Spring Football: Several Faces In New Places

STILLWATER - Again there is very little to report from closed practice as the Oklahoma State Cowboys were on the floor of Boone Pickens Stadium for two hours and 15 minutes with their fifth of the 15 practices for spring football. The final practice is, of course, the Orange-White Game which is open to the public and kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 17.

The Cowboys will wrap up their second week of spring practice on Friday with a closed workout and then will meet with the media following the practice. The team is scheduled to scrimmage next Wednesday and will host high school coaches from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri on Friday, April 2, for their annual coaches clinic.

We do know that Wednesday's practice served as another installation day for new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and his spread offensive system. It will be good to get a further update from Holgorsen on how that installation is going following the Friday practice.

With the change in the offense and the different personnel that has been the primary cause for some familiar faces to wind up playing in new positions. On offense, David Paulsen is playing some "H" receiver, but he is also still seeing time in the backfield when the situation calls for a bigger back.

All-Big 12 fullback Bryant Ward of Stillwater, who Holgorsen really bragged on early in spring practice and following the offseason workouts, is also playing a big back role. Holgorsen said, "we will find roles for guys like that that are special players and put out with that kind of effort. There is a place for those kind of guys in this offense."

The shuffling has conitnued some at the receiver positions but most of the guys either know they are inside or outside, with just a few playing a little of both.

On the offensive line the shuffling will continue throughout the spring and into the fall camp. That is the way offensive line coach Joe Wickline likes to work. The only returning starter on the line, Lane Taylor, has seen plenty of action at both center and right guard. There is no telling how many positions some of the linemen have seen so far.

The biggest change and adaptation that has been made has been the move to defense for former tight ends Wilson Youman and Cooper Bassett. According to defensive coordinator Bill Young, who also coaches the defensive line as his position, both Youman and Bassett have made big strides and are playing pretty comfortable on defense. Both players played defense in high school. In fact, both were recruited by schools to play on defense. Young said he recruited Bassett out of Tuttle, Okla., to play defensive end at Kansas.

"It hasn't taken any time at all for them to adapt," said Young. "I really think those two are going to help us a lot. The more we can rotate on the defensive line at tackle or end the better. Were more thin at tackle, but keeping fresh legs outside helps too."

Again, the Cowboys are off the field on Thursday but back on for the final practice this week on Friday and we'll look forward to the chance to get updates from Mike Gundy, his assistant coaches, and players after the Friday practice.

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