Spring Practice Notes: Day 1

OSU head coach Mike Gundy is no weatherman, but on a day where using the grass practice fields was out of the question and the skies threatened all day it certainly could have been acceptable if the start of spring practice had been delayed for better weather. Gundy and his staff chose this morning to stick with the schedule and it turned out to be a wise choice. Mother Nature never even spit raindrops on the Pokes practice Monday. The temperature was perfect. It was a good day for football.

"It's perfect weather to have spring football in," Gundy said of his choice. "As long as you're not out here in a downpour, the cool weather is good for the players, they enjoy it, and fly around. We wanted to start spring football and we're excited about the offseason and next year, so we didn't want to put it off. If it started raining, it started raining, but the players and the coaches wanted to get out here and get some work done."

Schedule the Rest of the Week
The Cowboys will resume spring practice, weather permitting, with a 2:30 p.m. practice on Wednesday on Boone Pickens Stadium. The Wednesday practice will again be in shorts and helmets. The pads will come on for Friday's practice, also scheduled for 2:30 p.m. with the hopes that it can be conducted on the grass practice fields east of Gallagher-Iba Arena.

New Numbers
Some of the Cowboy players are sporting new numbers and some of the Cowboys are just plain new, which means they didn't have jersey numbers. Here is a list of Cowboys with numbers that you might not be familiar with and the color of the jersey - offense is wearing orange, defense wears white, and quarterbacks and injured players are wearing green.

1 (Green) - Alex Cate, QB
12 (Orange) – Adarius Bowman, WR
12 (Green) – Donnell Williams, LB
15 (Orange) – Chijuan Mack, WR
25 (White) – Clay Coe, SS
35 (White) – Marcus Brown, LB
44 (White) – Chris Collins, LB
57 (Orange) – Jacob Secrest, OL
83 (Orange) – Anthony Parks, WR
99 (White) – Jonathan Lewis, DT

Pups At Guard
The Cowboys return three starters on the offensive line and line coach Joe Wickline has spaced them out with Corey Hilliard moving from right tackle last season to left tackle. David Koenig has moved from left guard to right tackle and center David Washington stays in the middle. That allows for veterans to be on either side of the o-line rookies, which right now are redshirt freshman Andrew Lawrence at left guard and redshirt freshman Noah Franklin at right guard. Both performed well in the first day of practice, although a new cadence may have been the cause of a couple of illegal procedure penalties. Other players who will likely get a good look at the guard positions are sophomore Steven Denning and redshirt freshman Andrew Lewis.

Williams Sits Out
Freshman linebacker Donnell Williams will be more of an interested observer during spring practice. The 6-2, 215-pound linebacker out of Houston Madison who enrolled early at Oklahoma State as part of the freshman class for 2006 had shoulder surgery after his senior season at Madison, and enrolled in part to get the help in rehabbing following the surgery. Williams will be out at practice in his green No. 12 jersey and will soak up the coaching and may participate in some walk throughs, but he will be held out of contact all spring.

Special Times
Assistant head coach Joe DeForest gets plenty of time to work his special teams and it appears he will get even more during the spring. There was a special teams period at the beginning of practice that on opening day was used to work the first team extra point and field goal units and technique work on punts. The Cowboys are going back to the tight punt formation that they used prior to last season. At the end of practice they worked field goal and extra-point block units and punt block units. On the placement units there is a healthy competition going between kickers Jason Ricks, who redshirted last season due to injury, and Bruce "Sunshine" Redden. Both kickers were perfect on their kicks on Monday. Zach Allen returns as the snapper on placements and backup punter Cole Reynolds is doing the holding. Matt Fodge returns at punter with Reynolds providing competition, with Allen and junior Kyle Mariacher both snapping on punts. It will be interesting to see who all will be included and considered on punt and kickoff returns as there are a lot of possibilities, including newcomer and top national juco punt returner Anthony Parks.

Silky Smooth
Running backs coach Curtis Luper said one of the priorities for the backs this spring was to keep the football off the ground, eliminate fumbles. Luper had a new tool on the first day of spring practice to help his crew concentrate more on holding the football. All of the balls used in the running back drills were covered in a silky smooth fabric. The backs took handoffs and worked on drills carrying the balls. Luper even managed to throw passes to the backs with the slick footballs. The major plus is during the drills there was not a single dropped ball. Once the ball almost slid out on Julius Crosslin but he managed to get control of it and tuck it away.

Limbrick to Corner
There weren't too many position switches, but one that is interesting is the move of speedy running back Lance Limbrick, half brother to former OSU fullback Garrett Limbrick, to cornerback. Limbrick is a solid athlete from Houston (Yates), Texas, who walked on. He will be a redshirt freshman this fall.

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