OSU Football: Spring Game About Quarterback, Cornerback Competition

Friday, April 14th 2017, 1:42 pm
By: News 9

Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State are set to host Cowboy fans for the annual Spring Game, to be played at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The game will consist of four 10-minute quarters with no kick or punt returns allowed. Gundy says the Cowboys will run around 70 plays due to limited personnel.

“Rudolph will only go a couple of series and we'll get a couple of other quarterbacks in there, and the same at other positions,” Gundy said. “In all three phases, we want it to be a clean game where the fans can see some of the newer players and get excited about the upcoming season.”

OSU doesn’t have a backup quarterback yet and Gundy seems to think the competition will last until fall camp. The candidates – junior Taylor Cornelius (Orange Team), redshirt freshman Keondre Wudtee (Black Team), sophomore John Kolar (Black Team) and freshman Jelani Woods (Black Team) – will get opportunities this weekend to get a leg up on winning the job.

Cornelius won the job last fall and saw mop up action in two games, throwing for 64 yards and logging 28 rushing yards with a touchdown. Wudtee and Kolar have seen increased reps in practice this spring while Woods has been in Stillwater for less than a semester, so it’s unlikely he’s had time to jump up the depth chart.

Wide receiver is Oklahoma State’s deepest position, so both teams will have plenty of options to target. James Washington, Jalen McCleskey, Chris Lacy, Tyrell Alexander and Obi Obialo are on the Orange Team with Rudolph/Cornelius. Former five-star transfer Tyron Johnson and Marcell Ateman will be the primary targets for Wudtee/Kolar on the Black Team.

With Justice Hill sitting out and highly-touted freshmen Chuba Hubbard and JD King yet to arrive, the Cowboys are thin at running back. Jeff Carr and La’Darren Brown will split carries for the Orange Team and Jakeem Johnson and Ja’ron Wilson will handle it for the Black Team.

Defensively, the most interesting group to watch will be the young cornerbacks. The Orange Team gets sophomores A.J. Green, Madre Harper and Bryce Brown plus senior Malik Kearse. The Black Team will have the most experienced corner - senior Darius Curry - as well as youngsters Rodarius Williams, Lamarcus Morton and Bryce Balous. One or two of Curry, Green and Williams will end up starting this fall. Clemson graduate transfer Adrian Baker is expected to compete for a starting spot but won’t arrive until summer.

The Orange Team’s front seven looks like this – Jarell Owens, DeQuinton Osborne, Taaj Bakari and Cole Walterscheid up front with Chad Whitener, Calvin Bundage and Kevin Henry at linebacker. The Black Team has Jordan Brailford, Darrion Daniels, Cameron Murray and Trey Carter on the line with Justin Phillips, Kenneth Edison-McGruder and Gyasi Akem at linebacker but keep an eye on Black Team linebacker Patrick Macon, who was the Junior College Defensive Player of the Year last year for Arizona Western.

Along with Hill, receiver Dillon Stoner, defensive ends Tralund Webber and Vili Leveni, linebacker Brian Cisznewski and offensive linemen Zach Crabtree, Larry Williams, Tyler Moore, Deionte Noel and Jacob Clark will all sit out Saturday's scrimmage.