Hello Tight Ends, Good To See You Guys

Before Saturday afternoon in Waco the tight end position at Oklahoma State had not caught a touchdown pass since Brandon Pettiegrew's scoring reception against Texas in 2007. That is 24 games that the tight ends went scoreless. That ended Saturday when tight ends Wilson Youman and Cooper Bassett each caught a touchdown pass and together combined for four catches for 51 yards.

One of the real secrets to what has been going on with the Cowboys since losing star running back Kendall Hunter to an ankle/foot injury and Dez Bryant to being ineligible for lying to the NCAA in their investigation into former NFL player Deion Sanders is that head coach Mike Gundy and the offensive staff have put their weekly scheming into overdrive.

The Cowboys staff has been plotting how to make up for the loss of Hunter and Bryant and this week the tight ends took their turn.

On the Cowboys first touchdown in the first quarter, Zac Robinson zipped the ball into the end zone and starting tight end Wilson Youman made a nice grab surrounded by defenders.

"Yeah, I appreciate it," said Youman accepting a postgame compliment on the scoring catch. "We worked hard all week on blocking and on stuff like that (touchdown catch), but if we catch passes it's a plus. We have to get our blocking down and then we can help out with the passing game some."

In the second half Youman got to be a cheerleader as redshirt freshman tight end Cooper Bassett out of Tuttle made a touchdown grab as Robinson hit him in the end zone for a 19-yard score on the first drive of the second half.

"I was real fired up when I saw my boy Coop get in the end zone," added Youman. "It was real nice to see that."

Fired up, Wouman may have been but he could not be as fired up as the recipient.

"I mean being a lifelong Cowboy fan, ever since I've been playing football I've dreamed of playing for the orange and black and now that I've scored a touchdown it is a feeling that I can't describe," said Cooper Bassett still smiling from ear to ear as he also got his first catch of his career earlier in the game. "I wouldn't trade it for the world. Zac threw it right where it needed to be. Coaches called a great play so it wasn't just me."

"A number of players that contributed that hadn't contributed earlier in their career," said Gundy of the tight ends and wide variety of contributors on offense.

"All we're concerned about is that they play hard and work hard for each other. It is awesome for all of them, and what people need to know is that these guys practice all the time and rep things over and over and over again. That is what it is all about is seeing those guys contribute and smile and grow. When you see a young man with a big smile on his face, as a coach, then you know he is having fun and that is what it is all about."

It wasn't lost on Gundy or the tight ends which team is on the schedule this week. "We've got Texas and we'll be ready," said Bassett.

"I'm sure there will be lot of excitement, playing arguably the best team in college football, depending on who you ask," started Gundy. "I would expect out players to prepare and to practice very well and then turn it loose on Saturday."

Turn it loose with the tight ends, the running backs, Zac Robinson, the wide receivers, offensive line, defense, special teams... you'd better turn it loose with everything you've got next Saturday. Well, after Waco the tight ends showed they can and will make plays. Welcome back to the end zone guys!

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