Cowboys Report Wednesday

STILLWATER - Tuesday was a day for golf as associate head coach Joe DeForest's team won the annual Mike Gundy Media Golf event at Karsten Creek with a score of 56 in the six-man scramble. DeForest's team included Cowboy Network play-by-play announcer Dave Hunziker.

The golf is now over and shortly after lunch the staff was scrambling to get back to the football office for a 3 p.m. staff meeting. The players report between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, and the work begins with a meetings on Wednesday and Thursday before the first practice at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday.

"There's no question that we're all really excited," said head coach Mike Gundy. "It's not just the coaches and the players, but I know the fans are really excited."

Report day is different than it was even a few years ago as now players are on campus for virtually the entire summer and this has just been a week break for them since they were working out for strength and conditioning coordinator Rob Glass and working out amongst themselves with football drills and team work.

"It's so different now because the players have been here for eight weeks, so we should be able to get started quickly as a group and get going. We just want to get them here safely tomorrow and get started because we don't have a warm up game, with Georgia coming up," Gundy said.

Still, the Oklahoma State staff has some tendencies that they want to see. New defensive coordinator Tim Beckman has plenty of his defense to still install, so avoiding any backward steps since spring is at the top of his list.

"Getting back to the basics that we left spring ball with," said Beckman of what he is looking for early in camp. "We are going to work on tackling and turnovers as much as we possibly can without being in pads, but it is really coming back to the basics that we left spring ball with."

With a veteran offense that includes eight returning starters including the quarterback, top wide receiver, and top running back offensive coordinator Larry Fedora is expecting close to perfection on the first few days of August camp.

"Just recall, that is the main thing I want to see when our guys get back," said Fedora of the offensive side. "They've been working on it all summer and I want to see that they know everything. We'll have an installation but that installation will be just to organize for things we are using that day. I expect guys to know every bit of it (the offense)."

DeForest returns all of his top specialists and many of the players he used on all special teams, but he has a new rule to deal with as kickoffs have moved back to the 30-yard line.

"I definitely want to come up with a plan for kickoff coverage," said DeForest. "That is a big concern for me and our staff to find the right kicker and then find the right plan in that area. We have our snapper, our holder, our punter, and our kicker and return guys so we are pretty excited about having all those guys back."

Saturday will be Media Day and Fan Appreciation Day, along with being the third day of practice, but it will be a travel day for the head coach. Mike Gundy is going to Canton, Ohio, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony and to honor former Cowboy great Thurman Thomas.

"I'm leaving right after media day, and I'll miss practice on Saturday," said Gundy of the excursion to Canton and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "I think it's important for Thurman and for Oklahoma State. It's hard to get into that shrine, and as a former teammate of Thurman's I need to be there. Oklahoma State needs to be represented. Other than the fact that I'll be missing practice I'm really looking forward to it."

Cowboy running backs coach Curtis Luper, another of Thomas' former OSU teammates, would like to sneak on that plane with Gundy.

"Thurman is like a brother to me, so to see him going into the NFL Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility is very impressive and very deserving," said Luper. "He would have gone in the first year if it hadn't been for Troy Aikman and Reggie White (loaded year of first time eligible players). I am proud of him and it makes me look better as a running back because I played behind those two guys (Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas)."

Luper will have to settle for checking it out on television, and watching current Cowboy runners Dantrell Savage and Keith Toston in practice that day.

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