect James Aldridge of Merrillville, Ind., was at the Cowboys' second to last spring practice Thursday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium. During the early part of the practice Aldridge was down on the field standing with and talking with head coach Mike Gundy. The two watched the offense, especially the running backs, go through drills.

Aldridge and his family stayed for the first hour and a half of the practice and then left with OSU assistant director of football operations Dale Patterson. Aldridge is considered one of the top prospects in the Midwest and the nation at running back. He has already visited Notre Dame and Ohio State and is also very interested in Iowa. The 6-1, 217-pounder rushed for more than 2,000 yards and for 20 touchdowns last season in being named All-State as a junior. He has stated that OSU is his leader because of the recruiting of Cowboy running backs coach Curtis Luper.

Aldridge saw a lot of running around and plenty of passing as the passing game got several thorough runs during both team and 7-on-7 periods. One of the problems with the passing game has been health at wide receiver as Tevin Williams (ankle) and Seth Newton (hamstring) have missed workouts this week and missed again Thursday. The passing game, especially the short to mid-range passing game, looked better but it helped not having contact as the players were in shorts and shoulder pads. Quarterbacks Donovan Woods, Bobby Reid and Al Pena all threw the ball sharp in the drills.

The team also went over special teams situations that will be covered in the Saturday scrimmage that will conclude spring practice. Offensive linemen spent time reviewing assignments on virtually all plays. Offensve coordinator Larry Fedora said the offense will condense the playbook for Saturday's scrimmage primarily to limit how much the players have to think and give them segments of the playbook they can have success with and gain confidence in the scrimmage.

Gundy missed the last 45 minutes of practice as he was dressed in street clothes because of the need to attend a meeting. No word with who or over what subject.

The team will have Friday off except for meetings before getting ready for the spring finale at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday. The actual scrimmage will begin shortly after noon. The scrimmage can be heard on 1020 AM, 1580 AM, and 105.1 FM along with on the internet at eteamradio.com

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