Cowboys Look Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was standing talking with a visitor but he kept asking each player what they weighed as they walked by and into the locker room Tuesday. Defensive lineman Derek Burton definitely looks bigger, Kye Staley looks a little more trim, new offensive guard Anthony Morgan has shed a few pounds since his arrival, and even quarterback Zac Robinson is up to 220 pounds.

Gundy's interest may have something to do with a new emphasis in the offseason program. Gundy trusts strength and conditioning coordinator Rob Glass completely. The concern after last season was not the speed or conditioning of the team. They were as fast or faster and better conditioned than opponents.

However, there were times the Cowboys got pushed around. Short-yardage situations and goal-line scenarios haven't always played out the way Oklahoma State would prefer. A little bigger and a little stronger is what Gundy and his staff are looking for, and it appears that is what Glass and his staff are delivering.

Tuesday's competition day was a good day to get a look at the 86 players that were out on the field at Boone Pickens Stadium. Dez Bryant, with his left knee coming off minor surgery, and Deron Fontenot, coming off a patella tendon reconstruction, were on the stationary bikes. But the rest of the squad was involved in the fun games like the sled pull, tire roll, tug-of-war, and agility drill races that make up competition day.

How about this result, wide receiver Hubert Anyaim edging speedy cornerback Perrish Cox in 15-yard ladders drill. Anyiam was really pushing it Tuesday and he has size and speed.

While on the subject of wide receivers, expect to see a more physical Josh Cooper and Justin Blackmon is as good looking as it gets. He appears to be around 6-2, and close to 200 pounds. The receivers as a group look more physical and Adrian Richards is another guy that flies. In the gassers at the beginning of the workout Richards was flying out ahead of the group. Richards, Anyiam, Blackmon, and Isaiah Anderson have track-type speed.

Bryant stayed on the sidelines on the bike and helped entertain a special guest as recent 2010 quarterback commitment Johnny Deaton was in Stillwater watching the workout. Deaton, dressed in a Sand Springs football T-shirt, looks every bit the 6-3, 185 pounds he is reported to be.

The running backs look good. You can tell that Kendall Hunter is refreshed and has the spring back in his legs. Kye Staley does look good and appears to be around 215 to 220 pounds. As usual Keith Toston is in great shape. He works very hard at his training.

The offensive line looks similar to last season. Brady Bond and Russell Okung are towers and move really well. Speaking of moving well, Noah Franklin was running well and he is built. Noah has to be, just based on appearance, one of the strongest players on the squad.

Earlier we mentioned Morgan, and he has lost close to 15 pounds since arriving and offensive line coach Joe Wickline would like to get him around 310 to 315 pounds for the season. There are a lot of young offensive linemen that you have to look forward to seeing this spring.

The tight ends are a picture of near perfection physically. Cooper Bassett is really strong and moving well based on his work on the ladders drill. Jamal Mosley and Wilson Youman both look good. Mosley appears to be a little bigger than last season. Justin Horton is something to see as he is close to 240 pounds but can fly. Tight end, as we have said before, may be the most competitive position on the team this spring.

Quarterback is well taken care of as Zac Robinson says he feels great and his throwing Tuesday showed a live arm that is rested as he was zipping it pretty good while throwing with Brandon Weeden.

Defensively, the linemen look bigger and stronger. At defensive end Richetti Jones looks really big in the upper body. Newcomer Darius Hart is right there with Ugo Chinasa with rangy size and power. Jamie Blatnick is a big player up top and looks even more mature physically.

I think you will see Derek Burton playing at tackle. You also need to see Nigel Nicholas and the recently returned to the fold Jeremy Gray, as they are huge. Another player you need to see is Swanson Miller, who looks like he is now over 300 pounds. Miller is big. You have to hope bigger is better and at defensive tackle it should be.

Along with tight end, look for linebacker to be very competitive as player like Orie Lemon, Patrick Lavine, Tolu Moala, Donald Booker and Justin Gent all look more physical, bigger, stronger. You can tell they all want to play. There is a little bit of an urgency for the linebackers.

Maybe the biggest change physically has come in a trio of defensive backs. Markelle Martin, Victor Johnson and Johnny Thomas all look more mature after the offseason following their freshman seasons. All three are now at safety and Joe DeForest is eager to get to coaching the young bucks.

The proof in size and strength and whether the young bucks and the old veterans are ready will begin to be answered on March 9 -- the first day of spring football.

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