Cowboy Football: Spring Practice Notebook

Notes and quotes from Oklahoma State's first spring workout.

New Running Backs Coach is Old School
Robert Gillespie is apparently a coach that believes in teaching new dogs old tricks to borrow and change a familiar phrase. According to Oklahoma State head equipment manager Wes Edwards it had been two years since the Cowboys had a set of ropes on the practice field but Monday there was Gillespie, a former Florida Gators and Washington Redskins running back and recent South Carolina running backs coach, running his backs through the ropes. Edwards said they had to buy new ropes because the old ones wouldn't have held up.

Gillespie was known as a running back that was an outstanding pass receiver when he was a player, and during Monday's practice you saw his running backs tossing medicine balls at each other. That's another old school football drill. Vince Lombardi would love this guy.

117 Strong with New Walk-ons
That's right, 117 players suited up Monday, which has to be a record for the Cowboys in spring football. There were nine new walk-ons out there for the first time on Monday. One new walk-on is quarterback Trey Munden. Munden started last season at NEO A&M Junior College. He rushed for 69 yards and threw for 1,255 yards with 6 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Munden is a former Verdegris High School prep star.

Many of the walk-ons won't be back to report in the fall. The Cowboys have 19 scholarship freshmen reporting this summer and at least one recruited walk-on in Tulsa Cascia Hall deep snapper Conner Sinko. That is 20 players right there that will make up the 105 players that are allowed by NCAA rule to report for fall camp in August. That means by simple addition and subtraction that 32 players currently practicing won't be invited to the start of fall camp in August.

Brown Gone and Back at Baseball, Maybe?
There's one experiment that didn't last long as Cowboy baseball outfielder and former Florida Class 4A All-State wide receiver Dylan Brown did not make it to the first day of spring football practice. Brown has already checked in his football equipment and is assumed to be back with baseball.

"Gray" Area
Okay, as for sometimes on again and sometimes off again defensive tackle Jeremy Gray out of Sherman, Texas, head coach Mike Gundy said he is still on the roster. In fact, Gray was spotted at practice on Monday.

Gundy told the media he is being patient with Gray because the young redshirt freshmen is a little confused right now about what he really wants to do. He is a good young man, and hopefully will decide to continue to play because if he dedicates himself he has a chance to really be a factor in the program.

Beck Back for Spring Break
Former Cowboys defensive coordinator and now University of Toledo head coach Tim Beckman was on the sidelines watching practice with his son Tyler. Beckman was back in Stillwater helping move his family out of their house which they sold in three days on the market.

Beckman's wife, Kim, and the family will stay around until the end of school and then join Tim in Toledo. Tyler, who was a senior football player at Stillwater High School this past season, has recently signed and will play football at the University of Findlay (Ohio). That makes a third generation of Beckman playing at Findlay. Tim Beckman seems very happy and says things are going great at Toledo.

Another notable coach was on hand at practice as former Kansas State offensive coordinator Greg Peterson was in attendance. Peterson recruited and had current OSU quarterback Zac Robinson committed to the Wildcats before he changed his mind and decided on Oklahoma State. Peterson has forgiven as he and OSU head coach Mike Gundy were conversing good naturedly before the practice. Peterson is currently offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Colorado State University.

Number Change for Kye
There are always number changes from season to season but a lot of times they go unnoticed for awhile. It was easy to spot a number 9 at the running back position and with wide receiver Jeremy Broadway gone former Guthrie and Oklahoma High School Plyer of the Year Kye Staley has switched to that digit. Staley wore number 1 at Guthrie and appears to be more comfortable in a single digit.

Pettigrew Ailing and Won't Run Pro Day
Wednesday is Pro Day at Oklahoma State but the word at practice on Monday was that former OSU tight end Brandon Pettigrew won't run for the pro scouts on Wednesday due to a slight hamstring injury. Pettigrew will be at Pro Day to talk with any NFL scouts or coaches.

Expected to work out for the scouts will be punter Matt Fodge, offensive linemen David Washington and Steve Denning, defensive linemen Jeray Chatham and Tonga Tea, cornerback Jacob Lacey, and safety Quinton Moore.

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