6-2 203 lb Kenneth McGruder officially became a member of the Oklahoma State football team today. McGruder chose the Cowboys over 14 other schools including LSU, Arkansas, California, Nebraska, Missouri and Washington. McGruder committed in December after briefly decommitting from the Cowboys.
McGruder, who played in high school at Alief Taylor in Texas, has excellent size and speed with a 4.5 forty time. He is another important piece of what is turning into a very strong secondary class for the Cowboys. ESPN has McGruder rated as the number 38 safety in the country.
Here is ESPN's evaluation of McGruder:
McGruder is a physical football player with outside linebacker size; his frame appears capable of adding bulk over time; possesses the strength and playing speed for the defensive safety position at the power conference level of play. This is a prospect very capable of playing close to the line of scrimmage.
Displays very good instincts, showing quick key and diagnosis reaction skills; isn't fooled by play action or misdirection run plays; is an aggressive defensive back who appears to enjoy contact, taking direct angles to the football; not one to sit back and wait for the ball to come his way.
Does an outstanding job of covering short/medium and deep routes from a two deep hash alignment; his awareness and reactions off the quarterback get him to a collision point where his ball skills take over; displays high point interception and pass break up ability with good return production; can also play man coverage on inside receivers, demonstrating the vertical speed needed to run up the seam.
This guy is a tough customer who aggressively attacks the inside run and fills the ally vs. the toss sweep; is very capable of making the big hit and knocking ball carriers back where they came from; is a high wrap tackler who brings his arms and lower torso through on contact; doesn't allow cheap yards after contact.
McGruder's athleticism and toughness should allow him to do a variety of jobs on special teams; with continued growth and improved playing strength, early playing time at the power conference level of competition is not out of the question.
McGruder has great size for a defensive back, he is tough and loves to hit. With an already deep secondary he may be looking at a redshirt, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the field in 2015. Also, because of his size look for him to potentially play linebacker as he adds bulk to his frame.
Check out his highlights from Hudl