Cowboys Football: Depth Chart Analysis

The first official depth chart for the season was released Friday by Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy through the Media Relations Office and while there aren't many surprises, there are a few.

Let's start on offense where a late surge by redshirt freshman Clint Chelf, who by all those reviewing has been credited with a lot of improvement, has pulled even or a little ahead of true freshman Johnny Deaton for the back-up quarterback position.

Chelf gets a lot of second team reps and has looked strong. One Cowboys staffer said Chelf has improved his delivery, his release, and his arm strength. Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has also complimented Chelf more over the past two weeks. This should remain a very competitive position and if possible, you would love to get both some game action.

The receivers position will see Tracy Moore and Josh Cooper start at the inside positions, and on the outside look for Justin Blackmon and either Bo Bowling or Colton Chelf at the wide positions. Bowling and Chelf consistently catch the ball.

You don't see the name Hubert Anyiam on the depth chart as he was slow coming off his injury and has not impressed the coaches with his performance in practice or scrimmages. The improved speedster Isaiah Anderson backs up Blackmon and a suprise, senior walk-on Anthony Hill backs up Cooper at one inside position.

You know who the running backs are, in order, Kendall Hunter, Jeremy Smith and freshman Joseph Randle. At fullback, when they are in there, you have the punishing Bryant "Stillwater" Ward and David Paulsen.

On the offensive line, Grant Garner anchors at center and he has had a tremendous camp. Joe Wickline has to be proud of Garner. The guards are returning starter Lane Taylor on the right side and another player due congratulations on the left side in Jonathan Rush, who twice has earned starting status only to be injured. Rush needs to stay healthy and collect the rewards of his hard work this time.

Nick Martinez is the left tackle filling the huge imprint left by Russell Okung and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M product Levy Adcock is the right tackle.

There are some interesting developments at the backup positions as Air Force transfer Evan Epstein holds on to the center backup. Redshirt freshman Brandon Webb wins the backup left guard position. Anthony Morgan backs up Taylor.

Tackles are young on the second line with redshirt freshman Parker Graham on the left side and true freshman Daniel Koenig, the third of the Koenig brothers, may become the only one not to redshirt.

Left tackle
75 Nick Martinez (6-4, 315, Jr, Floresville, TX)
71 Parker Graham (6-7, 285 RFr, Webb City, MO)
Left guard
70 Jonathan Rush (6-4, 308, Jr, Killeen, TX)
51 Brandon Webb (6-3, 316, RFr, Owasso, OK)
74 Grant Garner (6-3, 291, Jr, Mesquite, TX)
60 Evan Epstein (6-3, 282, So, McKinney, TX)
Right guard
68 Lane Taylor (6-3, 315, So, Arlington, TX)
65 Anthony Morgan (6-3, 310, Sr, Lancaster, TX)
Right tackle
73 Levy Adcock (6-5, 318, Jr, Claremore, OK)
58 Daniel Koenig (6-5, 265, Fr, Cape Coral, FL)
Wide receiver
86 Bo Bowling (5-9, 183, Sr, Tonkawa, OK) -or-
83 Colton Chelf (5-9, 165, Jr, Enid, OK)
Inside receiver
25 Josh Cooper (5-11, 188, Jr, Mustang, OK)
19 Anthony Hill (5-11, 194, Sr, Kansas City, KS)
Inside receiver
87 Tracy Moore (6-1, 230, So, Tulsa, OK) -or-
14 Justin Horton (6-3, 238, So, Henderson, TX)
Wide receiver
81 Justin Blackmon (6-1, 205, So, Ardmore, OK)
82 Isaiah Anderson (5-10, 168, So, Wichita Falls, TX)
37 Bryant Ward (5-11, 237, Sr, Stillwater, OK)
30 David Paulsen (6-3, 251, So, Marietta, GA)
Running back
24 Kendall Hunter (5-8, 200, Sr, Tyler, TX)
31 Jeremy Smith (5-10, 203, RFr, Tulsa, OK)
1 Joseph Randle (6-0, 193, Fr, Wichita, KS)
3 Brandon Weeden (6-4, 219, Jr, Edmond, OK)
8 Johnny Deaton (6-2, 192, Fr, Sand Springs, OK) -or-
10 Clint Chelf (6-1, 202, RFr, Enid, OK)

The development in the Payne County Courthouse Friday with Jamie Blatnick pleading guilty and receiving a deferred sentence on now a misdemeanor assault charge has Blatnick on the depth chart backing up Richetti Jones at defensive end. The inference with no comment from Gundy or his defensive staff is Blatnick will play.

Ugo Chinasa holds down the (Leo) end position and is backed up by Darius Hart.

There is no surprise that Shane Jarka and Chris Donaldson start at the defensive tackle positions, but the backups are very interesting and also late developing in camp as Davidell Collins backs up Donaldson and, as expected, Nigel Nicholas is behind Jarka. There are no third teamers listed but expect the rotation to include some help from Cooper Bassett and Anthony Rogers.

At linebacker, there are no surprises as Tyler Johnson, the baseball player now back in football after six years of minor league ball for the Angels, backs up defensive leader Orie Lemon at middle linebacker. Justin Gent, who starts on the weakside could also play at the mike. At the "star" linebacker James Thomas starts and freshman Shaun Lewis edged fellow frosh Joe Mitchell for the backup there.

The secondary is, as expected, Brodrick Brown and Andrew McGee at corners and Johnny Thomas and Markelle Martin at safeties. The backups include freshman Devin Hedgepeth and Justin Gilbert at corners and another freshman Deion Imade and veteran Victor Johnson as safeties. Johnson, of course, missed part of camp as he was punished for off the field summer transgressions.

Defensive end
99 Richetti Jones (6-3, 270, Jr, Dallas, TX)
50 Jamie Blatnick (6-3, 263, Jr, Celina, TX)
Defensive tackle
95 Chris Donaldson (6-1, 296, Sr, Anderson, SC)
98 Davidell Collins (6-5, 268, Fr, Bearden, AR)
Defensive tackle
46 Shane Jarka (6-3, 298, Sr, Sugar Land, TX)
89 Nigel Nicholas (6-3, 277, So, Rossville, GA)
Defensive end
91 Ugo Chinasa (6-5, 255, Sr, Richardson, TX)
92 Darius Hart (6-5, 247, Sr, Poplarville, MS)
STAR linebacker
22 James Thomas (5-11, 216, Jr, LaMarque, TX)
11 Shaun Lewis (5-11, 212, Fr, Missouri City, TX)
Middle linebacker
41 Orie Lemon (6-1, 243, Sr, Houston, TX)
40 Tyler Johnson (6-1, 236, Fr, Haskell, OK)
Weakside linebacker
42 Justin Gent (6-1, 225, Sr, Irving, TX)
33 LeRon Furr (6-2, 230, RFr, Columbus, GA)
6 Andrew McGee (6-0, 190, Sr, Magee, MS)
18 Devin Hedgepeth (5-11, 185, Fr, Derby, KS)
Strong safety
10 Markelle Martin (6-1, 202, Jr, Wichita Falls, TX)
28 Deion Imade (5-11, 192, Fr, Rowlett, TX)
Free safety
12 Johnny Thomas (5-11, 202, Jr, Texas City, TX)
3 Victor Johnson (6-0, 191, Jr, Waco, TX)
19 Brodrick Brown (5-8, 188, So, Houston, TX)
4 Justin Gilbert (6-0, 194, Fr, Huntsville, TX)

Special Teams
Dan Bailey returns at kicker, Quinn Sharp is back to punt, Marc Yerry is the snapper for the second seaosn in a row, and Wes Harlan holds.

Returns were a big discussion among fans and look for Justin Gilbert on punt returns and Johnny Thomas and Kendall Hunter on kickoff returns.

You will also see a lot of youngsters on the cover units and a few on returns as well. Gundy has said some 10 freshmen or so are likely to see the field in the opener.

Not a lot of shocking developments but enough surprises to make it interesting as the Cowboys get ready for Washington State next Saturday.

13 Quinn Sharp (6-1, 194, So, Mansfield, TX)
95 Dan Bailey (6-0, 197, Sr, Mustang, OK)
Place kicker
95 Dan Bailey (6-0, 197, Sr, Mustang, OK)
13 Quinn Sharp (6-1, 194, So, Mansfield, TX)
Long snapper
69 Marc Yerry (6-2, 250, Jr, Waxhaw, NC)
53 Andrew Suter (6-1, 281, Fr, Sugar Land, TX)
11 Wes Harlan (5-7, 171, So, Houston, TX)
13 Quinn Sharp (6-1, 194, So, Mansfield, TX)
Punt returners
4 Justin Gilbert (6-0, 194, Fr, Huntsville, TX)
25 Josh Cooper (5-11, 188, Jr, Mustang, OK)
Kickoff returners
12 Johnny Thomas (5-11, 202, Jr, Texas City, TX)
24 Kendall Hunter (5-8, 200, Sr, Tyler, TX)

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