Recruiting: Gundy Sizes Up The Class of 2008

We've spoken our opinion for the past year and even throughout the day. You have to be sick of our opinion, right? So, here's Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy's thoughts on the Class of 2008.

Gundy won't tell you that Kye Staley wore a Ninja Turtles sweater with an OSU hat when he signed at the Guthrie library. He wore it to please the person that gave the sweater to him for Christmas.

You won't read how Memphis (Kingsbury), Tenn., tight end Jamal Mosley had a second-period test before he made his decision and signed with Oklahoma State.

You won't hear how it was Arkansas that was the only one of the other four schools that Johnny Thomas visited this past month that made him have any second thoughts about going to OSU.

What you will read is what Gundy thinks of his recruiting class. So, here goes.

Gundy on the OSU recruiting effort:
Our players were our best recruiters. Our assistant coaches and everybody involved in the recruiting process in this facility and in the community of Stillwater did a tremendous job for us. Our players in the end were the reason why we were able to sign what we believe is another really good class. On paper, because of the number and the specific areas we were able to address, I feel like this is the best class we've signed since I've been named the head coach. A lot of people get caught up in ratings and stars, and we all know if you just look back four or five years it is hard to really tell how these young men will pan out. For example with this class we will know a lot more in the season 2010 how successful we are at bringing this group in. Our coaches worked extremely hard.

Gundy on the class in general:
Everybody is aware of the (eight) mid-term enrollees. We were able to bring in several players on the defensive side of the ball that we hope can help us early in the season next year. Then we were able to sign one other junior college player in (Donald) Booker that we feel is mature enough and far enough along that he can help us early in the season next year. Other than that we were able to balance the class out. I think we were 13 on both offense and defense. We would have liked to sign one more linebacker. We took a shot on a couple of guys at the end and we couldn't get one, but other than that we were able to fill all of our needs by position.

That is like our offensive statistics (completely balanced). We were right on and I knew we were close there. The most important thing is to address the needs. We have a certain number of players that we want to keep by position and we are close there other than the linebacker spot. We will have to make up for that next fall.

Gundy's brief comments on the midterm enrollees:
Lucien is really doing well. He should be able to contribute early at the safety position.

Maurice Gray is doing fine.

Beau Johnson is going to be a big back. Beau is 215 pounds.

Markelle Martin, the high schooler from Wichita Falls, really runs well.

Swanson Miller is a guy that runs well. At times, your defensive linemen come in from junior college and if they are 300 pounders it takes them a considerable amount of time to get into shape where they can run. He runs well and stays up with the other guys. I was pleasantly surprised with his running.

Andrew Mitchell is a mature player that should factor in early because he is 23 years old. You can tell the way he carries himself around the football offices. He is also in good shape.

Jeremiah Price runs well, but he has a little further to go from a conditioning standpoint.

Those guys, we're very happy with the class. They seem to be excited and their continuity with the rest of the guys seems to be where we want it to be at this time. That is always a concern when you bring guys in at midterm how they mix with the rest of the team.

On paper now, but it is hard to say until those guys have been here for a couple of years. When I just look at the list…

Gundy on the rest of the class, the high school guys and Donald Booker, starting with Isiah Anderson:

Isiah Anderson was supposedly just moderately recruited. I'm just going off what people consider to be heavily recruited. There is a good chance he will run a 10.5 or 10.6 in the 100 meters this year. That's a track time that is pretty fast and he was very active.

Cooper Bassett is a guy we are very excited about. We feel like he gives us a lot at the position that we look for. I see him a lot like Billy Bajema, so we are really excited about him.

Justin Blackmon, when I was down there a week ago he was a little over 6-2 and 192 pounds, so you would have to think that he, at some time, is going to be 6-3 and 210-215 pounds. He moves around real well and he seems to be a good prospect.

Donald Booker is probably 5-10 and a half and he is 230 pounds. His coach really speaks very highly of him being a tough guy. He can play inside and from tackle to tackle and will go hit you. I don't know this story to be exact but the last game he played with a broken leg and stayed in there a while and played with it. When they realized it was broken they took him out.

We have had a lot of success down at Spring Westfield and with Coach Corby Meekins, who does a really good job, and the players that come out of that program are really mature and understand hard work and what it is to be successful. The numbers are right, Brodrick Brown is not very big. He is 5-8, 165, but he is very fast and has great quickness. What we really liked about him was his ability to come up and tackle for a small guy. We're looking forward to get him in here. He plays a lot like Daniel McLemore and what Vernon Grant did at that particular point in their career. They weren't very big but they played extremely hard.

Alfred DuPree is a linebacker that could very easily be 250 pounds some day. He comes out of Skyline (High School) and Coach Samples does a great job with those guys. He is a tough guy and in order for those guys to make it through his system you really have to push yourself and work hard. He can really run. In my opinion he will be 240 in a couple of years and be a real force for us inside. I like the way he moves side to side.

Jeremy Gray is a defensive end that could eventually grow into being an inside guy. He is 6-6 and I believe he is about 260 pounds now. If he could be 290 some day, and being 6-6, he could be really good inside. He had a slight knee injury during the season and missed three or four games, but he is a really good prospect because of his size. It is always encouraging for us to get the big guys that we can project will be the size that we need in order to compete in this league compared to bringing guys in and trying to beef them up all the time.

Justin Horton is a tight end out of Henderson and is 6-4, 220. The thing he does really well is he can run. He ran 4.6, low 4.6 multiple times in camp. For a guy that size that can run as really well as does has the chance to do what Brandon Pettigrew has done for us.

Victor Johnson brings to the table one of the things I like selfishly, he's a guy that will strike you. You get a highlight tape on him you will find one of the things he will come up and do is really hit you. We need young guys on this defense that will come in and hit you. Victor and Markelle Martin from Wichita Falls on their tape they will come running in and take a shot at somebody. It is similar to Mark Moore back in the '80s. Mark would miss a lot of tackles but when Mark hit you he would make up for it. I think Mark's influence made a difference on the defense and I think these two guys, Johnson and Martin, bring that to the table.

Travis Miller is extremely fast and undersized. He is about 5-10, 185 pounds, extremely quick and ability to stop and start and make people miss is very similar to Dantrell Savage. He is very similar except his straight on speed is faster than what Dantrell has.

Jamal Mosley we were able to sign in the morning. I didn't think we were going to be able to get him. Being from Memphis he was just two hours from other schools that were trying to get him. Coach Meacham did a tremendous job on him. He is 6-4, 240. I watched him play basketball last week and I saw him take five steps from one free-throw line down to the other free throw line before he shot a lay up. It kind of gives you an idea of how big his stride is and what kind of athlete he is. Jamal and Justin are both guys that kind of fit the Brandon Pettigrew mold. Now, obviously Brandon is 6-6, but they are athletic and we can develop them into blockers. We are really excited about those guys.

Nigel (Nicholas) is a really good prospect. Coach Meacham found out about him through a player had a relationship with that he coached down in the southeastern part of the country. They made us aware of his situation and we were able to get over and recruit him. Several people came in on him late. He flew under the radar for awhile and I'm not sure why because he is 6-3, 260 pounds and can really run. He is a basketball player and athletic and we are really excited about him. The interesting thing on him is that Glenn Spencer, who we hired to coach defensive line here was recruiting him and had him committed to another school for a considerable time before there was a coaching change there and no he is back reunited with him in the end.

Adrian Richards is a very tall, very fast wide receiver. We are excited about his ability to develop into a prototype wide receiver.

Quinn Sharp's statistics and ranking speak for themselves. Coach DeForest and Coack Luper, because it was his area, have had him committed for a long time. He stayed with us and handled the recruiting process very well. He has a lot of talent and is about a two- or three-handicap golfer. That is usually a good sign in kickers.

Kye Staley is 6-0, 215 and had a tremendous year and a state championship down at Guthrie. Coach Rafe Watkins was there with him and they handled the recruiting process very well. We are very excited about him. He is going to be a big back at about 225 pounds. By the time he burns off a little fat and then gets with Coach Glass and in really good condition he could still be 225 pounds. He has a really good future.

Johnny Thomas might be the steal of the draft for us. He is 6-1, 180 pounds now and can really run. He played tailback most of the time this year and defense the year before that. My personal opinion is he is tough and he can really run. We are really excited about him and people at his school feel very highly about him.

Gundy on the offensive line trio of DeJuan Davis, Patrick Hoog and Lane Taylor:
When you talk about the offensive linemen, the thing that excites me about them is traditionally we have brought in 260-270 pound guys and tried to get them up to 290. You know like David Koenig, who played for us this year, and played at 265 pounds and got pushed back and beat up a little bit but played as hard as he could. The encouraging thing is that these guys are 300 pounders coming in. We figure by the time they have a month off they will be 315 and then they'll come in with Coach (Rob) Glass and in a month or two months will be back down to 295 and have some girth to them. We think that will be an advantage for us. Coach Wickline does a tremendous job of evaluating offensive linemen and projecting them to fit the style of offense that we play. I'm excited about all of those guys.

GoPokes Top Stories