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A Bright Future for the Cowboys?

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While 2014 is a bit of question mark because of the departure of so many seniors, that also means a lot of underclassmen will gain valuable experience, painting a pretty good picture for 2015 and 2016.

Ronald Martinez

We've spent a lot of time focusing on the lack of experience, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

If you pause for a moment, however, and look at the numbers, OSU's outlook for the next couple of years should be really solid.

The Cowboys have a total of 17 seniors listed on the most recent depth chart. only 9 of those would I consider significant contributors, although Josh Furman will probably figure into the plan.

SENIORS
89 Wren, Sam DE 6-2 255 SR
91 Castleman, James DT 6-2 300 SR
98 Hautau, Ofa DT 6-2 290 SR
39 Johnson, Teddy FB 5-11 225 SR
46 Branson, Derek FB 6-2 250 SR
49 Lester, Ryan FB 5-10 225 SR
14 Furman, Josh LB 6-2 202 SR
75 Grisbhy, Chris OL 6-5 325 SR
58 Koenig, Daniel OL 6-6 300 SR
67 Garrett, Brandon OL 6-5 295 SR
35 Smith, Kip P 6-1 235 SR
26 Roland, Desmond RB 6-2 210 SR
20 Stephens, Larry S 5-10 185 SR
15 Jeffcoat, Elliott S 5-10 190 SR
28 Franklin, DeShawn S 5-11 200 SR
29 Gravelle, Cameron WR 195 SR
84 Schroeder, Christian WR 5-11 190 SR

Of the 28 juniors listed, 10 would be considered significant contributors. Two others (Averette and Hill) are expected to be a part of the mix. (rumors are Averette might actually be able to play this season after being ruled out for the year with a knee injury)

JUNIORS
6 Lampkin, Ashton CB 5-11 180 JR
24 Jones, Miketavius CB 5-10 175 JR
1 Peterson, Kevin CB 5-11 185 JR
30 Reber, Bryant CB 6-0 185 JR
90 Clark, Trace DE 6-4 255 JR
92 Bean, Jimmy DE 6-5 250 JR
86 Ackley, Shawn DL 6-4 265 JR
44 Seaton, Jeremy FB/TE 6-2 250 JR
49 King, Kevin K 5-10 175 JR
32 Catlin, Kris LB 6-1 225 JR
52 Simmons, Ryan LB 6-0 235 JR
40 Averette, Devante LB 6-0 235 JR
53 Faires, Zac LS 6-3 200 JR
54 Elias, Josh LS 6-0 195 JR
76 Hegwood, Colby OL 6-5 320 JR
4 Walsh, J.W. QB 6-2 205 JR
12 Garman, Daxx QB 6-2 205 JR
2 Muncrief, Caleb RB 5-8 190 JR
22 Gates, Otis RB 5-7 202 JR
30 Taylor, Raymond RB 5-7 190 JR
20 Bennett, Corey RB 5-9 205 JR
24 Hill, Tyreek WR 5-10 185 JR
83 Fagan, Brendan WR 6-2 200 JR
38 Doolittle, Kameron WR 5-8 200 JR
36 Miller, Nate WR 5-10 185 JR
7 Sheperd, Brandon WR 6-1 195 JR
28 Hunter, Cameron WR 5-6 180 JR
13 Glidden, David WR 5-7 185 JR

Of the 24 sophomores listed, I would consider 14 to be significant contributors, and you could probably make the case for a couple more.

SOPHOMORES
33 Ocloo-Lee, Archibald CB 5-8 180 SO
38 Ogbah, Emmanuel DE 6-4 270 SO
87 Irokansi, Victor DE 6-3 240 SO
97 Davis, Eric DT 6-3 290 SO
19 Grogan, Ben K 6-1 186 SO
45 Whitener, Chad LB 6-1 240 SO
10 Jacobs, Seth LB 6-2 220 SO
44 Rake, Dillon LB 6-1 216 SO
42 Sherod, Demarcus LB 6-0 225 SO
74 Wilson, Michael OL 6-6 300 SO
57 Lewis, Paul OL 6-3 295 SO
69 Davis, Devin OL 6-5 312 SO
73 Canis, Grant OL 6-2 275 SO
50 Veatch, Zac OL 6-4 290 SO
23 Childs, Rennie RB 5-10 205 SO
13 Sterns, Jordan S 6-1 205 SO
16 Robertson, Deric S 6-2 200 SO
37 Deeds, Derek S 5-9 194 SO
47 Jarwin, Blake TE 6-5 240 SO
81 Seales, Jhajuan WR 6-2 198 SO
17 Hays, Austin WR 6-2 185 SO
8 Curry, C.J. WR 6-2 205 SO
3 Ateman, Marcell WR 6-4 210 SO
5 Webb, Blake WR 5-11 190 SO

Out of 50 RS and true freshmen, at least 21 could be expected to contribute this season.

REDSHIRT AND TRUE FRESHMEN
5 Morrow, Jerel CB 6-0 180 RS FR
25 Lewis, Taylor CB 6-0 180 RS FR
2 Curry, Darius CB 6-1 190 RS FR
18 Richards, Ramon CB 6-0 180 FR
3 Hardeman, Chris CB 5-9 178 FR
22 Offray, Juwan CB 5-11 180 FR
95 Leveni, Vili DE 6-3 270 RS FR
35 Dowuona-Hammond, Andre DE 6-2 235 FR
99 Carter, Trey DE 6-4 250 FR
94 Brailford, Jordan DE 6-3 225 FR
82 Walterscheid, Cole DE 6-6 210 FR
86 Owens, Jarrell DE 6-3 240 FR
70 Hughes, Ben DT 6-3 310 RS FR
96 Taylor, Vincent DT 6-3 290 RS FR
65 Thomas, Ivan DT 6-0 265 FR
41 Abbott, Britton FB 6-3 230 FR
42 Shanklin, Bryan FB 5-11 210 FR
41 Bassett, Dawson LB 6-4 228 RS FR
19 Phillips, Justin LB 6-0 215 FR
50 Mabin, Josh LB 6-2 227 FR
8 Akem, Gyasi LB 6-1 210 FR
47 Ciszewski, Brian LB 5-11 188 FR
12 Tucker, Kirk LB 6-2 190 FR
61 Smith, Kaleb LS 6-3 250 RS FR
79 Kurzu, Jack OL 6-4 305 RS FR
60 Crabtree, Zachary OL 6-7 290 RS FR
64 Robinson, Jesse OL 6-6 310 RS FR
77 Salinas, Jaxon OL 6-4 305 RS FR
66 Galea'i, Lemaefe OL 6-5 330 FR
68 Noel, Deionte OL 6-3 300 FR
71 Lundblade, Brad OL 6-3 290 FR
78 Mucha, Matthew OL 6-6 255 FR
29 Sinor, Zach P 5-11 190 FR
59 Hockett, Matt P 6-3 185 FR
14 Cornelius, Taylor QB 6-6 184 FR
10 Rudolph, Mason QB 6-4 217 FR
27 Webster, Corion RB 5-11 208 RS FR
33 Palelei, Sione RB 5-10 196 FR
7 Flowers, Tre S 6-3 190 RS FR
27 Newsome, Matthew S 5-11 165 FR
11 Roberts, Tre S 6-2 202 FR
4 Harding, Dylan S 6-2 190 FR
87 Holcomb, Tyler TE 6-3 228 RS FR
85 Frazier, Jordan TE 6-5 242 FR
1 Samples, Ra'Shaad WR 5-11 178 RS FR
89 Timian, Luke WR 6-1 185 FR
25 Washington, James WR 6-0 193 FR
82 Neph, Cole WR 6-3 205 FR
6 Brown, Keenen WR 6-3 205 FR
15 Lacy, Chris WR 6-3 191 FR

A lot can happen between now and then, and I'm not passing over 2014.

But OSU could enter 2015 with at least 45 players with significant game experience returning. Game experience aside, Gundy could have over 50 seniors and juniors. Losing that senior class shouldn't be a disaster (although we might miss Tyreek Hill) as there could again be over 50 upperclassmen returning. Gundy's recognized recruiting ability, along with the facilities and the team's national recognition are starting to come together.

That's the point at which the Cowboys should be reloading instead of rebuilding.