Have to say - it was pretty cool to see Gundy back behind the mic today. He had quite a bit (for him) to share about the incoming class of signees. Instead of going along with the media questions and his responses, I'm just going to group them by subjects addressed, if that's ok with you readers. Back at it...
Opening statement was, again, for our man Mike, full of emotion and vigor.
- "This is a great class. This is a really good day for Oklahoma State and for Oklahoma State football."
- "We addressed needs better than any time I've been head coach here."
- Overall we're looking at guys ending up at 315-325 (lbs) on the offensive line. Excited about 300 lb defensive linemen. We made some real strides up front. We've added depth at running back and added a young quarterback we're really excited about. So, I'm really excited, as you can tell."
You know, I do think he may have cracked a smile...sort of...
Coach really opened by simply running through an alphabetical list of all the new guys whether they're currently on campus or guys waiting to come in. You can find that full list here. Some highlights:
- RB - Jeff Carr (Temple, TX - HS) - "Could be the sleeper of the class. We're really excited about him." More on him later...
- RB - Chris Carson (Butler County JC) - "He brings maturity, experience and explosiveness right away." More on him later, too...
- QB - John Kolar (Norman, OK - HS already on campus) - "Could be one of our biggest impact players. We're really excited about his future. He's done very well so far." You guessed it, more to come...
- WR - Jalen McCleskey (Covington, LA - HS) - "He has great speed, like (Josh) Stewart in his ability to move and make guys miss, but faster straightaway. He can really roll. He's a guy that can take the top off a defense."
- S - Kenneth McGruder (Alief, TX - HS) - "He's listed at about 190. He's already over 200. He'll play as a 225 lb safety."
In regard to staff openings, Coach Gundy tried to quell those questions before they got started:
- He said those jobs will be addressed "when I get back, middle of next week. Obviously I'm aware we have openings." Insert your own joke here...
- Love this quote from coach just before he began to take questions: "It seems like we just finished up with the guys playing their tails off in the bowl game, big Castleman with the ‘check engine' light going off down the sideline. Before you know it, in five weeks, we'll be into spring football." Wow.
Coach fielded a series of questions about Jeff Carr and Chris Carson. I'll just lump his responses all together here:
- "Recruiting ended just like the season did. We finished strong and with a good attitude."
- Regarding Jeff Carr: "I'm as excited as I've ever been about a running back."
- On Carson's recruitment: "Coach Singleton did a great job staying with him. He (Carson) wants to play in the NFL someday and he saw an opportunity here."
- When did Carr show up on the radar? "A month ago. We lost another one (RB) a month ago, and, you know, it takes 2-3 backs to play in this league. It was a long, tough battle but it worked out for us and we're excited about getting him here."
- Did coaches go after him based on highlight reels or game tape? "I studied game tape. I believe in game tape more than highlights. You could take 1000 football plays and make a 30 play highlight on me - on you - and make it look good!" Mike in true form!
- On Carr's height (he's listed anywhere from 5'7" to 5'9"): "After watching the tape on him, they could've told me he was 5'5" and I would've been ok with it...after talking to his coaches and hearing from the community about the person he is."
- Can he take the reps in the Big 12 at his size? "He had 225 carries, give or take, 2 years in a row in a league (Texas HS 5A) that has players that are fast, can run, can tackle."
- Is he as excited about Jeff Carr as he is about Chris Carson? "One of them is 177 lb and is 18 (Carr). The other is 212 and 20 years old (Carson...obviously...). I'm enough of a realist to know one is physically ready and the other, we're not sure yet. But we're very excited. Carson is two full years ahead of Carr in development. Not even that - 30 months." ???
He had some interesting comments on John Kolar, the freshman QB from Edmond who is on campus already:
- Is he the least talked-about 4-star recruit ever? "Two things - he committed early and has stayed loyal. Some guys commit early then reopen because it's just not fun anymore, in my opinion."
- "He's 6'4" and runs a 40 in under 4'6."(!!!) "You add 12-20 pounds to that...We'd love for him to redshirt, develop, grow, and end up about 220, but you just never know." I'm not sure what the other of the "two things" was...
On WR depth with just one signee:
- "Truth is, we have 10 guys coming back at that position' it's just not an area we needed to address."
On Todd Mays (ATH - Scooba, MS):
- "He's going to get a lot of carries at running back, he'll play the slot, and quarterback." This seems interesting to me.
On Darrion Daniels (DT - Dallas, TX...6'4" 285!):
- "He's already a 300-pounder. He's physical, quick feet. More than that, he's a good kid. He's a ‘yes sir/no sir' guy. He'll come in ready to play. He's only 17!" Cue the Winger tunes!
Discusses shoring up the offensive line and the running game:
- "We need guys to be ready for the 2-deep as soon as spring ball. We won't know on (Matt) Kellerman, (Brandon) Pertile and (Victor) Selako until April when they go through spring ball. The good news is they can all jump right into the 2-deep. We'll have 17-18 linemen competing."
How are they with the conditioning?
- "These guys are starting at 300 - 300+. Means after Rob (Glass - strength and conditioning coach) gets through with them, they're going to cut some fat, be faster, and float right around that 310-320 area. Victor will probably pay at 340." Mercy!
It was pointed out this class will break the streak of five straight Top 25 classes:
- "I never have been worried about that. I used to look at the numbers a lot more. What's more important is these guys love the game of football and have a desire to compete."
Coach talked about recruiting Texas:
- "We have nine coaches covering the whole state. We get guys from Texas, Louisiana, and Junior College, but for the most part it's Oklahoma and Texas. We've had some luck in Louisiana, Arkansas and the Wichita area. We'll sign 17 guys next year, 1-2 will be JC guys, all the rest from this region." That's kind of cool.
Finally, Coach was still asked about staff issues. Did staff openings affect recruits who changed their minds?
- "You know, we'll never know. You'd like to think you can get information that's accurate on why young people jump in at the last second, or go somewhere else. Then, you find out a year later it was for a completely different reason. I wish I could give you an accurate answer there."
- "Ultimately, for us, it was a great class and I'm really happy with the way it turned out."
Can't wait!! GO POKES!