OSU football journal: Sean Gleeson's comfort level beginning to show through
STILLWATER — Sean Gleeson is five practices into his tenure as Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator, and while he says he’ll be learning on the job this spring, coach Mike Gundy has seen more from the 34-year-old former Princeton assistant.
“I think he knows more than what he is leading on,” Gundy said after Wednesday’s practice at the Sherman E. Smith Training Center. “We had a part of practice today where you call the plays with no script. I noticed the timing and the flow were somewhat normal, so I think he has a good idea of what we’re doing.
Gundy says Gleeson has brought some new quarterback drills to Stillwater.
“I never had drills when I coached quarterbacks," Gundy said. "I was always with somebody, that's just my flavor. He’s done some different things with drills that work with footwork and hands.”
As for the quarterbacks, Gundy is looking for fewer costly mistakes from freshman Spencer Sanders and senior Dru Brown as they share first-team work while competing for the starting job.
“They’re obviously making some mistakes, we’re correcting them and they should be getting better every day,” Gundy said. “They have ability. They can make a play if things break down. They’re very willing to learn and they’re competitive. It’s just not something you can hit the fast-forward button on.
“We’ve got enough guys to make plays, so we need them to function in our system and be able to distribute the ball in the right way without turning it over. That gives us the best chance for success.”
Cowboys using referees at all spring practices
Coming off one of OSU’s most penalty-filled seasons in Gundy’s tenure, the coach has increased his use of referees in spring practices.
“We have them here every day now,” Gundy said. “We’ve generally just had them at scrimmages. There’s three or four or five of them that we have coming now. Some of them want the work, but it’s also good for us. It gives us an idea where we’re at on offensive holding, defensive holding, things like that.”
OSU was penalized 89 times for 917 yards last season, with the big-yardage penalties being the most significant issue. OSU opponents were penalized 81 times for 682 yards.
Newcomer Thomas Harper impressing in early workouts
Gundy knows it’s way too early to project a true freshman into an on-field role next fall, but he has been impressed with one of his early enrollees, cornerback Thomas Harper.
The younger brother of junior linebacker Devin Harper, Thomas has shown his toughness and competitive drive.
“He’s made a few plays out here that are pretty impressive for a high school player — because he’s supposed to be in high school now,” Gundy said. “He’s competing out here. I don’t’ see that he’s really scared of anybody out here, and his physical ability seems like he’s gonna have a chance to maybe compete earlier than other people.
“Still way too early. We’ll know more in a month.”