Pogi to leave Cowboys

Backup QB Aso Pogi is expected to enroll at the University of Central Oklahoma by the end of the week. The senior has his eye on more playing time to finish out his collegiate career.

Pogi sets sights on more playing time

Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Backup quarterback Aso Pogi is leaving Oklahoma State and is expected to transfer to Central Oklahoma, according to published reports Tuesday.

Pogi is expected to enroll at UCO, where he hopes to get more playing time, and be in classes on Monday, then participate in spring drills with the Bronchos, two newspapers reported.

The former Cowboys starter, who ranks fifth on the OSU career passing list, spent the 2002 season as the backup to Josh Fields. He played in eight of the Cowboys' 13 games, attempting only 40 passes, completing 17 for 269 yards and one touchdown, with four interceptions.

Pogi could not be reached for comment, but Cowboys coach Les Miles said he was "kind of'' surprised by Pogi's decision.

"The guy wants to play a lot of football, and he's just not going to play a lot of football at our place,'' Miles told the Tulsa World. "We'd like to have him stay and graduate. We surely do appreciate the things he has done for Oklahoma State. But he's a competitive guy and he wants to start, and that's just not going to happen on our football team.''

Pogi, as a redshirt freshman in 2000, took over for an injured Tony Lindsay midway through the season. He went on to make 17 consecutive starts at quarterback for the Cowboys, but was relieved by Fields in wins against Baylor and Oklahoma to end the 2001 season.

An intense battle for the job was predicted, before Pogi suffered injuries to his hand, fingers, elbow and shoulder in a December 2001 car crash. A slow recovery hampered him last spring. And Fields confirmed his status as the starter during August two-a-days, then with a record-breaking season.

"It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to cope with,'' Pogi said during the season.

John Talley, a mentor of Pogi's through Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said Pogi was impressed by the experience of Josh Blankenship, who was benched at Tulsa in 2001 and transferred to Eastern Washington.

"Josh went to Eastern Washington and put up big numbers and now has an invitation to an NFL combine workout,'' Talley told The Daily Oklahoman.

Blankenship passed for 3,243 yards and 30 touchdowns -- both Eastern Washington records -- and was named Big Sky Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Gundy said he understands Pogi's decision.

"You can't blame a guy for wanting to get on the field and play his senior year,'' Gundy told the Oklahoman.

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