2. Defensive Speed and Athleticism - Coaches Bill Young, Glenn Spencer and Joe DeForest said it from nearly day one that they felt this defense lost nothing, maybe gained in the speed and athleticism departments. The defense proved it throughout camp.
3. Key Offensive Health - There were a few injuries this fall (remember Zac Robinson's hamstring last summer) but key performers like quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Kendall Hunter made every practice. Hunter missed Saturday due to a family matter back home, but those two guys need to stay healthy all season.
4. Freshmen Class as a Whole - You will find plenty of surprises from the class listed below, but the overall class, including linemen and others that will be redshirted, are strong as a group. With the prowess of the 2011 class that is in the works, this class and that one signed in February could be the foundation for a further jump up the college football ladder for Oklahoma State.
5. Richetti Jones - With the suspension of starting defensive end Jamie Blatnick almost all of camp because of an assault charge with a dangerous weapon just before camp, Jones was thrust to the top spot on the depth chart. He had prepared all summer to battle Blatnick for it but Jones made his point with his play even though he didn't have to battle Blatnick.
6. Brandon Weeden - He gets mentioned a lot now, but Weeden comes to work every day with a smile on his face. He is a big kid that is 26 years old and gets to play football and loves it. His attitude rubs off on teammates. We still believe he is going to be one of the biggest surprises in college football this season, but we won't be surprised.
7. The Food - Yes, the training table is once again worthy of mention. Defensive end Cooper Bassett told us that while he loses a lot of weight at practice it gets put back on every night with the food at the training table. OSU players should be very grateful as that kind of food hasn't always been a part of Cowboy football.
8. Grant Garner - Joe Wickline loves to have a center he can count on for a lot -- attitude, smarts, and to help hold the line together from the inside out. Wickline put Garner through the ringer in spring, including leaving him off the prespring depth chart. Garner passed and he has been a strong point in camp.
9. Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson - At Oklahoma State we have been conditioned to moan about not having defensive tackles a lot of the time. It is true that Jarka is a former high school linebacker recruited to play end at Oklahoma State and Donaldson is a junior college product, but the two have matured into really solid defensive tackles. Now, if they could only clone themselves.
10. Secondary - You may want to give credit to Dana Holgorsen on this one but it is Jason Jones and Joe DeForest that Bill Young gives the credit to as the secondary has become a lot more confident at covering pass receivers. The days of OSU DBs not looking back for the ball or failing to read receiver's eyes seem to be over. It has to help that they cover so much in practice, but this secondary seems to have more confidence in the fundamentals of pass coverage.