Walk-ons Among Cowboys That Report

STILLWATER - Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy welcomed 105 players as permitted by NCAA rules on Thursday for the start of fall camp in preparation for the 2010 football season and the opener with Washington State. The squad of 105 players can be expanded once school starts but it is logical that the contributors will come out of this group of players with just a few exceptions.

Three freshmen are known to have not cleared the NCAA Eligibility Center as Tommie Saunders is scheduled to play at Navarro Junior College. Linebackers Kris Catlin and Stephen Maeweather are expected to sit out and seek clearance for a January enrollment at Oklahoma State.

The situations with defensive tackle Christian Littlehead and defensive end Joe Okafor are still pending with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

One defection out of the class of newcomers came this summer when junior college cornerback Malcolm Murray, who participated in spring practice, decided to leave the squad.

With the exception of injured safety Daytawion Lowe, all the rest of the returning varsity players reported Thursday. Lowe injured a shoulder in summer workouts and is possibly going to miss the season, although he is still rehabbing the injury for now.

The group of veterans reporting included defensive end Jamie Blatnick and safety Victor Johnson. However, both of those players are subject to disciplinary measures from head coach Mike Gundy due to poor decisions and run-ins with the law late in the summer.

One of the exciting aspect of report day is the walk-ons. Oklahoma State has had a healthy history of contributions from walk-ons. Some like All-Big 12 fullback Bryant Ward and kicker Dan Bailey have gone on to earn scholarships.

Among the walk-ons returning this season that have seen game action for the Cowboys are former scholarship wide receiver Bo Bowling, running back Michael Roberts, offensive tackle Jordan Taormina, offensive guard Casey LaBrue, holder Wes Harlan, wide receiver Anthony Hill, linebacker Tyler Fields, safety Mathies Long, and defensive tackle Jarid King. Wide receivers like Colton Chelf and Nick Rockwell, running back Grant Goodwin, safety Kyle Hale, and defensive tackle Andrew Smith have shown promise.

As for the new walk-ons there are some good ones that figure to jump in and possibly help some this season. The majority of that help could come at linebacker with three new walk-ons reporting, including Tyler Johnson, a 2004 All-State football player at Haskell, Okla.

Johnson has been toiling in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim minor league system since signing with the Angels after being drafted in the 12th round of the 2004 MLB Draft. The 6-2, 225-pounder had signed with Tulsa before going pro in baseball in 2004. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards and made 109 tackles his senior season at Haskell.

In baseball, he hit a career .244 in the minors with 42 home runs and 185 RBI. His best season came in 2009 at Lake Erie in the Frontier League when he hit .277 with six home runs and 29 RBI in a half season. Johnson has not been timed in the forty but is in his athletic peak at 24 years old. Brandon Weeden has company as an old baseballer on the squad.

Johnson visited Oklahoma State in December of 2003 when he was being recruited and Go Pokes filed this report after his visit. He was also recruited by the likes of Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Kansas State.

Report from GoPokes.com from Dec. 2003:
"It went good," said Johnson, who said everything when asked what was so good. "The food was good. In fact, that's what I did a lot of the time was eat. We really tore it up. Pagitte McGee (OSU linebacker) was my host showing me around, but we split up a lot and I had other players and coaches that I got to meet and they showed me around some."

Johnson was an unofficial visitor at a lot of OSU games this season as he was rushing for over 1,100 yards and making 106 tackles for Haskell High School.

"I am definitely considering OSU, and I may make my decision pretty soon," said Johnson, who said he was also looking at possibly visiting Tulsa and TCU but has not set dates yet.

Johnson also said he is looking at majoring in graphic design and added that OSU has several majors in that field of study.

Teddy Johnson is no relation to Tyler, but the 5-11, 219-pound linebacker out of Coppell, Texas has an Oklahoma State pedigree with both parents being OSU graduates.

Johnson was an All-District 5A-6 linebacker for the Coppell Cowboys and in the spring of his senior year decided to try wrestling. Gundy may have to worry about wrestling coach John Smith stealing him. With no previous wrestling experience, Johnson, known for his fierce tackles in football, wrestled at 215 pounds and finished first in district and third at the UIL state championships.

A third linebacker walk-on is 6-2, 228-pound Zach Fullingim out Tulsa (Lincoln Christian), Okla. Fullingim earned All-District honors in 7-2A with 131 total tackles and 65 unassisted. He also had a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery, and a fumble caused. He visited OSU and Texas Tech on game days.

Tuttle's Bobby Stonebraker was probably the best kicker in the state as he was perfect on PATs at 52-of-52 last season as a senior. He kicked 6-of-7 field goals with a long of 53 yards. Of his 62 kickoffs, 52 were in the end zone and 47 were out of the end zone. The 6-1, 180-pound Stonebraker is a former soccer player that can also punt.

Finally, Andrew Suter is coming in to help at deep snapper where there is a definite need for a backup behind starter Marc Yerry. The 6-3, 272-pound Suter runs a 5.1 and was an All-District 23-5A offensive lineman, deep snapper, and academic honoree at Fort Bend (Clements), Texas. He was named to perstigious "Top 12" snappers at Chris Sailer Kicking national competition under the tutelage of snap instructor Chris Rubio. Current OSU deep snapper Marc Yerry and former snapper Zach Allen were also members of Sailer Kicking's "Top 12." Suter has a 345-pound bench press max, 450 squat max, 27-inch vertical, and was a baseball letterman and National Honor Society member in high school.

All of the new additions and the returning players go through their first practice at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

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