It was a cold, rainy November night in Waco, Texas. The Cowboys were in the midst of a five game losing streak and were facing the No. 7 Baylor Bears. One week earlier, starting quarterback Daxx Garman was sacked seven times and sustained a concussion. Now a true freshman, Mason Rudolph, was thrust into the starting QB spot in a hostile environment.
There were seven seconds left in the first half. Oklahoma State had fallen behind 28-7. Third and goal from the eight-yard line. With three receivers lined up to the left, the ball was snapped to the true freshman, who lobbed a high pass to the left side of the end zone. Junior slot receiver David Glidden slid on his back just underneath the ball for a touchdown -- the first of Rudolph's college career.
The Pokes would go on to lose the game 49-28, but played the eventual Big 12 champs tough. Glidden finished the night with five receptions for a season-high 99 yards and that score.
We all know what came next. An overtime upset in Bedlam followed by a bowl victory which started a twelve game winning streak that lasted deep into 2015.
Rudolph's career started that rainy night in Waco and it was christened by Glidden's sliding catch. Glidden's college career is now over. It ended unceremoniously on New Year's Day as the Cowboys were outgunned by No. 12 Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl. But as Glidden walked out of the Superdome, he left a void at Oklahoma State.
"I always wanted to be up here..."
- David Glidden
The standout receiver from Mustang High School (Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year) never had any doubt where he wanted to play ball after graduation. "I grew up an OSU fan all my life," Glidden said. "I always wanted to be up here."
After a senior year at Mustang, in which he racked up 1,244 yards and 17 touchdowns, he followed in the footsteps of another slot receiver from Mustang, Josh Cooper, and moved north to Payne County. The comparisons had started back in high school but only increased as Glidden got playing time for the Cowboys.
"I've got a long way to go to catch up with him", Glidden said when asked about the comparison prior to the 2015 season.
Well, it wasn't that far. David Glidden currently sits as the No. 11 all-time receiver for Oklahoma State with 1,655 yards. That puts him 40 yards behind the other Mustang Bronco, "Coop".
After redshirting in 2011, Glidden would earn a spot in the receiver rotation his second year as well as a job returning punts. As a sophomore, he played in every game including one start and amassed 173 yards, including six catches for 73 yards against the Jayhawks.
His junior season started with a bang as the Pokes took on the defending National Champion Florida State Seminoles. He was a big part of the comeback that almost was with a team high 73 yards including the unforgettable 55-yard touchdown. That season he led the team with 42 catches and accumulated 598 yards and two touchdowns. He also won his first of two straight Team Offensive MVP's.
Out of the slot position, Glidden has been invaluable to Oklahoma State's offense. He has become known for his exceptional route running as well as his good hands and sneaky speed.
During 2015, OSU saw 19 receivers catch a pass but he (again) led the team in catches, this time with 57 catches to go along with 866 yards and three touchdowns.
Glidden's biggest contribution has been his knack for extending drives. In 2015, he caught 18 passes on third down attempts, 15 of those moved the chains. He average 16.94 yards per third down catch and his 305 yards on third down was good for 22nd in the nation and 3rd in the Big 12 behind only fellow Cowboy Marcell Ateman and TCU's Josh Docston.
"He's kind of developed himself into being a master of his craft because he certainly doesn't do anything just walking by you to make you think he's going to be a good football player at this level," said Head Coach Mike Gundy. "He's just mastered his craft."
What lies ahead for Glidden is yet to be seen. The prototypical undersized slot receiver has certainly found a place in the NFL. Could he follow in the footsteps of "Coop" or even another former metro area native, Wes Welker? Who knows? But he will always be remembered as a fan favorite at OSU and certainly is a Cowboy for life.