Gundy: As Good A Class As We've Ever Signed

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy called the Cowboys' 2007 recruiting class "as good as a class as we've ever signed. It's not even close." Gundy visited with Go Pokes Executive Editor Robert Allen on the Triple Play Sports Radio network on Wednesday after 20 high school players faxed to OSU their letters of intent. Here are excerpts from that interview.

Were there any surprises in this class?
Gundy: For the most part you know exactly what's going to happen. This list right here, there's no surprises on this list to me, not one at all. We had the players that we anticipated signing. We had a certain number of spots on the board. The only area which I wish we could have picked up one more player was the offensive line, but that pool of players in Oklahoma and Texas was not great number-wise. It's all about numbers and bringing the right guys in, and then the percentage of getting them. But this is as good a class as we've ever signed. It's not even close. We'll make up for (not getting another offensive lineman) next year. We'll take four or five next year. Other than that, it's as good a class from top to bottom as we've ever had.

Three players are already on campus in Kenny Alexander, Deron Fontenot and Tonga Tea. What type of impact will they have this spring and during the 2007 season?
Gundy: Obviously any time you come in early you have a chance to compete as a freshman. Now Kenny and Deron are a little further away because they're high school players, but they're doing a nice job in the offseason, getting acclimated to what were all about here. Junior, as I call (Tea), is a guy who needs to help us next year. With the departure of (Ryan) McBean, Larry Brown and the role that XLK (Xavier Lawson-Kennedy) played for us, we need him to be able to come in and compete. We're going to need a guy that we can get 25 to 30 plays out there right away. Jeray Chatham has come a long way but he's a 275-pounder. We need somebody, a 300-pounder, who can get in there and hold his ground when we open up next season, and hopefully he'll be able to do that.

Safety was a major area of emphasis with this recruiting class. Are you pleased with the players you signed at that position?
Gundy: We felt like that we had to have two players who could show up and line up at the safety position from a depth standpoint. We put 23 slots on the board a year ago at this time and then put red stars by the positions that we had to get. We felt like we needed to get two safeties, and those two guys that we got there – Adrian Moore and James Thomas – both are guys that are going to line up and play safety. James, obviously being from La Marque (Texas) where they won a state championship, is a tall, rangy guy who is a legit low-4.6 guy, and will be a mid-4.5 in a year when he's been here with Coach (Rob) Glass. I'm looking forward to getting him in here. The other one is Adrian Moore, who has gotten popular here as of late. Doug Meacham did a tremendous job of finding him. We get so many tapes and DVDs, and that's a good example of why you have to do your homework and just look and make sure before you just discard it. You don't find guys that are 5-11, 200 (pounds) that can run like him, and that have had much experience like he has had, and then just show up three weeks ago. There's a reason why I think he flew under the radar but when we saw his tape we were wow. The reason why is because it's hard to project with high school quarterbacks to play other positions. But now a days it's a little easier because they're all running the football. He was carrying the ball 20 times a game, and he's getting hit all the time so you know he's going to be durable enough to play the other side. He's a great young man, and he's very excited and wants to be a part of Oklahoma State football. That's why his stock goes up.

How impressed have you been with William Cole from Cedar Hill, Texas?
Gundy: William is a player who led his team to a state championship in the state of Texas. The kid had over 3,000 yards as a quarterback, running the ball, throwing the ball and making plays. He's never lifted a weight; he says he has but he hasn't. He plays football, he plays basketball, he runs track. When I was at the school last week I saw they had a pickup game going at the lunch hour. I didn't realize he was in the game because there were so many of them out there (on the floor). A guy jumps up and his elbow was up above the rim, and Coach (Curtis) Luper says that's William right there. He's a tremendous athlete that once he spends some time with Coach Glass ... he's already a 38-inch vertical (jumper), so he's got the potential to be a low 40-inch vertical. And he wants to play defensive back. He wants to play corner. He's another player who I'm sure Coach (Larry) Fedora will want to touch the football because if you just watch his tape you'll want him touching the football as a kick returner or punt returner. But he wants to play corner, he's got tremendous feet, great hips, and has great speed. So he will have an opportunity to play a long time at corner.

Wide receiver was another position that was critical to this class, wasn't it?
Gundy: We needed to sign a good number of wide receivers because we lose quite a few next year. We wanted to bring them in early and get them acclimated to our system because of what we do we feel like it takes them a year long now compared to what we used to do on offense. So we took quite a few wide receivers. It's a great group. Hubert (Anyiam) is a player that the coaches in the Dallas area feel like might be the best one in that area that nobody really knows about. He's averaging over 18 points a game in basketball and gets about two dunks a night.

Dez Bryant is another outstanding receiver in this class.
Gundy: Everybody is aware of Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant can change a game instantly. He's the closest thing I've seen to a Hart Lee Dykes. He's not 6-4, he's 6-2 but he's faster (than Dykes was), and he can a game. Obviously, there have been a lot of articles about him. He's a Parade All-American.

Another receiver is Josh Cooper from right here in Oklahoma.
Gundy: Josh Cooper from Mustang is one of those style of players who goes unnoticed a lot because he's not real big and people don't see him as really fast, but every time you put the tape on him he makes plays. He makes plays as a wideout, he makes plays as a safety, he makes plays as a punter, he makes plays as a kicker, he makes plays as a returner. So we kept watching him and watching him ... everybody wants a 6-2 or 6-3 guy but he's so productive ... we look forward to him coming in and competing at that slot receiver spot for us.

The fourth receiver to sign is Damian Davis from Mart, Texas.
Gundy: Damian may be the one that nobody knows about that has the most potential in the long range. He's 6-4, maybe 6-5, and 190 (pounds) and has not had a great opportunity to lift weights because he's a basketball player. He reminds me a lot of No. 7 of Baylor (Dominique Zeilger). He's real tall but he's not a strider. He takes short steps and he's real shifty. He's got a great attitude. I saw him at a basketball game going up to dunk, the guy tried to take a charge, he did the splits and went right over the top (of him) and dunked it. That's not normal to do stuff like that. His potential is unbelievable just because of his size and the quick feet that he has.

Look for "Gundy: Part 2" up on the site shortly.

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