Here we are... less than 50 days remaining in the countdown to the season opener... and here at wastedoptimism we have already evaluated our first opponent, and discussed our expectations for the season. So I guess it is time to introduce, and evaluate, the 2010 version of Cowboy football. You could argue that it would have made more sense to evaluate the OSU team before their opponents, and before determining expectations for the season, and that is a fine argument... but just as fine of an argument is that writing things in the correct order is for pussies. (I am one of those guys that believes that no matter how ridiculous of a point you are arguing, if you use the word "pussy" to describe the opposing viewpoint, you win the argument.)
What I want to do here is break down the whole team by position. I realize that this isn't exactly the most original idea (like you are used to from us) since every other college sports blog is doing the same thing right now, but sometimes tropes are tropes because they work. I plan to, in some order, write a preview on the QBs, RBs, WRs, O-Line, D-Line, Linebackers, and Secondary. We will see if I get all that done as my July and August look pretty busy with two-a-days, sled drills, and injury rehab*.
*These have nothing to do with football, they refer to my sex schedule
So I figured I would start with what is probably the most interesting position this season, Wide Receiver. The implementation of the Holgorsen system, combined with O-State finding itself in the recently uncommon position of not having a clear cut #1 at wideout, has most of us wondering which players will see the field the most, and which roles each will step into. Well let's meet the dudes that will be hauling in the 500+ Weeden lasers that will be old-ly flung around this season.
Click the Jump to meet em all
The Names You Know
Hubert Anyiam | 6-0 | 198 lbs | Jr | Garland
.. or "Hubes" as we will call him until someone can think of a better nickname. The de facto #1, and most well known Cowboy receiver on the roster. Hubes is coming off a decent partial season after being thrust into the #1 slot following the Dez suspension, ending up with with 42 catches for 515 yards and 3 TDs.
As much as the Holgorsen approach will value spreading the ball out, I can see the rookie QB leaning on Anyiam's ability to run a lot of different types of routes, go up high in the air (38" vertical) for jump balls, and great hands to be his safety net as Weeden gets his SAS shooed feet under him. A sorta, when in doubt throw to Hubes mentality. However, I can see a possibility for the opposite as well, since Weeden didn't look to Anyiam much in the CU game last year, and Hubes has missed much of spring practices and early workouts rehabbing a broken foot missing some of that pivotal time when a QB and his #1 target can get in sync.
Bottom line: Hubes will be very involved in the passing game... the question is whether he will be a clear #1 target, or will be a part of a committee of productive WR's.
Justin Blackmon | 6-1 | 207 | So | Ardmore
Listed as the other starting wideout, thereby technically making him the #2, Blackmon looks to step up his role this season. Last year, he was always a dude you noticed when watching the play downfield. What I mean is.. he is a noticeable target, with great hands, and seems to have the most raw playmaker ability of the starting four. His production increased a little late in the season as Anyiam's was falling off, and he was noticeably the top target in the Cotton Bowl. I think we all expect pretty great things from Blackmon this fall.
Josh Cooper | 5-11 | 192 | Jr | Mustang
Undersized white slot receiver alert! Wes Welker really pioneered something here. I didn't go to the spring game, and following practices through internet reports is about as informative as if the play by play were broadcast through smoke signals. But everything I have heard and read about Josh Cooper has mentioned what a great spring he had, and that he has quickly became one of Weeden's favorite targets, if not his top target. They are total Bella and Edward for each other. (Yes.. there will be a Twilight reference in every post this week for some reason.)
Tracy Moore | 6-2 | 215 | So | Tulsa
This is the guy that will open things up. With big play potential in a variety of ways, Moore earns the title of "most explosive" member of the receiving corps. A converted tight end, Moore has the size to out-muscle anyone covering him, but also possesses break away speed to go over the top. His hands are incredible (I mean that in only a partially straight way), and his pure athleticism can make him almost un-coverable when he runs his routes correctly. I, along with plenty of other folks, expect Moore to end up being the biggest difference maker at receiver this season.
The More Benchy Guys
Colton Chelf | 5-9 | 170 | Sr | Enid
Former walk-on that has seen significant action in practices, and had 5 catches for 69 yards and a score in the spring game. Don't know much about him beyond that, but it seems like he would spell, or possibly share time with, Cooper at the undersized white slot receiver position.
Michael Harrison | 6-1 | 208 | RsFr | Atlanta
Good sized and was redshirted last year party due to an injury. Another big play type of receiver, Harrison did it all on the scout team last season, and on his High School team, spending time at RB, WR, QB, and returned some kicks. With that kind of athleticism, it would be surprising if he doesn't see the field a lot, and gain an increased role in the offense as the season progresses. Also... he either wants, or wanted, to be a veterinarian! Thank you media guide.
Justin Horton | 6-3 | 225 | So | Henderson, TX
Saw the field a lot last year, but was rarely thrown to. His size makes him an ideal candidate as a downfield blocking receiver during all those slip screens, and sweep screens to the RB that Dana loves to run. Also should make a big target himself as a sorta TE/WR combo that can provide a big target with soft hands in the middle of the field.
Isaiah Anderson | 5-10 | 175 | So | Wichita Falls
A sub-4.4 40 time will guarantee that Holgorsen will want to find a way to get this dude the ball in some space, or over the top. His hands and route running are a question mark right now, but that is only like 90% of being a receiver. There doesn't seem to be much buzz about Isaiah going into the fall, but being the fastest guy on the team usually means you will see the field quite a bit.
Charlie Moore | 6-3 | 199 | RsFr | Bullard, TX
Redshirted last season after being listed at my favorite position: "Athlete". Another big guy with a ton of athleticism that could earn himself some playing time.
The New Guys
Chris Dinkins | 6-2 | 205 | Fr | Tyler, TX AND Kevin Johnson | 6-2 | 190 | Fr | Houston
With as evenly matched as all the receivers are coming into the season, and the sheer number of pass catchers Dana likes to rotate, it is expected that these two true freshmen will see some action this year. Both are described as great athletes that can already run polished routes, and there doesn't seem to be any immediate plans to retain a redshirt for either of them.
There you have it. Breakdowns of varying degrees depending on how motivated I was, and the amount of actual information I had about each receiver. Well, if no other information was useful or interesting to you.. .at least you know everyone's names and basic dimensions... thank you's can be given in the form of comments pretending you are a former lover that misses the exact shape and size of different parts of me. If you read this entire thing and can't find any use for it, then I would counter with "Looking for useful information on a blog is for pussies." (Remember my belief on what wins an argument from the first paragraph.)