Recruiting: Top Texas Targets-Offense

This is an excerpt of a story that will appear in the Go Pokes Football Preview issue that subscribers will receive in June. We start with the offensive prospects in Texas. Later we'll display the defensive prospects and then the complete list of Top Texas Targets.

There is no need to tell Cowboy football fans, and especially Cowboy football recruiting fans, how important Texas is to the OSU program. When the Cowboys line up on Sept. 1 between the hedges in Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs it is reasonable to expect that 15 of the starters on offense and defense, as well as both the kicker and the punter, will be natives of the Lone Star State

Head coach Mike Gundy spent a lot of time this past May in the state of Texas, but every single assistant and both the coordinators were also in Texas. Every coach on staff, other than Gundy, offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, and defensive coordinator Tim Beckman, have a geographical region of Texas assigned to them in recruiting. Most of the Cowboy coaches spend more time recruiting Texas than they do in Oklahoma. The numbers don't lie, we listed a liberal number of prospects in our Oklahoma target list when we list 35, but in Texas that number could easily include 50 to 100 player.

Let's take a look at the Cowboys top targets in Texas and we'll do it by position.

There is only one, at least when it comes to a pure quarterback and Stephenville product Kody Spano made Gundy and Fedora very happy when he committed to the Cowboys shortly after Junior Day in Stillwater. Spano, the son of a coach, shocked a lot of folks in Texas, primarily Stephenville opponents, when he came out and did such a good job last season following up Texas schoolboy sensation Jevan Sneed. Spano, who likes the Cowboy offense and likens it to Stephenville's, passed for 2,495 yards and 28 touchdowns while also running for 562 yards and a pair of scores. He went to the Scout combine in March and came away the top quarterback at the combine and some feel he may be the top quarterback prospect in Texas .

There are plenty of candidates at the position and Oklahoma State coaches got by to see them all in May. Liberty-Eylau speedster LaMichael James is one of the fastest prospects in the nation with a confirmed 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. One opposing coach in East Texas told me he thought James was the fastest player he had ever coached against. The second-team All-State honoree rushed for more than 1,600 yards and had another 500 receiving with 19 touchdowns. His size is more than adequate at 5-10, 190 pounds, and he has shown a strong interest in Oklahoma State.

Anthony Bibbs is another all-purpose back that can catch the ball out of the backfield and make things happen. The Jersey Village standout caught the Cowboys attention at a one-day camp last summer put on by the OSU staff. Bibbs had 1,050 yards rushing, another 200 receiving, and eight touchdowns.

DeSoto's Cyrus Gray and Sam McGuffie of Cypress Fairbanks are both highly sought after prospects. Gray rushed for 1,510 yards and 31 touchdowns on 222 carries. He has legit 4.4 speed and also had 38 receptions for 438 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned four punts for scores. McGuffie has the most eye popping numbers as he carried 358 times for 3,212 yards and 44 touchdowns. Both Gray and McGuffie figure to be down to the wire type recruits.

After a sensational recruiting year at the position in 2007 the Cowboys are hunting for more talent at wide receiver. Adarius Bowman is a senior and there are several other seniors as well at receiver. Besides, this offense takes a lot of receivers to run. There are some excellent prospects but one that has already been on campus is Jeffrey Fuller of McKinney Boyd High School . Fuller looks ready for college now at 6-4, 200 pounds. Fuller was at the OSU spring game and said he liked what he saw. Playing in a predominant run offense, Fuller had 26 receptions for 380 yards with three touchdowns last season. He is very developed with a 265-pound bench press and a 36-inch vertical jump.

James Hanna of Flower Mound could end up being a wide receiver or a tight end. The 6-4 ½. 215-pound Hanna runs an amazing 4.53 in the 40 and did that at the Scout combine. He had 20 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns last season. DeAundre Brown is not quite as big as Hanna, but the Arlington Seguin standout had some strong numbers as a junior with 38 receptions for 540 yards and six touchdowns. His career numbers show 77 catches for 939 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Sedrick Johnson of Arp is a big receiver with speed and as a junior hauled in 38 receptions for 1,030 yards and 13 touchdowns. Johnson is impressive on video as he is capable of making circus catches and has great hands. Daryl Stonum of Houston Dulles has 6-1 size and 4.4 speed, a lethal combination. As a junior he had 44 receptions for 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was all-district and second-team All-State. Waco 's Victor Johnson could factor in here, but we will save him for the defensive side of the ball.

This was a tough position as we know the Cowboys are likely taking one, maybe two tight ends. One could be a combo player that could also line up at wide receiver like Hanna or line up at defensive end like Jeremy Gray. Taylor Thompson is a tight end prospect out of Prosper. He has the size and the athleticism to do well. Thompson was another standout at the Scout combine with a 30.3 vertical and an 8-11 standing broad jump. Last season he had 22 catches for 375 yards and a touchdown.Eric Lair of Houston Lamar is another candidate that we didn't list and there are more.

OSU offensive line coach Joe Wickline is pretty particular about the offensive linemen that he recruits or has other coaches recruit. They have to have the desired size and strength, but they also have to be very athletic. Emmanuel Aluko of Alief Elsik is so quick and athletic he is also being looked at as a defensive tackle where he has had some success including six sacks last season.

Oklahoma State is flat out in love with two offensive linemen from the Hill Country of Texas. Patrick Hoog of Medina Valley and Thomas Parsons of Smithson Valley are both excellent is size and strength and they are both suitably quick enough. Hoog plays for head coach Brian Emerson, a former center, at Medina Valley and is young, currently 16 years old. Parsons has a 29-inch vertical jump and runs the 40 in 4.9.

The most talked about offensive line prospect in Texas is big Daniel Campbell of Aldine. An All-State caliber player, Campbell has said he prefers going to school out of state which should be music to the Cowboys ears.

Not much is known about Xavier Swain other than he has the tools to succeed. Brandon Thompson of The Woodlands is a smart player that has garnered plenty of attention including out of state schools like Purdue.

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