Busy Day At The OSU Football Offices

STILLWATER - Oklahoma State football staffers were busy Friday as there was no down time as eight new Cowboy players were on campus to be enrolled and new co-offensive coordinator Trooper Taylor rolled into Stillwater with his family. Taylor was hired by head coach Mike Gundy shortly after offensive coordinator Larry Fedora took the head coaching position at Southern Miss.

Gundy, Taylor and Fedora all coached together during the 1996 season at Baylor under Chuck Reedy. Taylor most recently coached wide receivers at Tennessee, and this morning in a teleconference with the OSU beat media Gundy said he was concerned that Tennessee was putting together a healthy financial package to try and compete with OSU and coax Taylor into staying with the Vols. Gundy got his answer this afternoon when Taylor reported to the OSU football offices.

Before saying hello to their new staff member, the Cowboy assistant coaches were busy helping the seven new junior colllege players and one high school prospect enroll for the spring semester that begins with classes on Monday.

Two players that really stand out are safeties Lucien Antoine (Fort Scott C.C., Kan.) and Markelle Martin (Wichita Falls Rider H.S., Texas). Both are big, physical safety prospects that are bigger than any current safeties on campus.

Defensive linemen Chris Donaldson (Coffeyville C.C., Kan.), Swanson Miller (Butler Co. C.C., Kan.) and Jeremiah Price (Jones Co. C.C., Miss.) figure to help immediately on that side of the ball. There is also running back Beau Johnson and cornerback Maurice Gray from Butler County, and native Oklahoman Andrew Mitchell, an offensive tackle from Snow C.C., Utah.

All eight players are enrolled and moved into the apartment-style housing where the Cowboy football players live.

In other notes, OSU quarterback recruiting commitment Kody Spano of Stephenville, Tex. left this morning at 11:30 a.m. on a flight to Lincoln, Neb., for an official visit. Spano told me that he will check out Nebraska and make a decision next week. Spano is disappointed that the Cowboys did not have a scholarship for him at midterm, although one may develop before classes begin on Monday. If Spano stays with OSU then they have a future quarterback prospect; if he does not, then they have room for another commitment and they have more prospects out there.

In his teleconference this morning, Gundy said that linebackers coach Todd Bradford was in Hattiesburg, Miss., to interview with Larry Fedora for the defensive coordinator job at USM. Gundy felt that Bradford would take it and that means Gundy and defensive coordinator Tim Beckman will be looking for a new defensive line and linebacker coach. Gundy said he and Beckman would work together in hiring the two new coaches on the defensive staff.

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