Cowboys Checked In and Ready To Get To Work

With a few stragglers arriving after the noon check-in time, head coach Mike Gundy and his staff welcomed Wednesday 105 players for the start of Oklahoma State's preseason camp. Between now and the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 22, the squad will have 20 practices with two scrimmages. Over the next two weeks there is just one day off and three two-a-day practices.

Most of the days will be filled with position and squad meetings and walk throughs before an afternoon practice at 4:45 the majority of the days.

There were few surprises on check-in day. Perhaps the biggest being the absence of highly regarded and off the field troubled Texarkana, Texas, linebacker Chris Collins. The OSU coaching staff had little comment on Collins. Head coach Mike Gundy just said it was doubtful that he would be involved with the squad this fall, leaving the door open for a future arrival by Collins. It is hard to get many people to comment on the standout linebacker that earned All-State honors as a junior and became the first commitment in the 2005 recruiting class for Texas. This much is known, Collins was charged with aggravated sexual assault following contact with an underage girl at a party following the Junior-Senior Prom at Texarkana Texas High School. He has not been convicted, but missed his senior season and graduated from an alternative school in Texarkana. Texas withdrew its scholarship offer to Collins last fall.

A surprise arrival was cornerback Cortney Billingsley. The well traveled 5-9, 175-pound speedster, who ran 4.37 on the grass at a California junior college combine, finished up his course work at Tarrent County Community College and checked in at OSU today. Billingsley was an all-district and Dallas Morning News all-area selection in high school in the fall of 2001. He played at Kilgore J.C. in the fall of 2002, sat out in 2003, and last season played at Moorpark C.C. in California. He had 15 passes broken up and three interceptions. He was recruited last winter by Boise State, Louisiana-Monroe and Baylor, but wanted to walkon at Oklahoma State and hooked up with the Cowboys through his former high school coach Anthony Criss, the current coach at Arlington Bowie High School.

There were some other surprise walkons with the son of former OSU fullback great Garrett Limbrick, the blocking fullback for Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders, walking on.

After speculation that he might not be back, walk-on linebacker and deep snapper Brian Jeffries reported. He'll compete with two other walk-ons for the vacant deep snapping chores. There are several walk-on kickers joining returning varsity kickers Jason Ricks, Luke Roberts and freshman scholarship kicker Matt Fodge. Those include spring walk-on Bruce Redden and freshman Cole Reynolds.

The good news was there were no absentees from the returning varsity roster.

After the check in requirements were accomplished, the entire team dined on steak, grilled chicken, and shrimp kabobs with baked potatoes, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. There were orientation meetings for the squad and an early bed check scheduled as the work begins bright and early in the morning.

The first practice is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. and is open to the public. The fans will enter through the west gate of the grass practice field and be required to stay in a orange outlined viewing area on the west end of the practice field. All practices and scrimmages through Saturday, Aug. 20, are open to the public under the same guidelines.

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