Recruiting: Cowboys Host First Of Two Waves

The Oklahoma State coaching staff comes back home Friday for the first time since hitting the road just hours after the season concluded last Saturday. Now this aggressive, energetic and persuasive group of Cowboy coaches will greet the first of two weekends of a large wave of prospects in for their official visits.

Oklahoma State has already used 12 official visits throughout the season, but will see more than 12 on this opening weekend alone. Until the prospects check in there is no way to know exactly how many will be there, but the best guess is between 16 to 19 prospects will be on campus.

This opening weekend includes a home basketball game Saturday night vs. SMU (which is always a plus), and also will include the usual good food, academic visits, facilities tour, and plenty of time for the prospects to meet and talk with the current players. Based on the improvements that head coach Mike Gundy has made in the program (training table food, practice field, stadium surface, locker room, strength and conditioning center, along with the stadium rennovation) the players should have plenty of good things to say about their head coach and life as a football player at Oklahoma State.

The football office has even had a make over with some 20 new pictures in modernized frames replacing the older pictures that used to hang in the hall that houses the coach's offices and meeting rooms. The new pictures are fresh from the past two seasons, including pictures of "The Walk" and ESPN's GameDay in Stillwater during the 2004 season.

This first weekend is scheduled to include no fewer than six players who have already given verbal commitment to Oklahoma State. Irving MacArthur linebackers Jeff Bereuter and Justin Gent are both scheduled to visit. Bereuter (6-2, 205, 4.6) and Gent (6-2, 215, 4.5) both helped MacArthur to a playoff season anchoring a defense that was one of the best in Texas. Patrick Lavine was one of the first commitments the Cowboys received and later the Jersey Village safety was on Houston area television with fellow Houstonites Michael Goodson and Donnell Williams announcing his commitment for all to see. Lavine (6-2, 200, 4.6) could wind up as a safety or a speedy outside linebacker.

Artrell Woods missed much of the season at Bryan (Texas) High School with an ankle injury, but is very talented. Woods (6-0 1/2, 185, 4.47) played running back for the Vikings but could be a wide receiver at OSU. Shane Jarka is a linebacker who will turn defensive end in Stillwater. The 6-3, 235-pounder from Fort Bend (Texas) Austin is a very physical player. Finally Stillwater's own Jacob Secrest will be returning to the OSU campus in January as a student. He will enroll early and particpate in spring football which should excelerate the progress of the 6-5, 285-pound offensive lineman.

The Cowboys go into the heavy recruiting period with 15 verbal commitments and are making it a priority to add running backs, wide receivers, several offensive linemen, defensive tackles, and cornerbacks. Outside of the committed players, expected to visit this weekend are four strong corner prospects, two offensive linemen (one junior college and one high school), two running backs (one from Texas and one from Tennessee), and two athletes (one jumbo and one likely wide receiver), and finally one defensive tackle.

The cornerbacks are all from Texas and includes Terrance Anderson or Aldine, Perrish Cox of Waco University, Devin McDowell of Garland, and Malcolm Williams of South Grand Prairie. Anderson (6-0, 175, 4.3) is one of the fastest players in Texas, and is considering primarily OSU and OU. Cox (6-1, 195, 4.4) is a rare big corner who could have been the object of the billboard that OSU placed in Waco back in late August. Cox has visited Nebraska and OU, and is also looking at Baylor. McDowell (5-10, 165, 4.3) is another burner who has OSU at the top of his list. Williams (5-10, 178, 4.5) is a big hitter who gave a verbal to Texas A&M and is the teammate of OSU commitment Deron Fontenot. This is a strong group of players.

Shannon Boatman appears to be the Cowboys' number one junior college offensive line prospect and why not, the Tyler (Texas) Junior College All- American is 6-7, 310 pounds. He is coming off a trip to Florida State and is scheduled to make three more visits (Iowa State, Texas A&M and Nebraska) before making a decision on Dec. 19, the national junior college signing date.

Lineman Trent Williams was schedule to visit OSU back on Sept. 17 when Longview, Texas teammate and tight end Adrian Reese made his official trip. This 6-5, 290-pounder is a big reason why Longview finished the regular season 10-0 before bowing out in the second week of the playoffs. He has visited LSU and will also look at OU and Texas A&M.

Preston Brown had a huge season at Antioch High School in Tennessee. Brown (5-10, 175) has 4.4 speed and could be a game breaker in the backfield. Check that, he already is a game breaker. Jamaal Evans of Irving set virtually all the school records this fall and nearly passed out with excitement when he eyeballed Barry Sanders at an OSU game on an unofficial visit. Evans (5-9, 200, 4.5) packs power and speed.

Earl Mitchell of Galena Park (Texas) North Shore was a tight end and defensive end his senior year, but could wind up being a fullback with his 6-4, 245-pound frame. Mon Williams, out of Mesquite (Horn H.S.), is a 5-10, 178-pound hungry player who can fly and loves to hit people.

The lone defensive tackle prospect is Galveston (Texas) Ball's Rajon Henley. Henley is undersized at 6-1, 240 pounds, but he is strong and plays with a revved up engine. Henley has connections to Stillwater and this week acted very excited about his upcoming trip.

Between this weekend and next the Cowboys could have all but a few places filled, but this time of year is tough and there is plenty of competition. It will be interesting to see if either Anderson or Cox commit or if any other pledges are confirmed this weekend, one of the largest recruiting weekends OSU history.

Check back Sunday evening as GoPokes.com will provide complete coverage of the recruiting weekend.

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