OSU football: Three key summer storylines that aren't about the quarterback
STILLWATER — Everyone knows the biggest storyline surrounding Oklahoma State football is the ongoing quarterback competition.
But everything that could be written about the Spencer Sanders-Dru Brown duel so far has already been written, so let’s take a look at three notable issues facing the Cowboys as summer workouts arrive:
Closing out 2019 recruiting, narrowing focus on 2020 class
By virtue of some creative recruiting, OSU still has one opening under the 25-player limit for the 2019 recruiting class. That has allowed the coaches to scour the available transfer players still on the market.
They missed out on a linebacker/defensive end prospect on Saturday when Ventura College prospect Trennan Carlson committed to Utah. But the Cowboys still have room to work if they identify another player they want.
Of course, a lot of their focus has turned to the 2020 class, which has eight commitments already. OSU isn’t likely to be able to sign a full 25 in the class, because of the low number of seniors (12) on the current roster.
So the coaches have to be efficient in how they work to fill spots, but they’ve compiled a group of players they are very high on so far.
Kyle Junior, meet Rob Glass
Kyle Junior, the graduate transfer from Bowling Green, will only spend one summer in conditioning coach Rob Glass’ offseason program, but it could be a major difference-maker.
Junior was a 275-pound defensive tackle, which is sustainable in the MAC. At OSU, he’s going to be more of an edge rusher, and he has a goal of losing a little weight and adding some muscle to improve his quickness.
The Cowboys are going to get creative in how they use their defensive line, but if Junior can become a steady contributor at defensive end, it could make a big impact.
Making connections at wide receiver
The quarterback job won’t be won in player-led summer workouts.
But receivers can build stronger cases for themselves — if not with the coaches, with the quarterbacks.
Sanders and Brown have a growing familiarity with the veterans, Tylan Wallace, Dillon Stoner and Landon Wolf.
Playing time at the other outside receiver spot is going to be more of a rotation than it was last fall, and when a receiver or two builds a strong connection with the quarterbacks, that news will make it back to Mike Gundy, Sean Gleeson and Kasey Dunn.
Braydon Johnson, C.J. Moore, Patrick McKaufman, Jordan Shepard and others are trying to climb the ladder, and summertime — even if it’s only 7-on-7 — will carry some heavy weight for them.