Oklahoma State kicks off its spring session on Monday. The Cowboys return 10 starters on offense and seven on defense as well as both starting kicking specialists. Spring practice will culminate in the annual Spring Game on April 16th.
Here’s a position-by-position look at Mike Gundy’s roster this spring.
Mason Rudolph will begin his junior season in the fall as one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12 after throwing for 3,770 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2015. John Kolar comes off a redshirt season to back up Rudolph and could potentially carve out a role similar to J.W. Walsh’s last season. Walk-ons Taylor Cornelius and Gabe Neph complete the quarterback depth chart this spring.
Chris Carson, Rennie Childs, Raymond Taylor and Jeff Carr get this spring to prove themselves capable of toting the rock in Stillwater. An experienced Barry J. Sanders arrives in June and among them Gundy looks for three leaders to emerge.
Blake Jarwin was All-Big 12 first team last year to lead the tight end/full back position. Zac Veatch returns and will feature prominently as will Jordan Frazier. Former wide receiver Cole Neph joins the group this spring.
Once again the Cowboys have tons of depth at receiver. Obviously James Washington and Marcell Ateman have proven their worth on the field and Jhajuan Seales has been an up-and-down contributor the past two seasons. Jalen McCleskey was a huge factor as a true freshman in 2015 and Austin Hays and Chris Lacy are reliable route runners in reserve.
Believe it or not, Oklahoma State will have the most experienced offensive line in the Big 12 this fall. Zach Crabtree and Victor Salako anchor the tackle position but a big addition trying to play his way into the mix: juco transfer Larry Williams.
The Cowboys are stacked on the interior. Vincent Taylor, Mote Maile and Darrion Daniels anchored the DT position last season and Vili Leveni returns from injury. Replacing Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean will be tough but Jordan Brailford and Jarell Owens have shown flashes of brilliance in limited opportunity in 2015. Cole Walterscheid is another name to watch at defensive end.
Chad Whitener returns at middle linebacker and Jordan Burton is also back to make plays on the edge. OSU lost a good one in outside linebacker Seth Jacobs who retired early due to numerous injuries. Devante Averette figures to replace Jacobs but there is a stable of horses waiting to contribute here: Gyasi Akem, Justin Phillips and Kevin Henry to name a few.
Ashton Lampkin returns as a starter but the Cowboys will have to find someone to fill the void left by Kevin Peterson. Ramon Richards has the most experience but Darius Curry, Bryce Balous and newcomer Malik Kearse will make their cases for playing time this spring.
All-Big 12 free safety Jordan Sterns headlines another stacked position on the Oklahoma State defense. Tre Flowers blossomed in 2015 (sorry for the pun) and transfer Derrick Moncrief was once to top junior college safety in the nation. Kenneth Edison-McGruder showed his raw talent in limited playing time as a true freshman last season and veterans Jerel Morrow and Dylan Harding add to the depth.