Cowboy Football Notebook

As previously reported by Go Pokes, both freshman defensive tackle Christian Littlehead of Tahlequah (Sequoyah), Okla., and freshman defensive end Joseph Okafor of Bellaire, Texas, are eligible through the NCAA Eligibility Center. Both will report to Stillwater later this week and get all the preliminaries out of the way and be ready to join the team for practice next week after classes begin.

Mike Gundy informed us that running back Kye Staley is thinking about his football future and discussing it with family including his mother.

Staley put on a courageous rehab following a severe knee injury last August and started practice with the team, but suffered a setback a week ago Sunday. Staley has not practiced since that Sunday where he tweaked his knee.

Gundy also reported that starting offensive guard Lane Taylor suffered an ankle sprain but should be back next week. The absence of Taylor is allowing the depth to be expanded as both Jonathan Rush and redshirt freshman Brandon Webb are working at the position.

Finally, DeJuan Davis is back over on the offensive side working at offensive guard. Defensive coordinator Bill Young reported that Davis is on offense where he can help the team better.

The arrival of Littlehead and Okafor will help the numbers on the defensive line, and Young reported that freshman Davidell Collins (6-6, 265) is working at both defensive tackle and defensive end.

D Is For Donaldson
D is for Donaldson and defense, and in Saturday's scrimmage they were one in the same as senior defensive tackle Chris Donaldson broke through on the pass rush for two tags on the quarterbacks and as a result two safeities for the defense.

The 6-1, 299-pound Donaldson worked very hard over the summer in getting ready for a season where he and fellow starting defensive tackle Shane Jarka may have to play a huge amount of snaps because of depth issues.

"I am looking forward to having an explosive year," said Donaldson. "I am looking to make a lot of plays and have a lot of good times on the field. I am looking forward to getting together with my teammates every Saturday and playing together."

Asked early in camp how many snaps he can play without feeling a need to get another tackle in for fresh legs, Donaldson said as many as it takes but admitted that you feel like you start slowing down after about eight plays.

The South Carolina native by way of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College gives a lot of credit to his position coach and defensive coordinator Bill Young.

"Coach Young is one of the best coaches I have ever played for," said Donaldson. "He has taught me a lot. He has brought a lot of my game out of me." Calls Chinasa Top 10 named defensive end Ugo Chinasa as one of the top 10 defensive linemen in the Big 12 for this season. Chinasa is coming off a season where he had 30 tackles, nine tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks.

The 6-5, 260-pound senior is also considered a top NFL prospect off the OSU team for next season along with Kendall Hunter. Chinasa recently stated his goals for the season and according to those ESPN is selling him short.

"Get double-digit sacks, All-Big 12 and probably All-American," said Chinasa.

I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed
For movie trivia buffs, the quote above is from the movie, "Top Gun," but it applies to the Oklahoma State defense especially this fall camp.

On media day, linebackers coach Glenn Spencer told us that after watching tape of the first practice in shoulder pads he had told defensive coordinator Bill Young that they had not lost anything in the speed department from last season. Associate head coach and safeties coach Joe DeForest believes this is the fastest defense he has seen at Oklahoma State.

One player that improves the speed average is freshman cornerback Justin Gilbert. The Huntsville, Texas product told the fans that were Cowboy Extreme Campers that he runs a 4.28 in the forty.

That is world class time and it was on display when he chased down running back Jeremy Smith in the open field in Saturday's scrimmage. Smith looked to be gone until the blurr from the other side of the field got there.

"True, he is on my team," said Smith of Gilbert after the scrimmage. "With him, the speed of the game gets a little faster and you have to give our defense credit. He is someone you have to adjust to and the defense did a great job."

"He has a lot of closing speed," said starting strong safety Markelle Martin. "He still has a long way to go technique-wise. He is a great cover guy and brings a lot to the secondary. He will get a lot of chances on defense and special teams and I am really excited to see what all he does this season."

Another place to get excited about seeing Gilbert is special teams where I think you can count on seeing him returning kickoffs and he might also dabble at returning punts. Gilbert did return a kickoff the distance on Saturday in the scrimmage.

The Scouts Are Always Prepared
This was the final day of camp for NFL scouts to attend practice and work in the Oklahoma State coaches office. The scouts will be back later in the season, but as you might imagine there was a solid number of them in attendance on Tuesday. On hand were scouts from the Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, and world champion New Orleans Saints.

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