Signing day has come and gone and the Cowboys finished (once again) outside of the Top 25 in recruiting classes. Another 10 win season, second place in the Big 12 and a Sugar Bowl appearance did not help OSU crawl out of the forties in recruiting rankings. But that's okay as far as Mike Gundy is concerned.
"We just don't pay attention to it. I certainly don't care. We've had a million two-stars who played in the NFL. Not a million, but a bunch of them. Two and three-star (prospects)."
I'm not going to argue with Gundy's results or his track record for hitting on two-star and three-star guys. But let's not pretend that recruiting rankings don't matter. There's a reason teams like Alabama win so many national championships and it's not just Nick Saban's in-game adjustments.
According to Rivals, Oklahoma State finished with the seventh ranked recruiting class in the Big 12. That's doesn't look great.
So why are OSU fans so excited?
Filling a Need
Oklahoma State has had one glaring weakness over the last two seasons: the o-line. If OSU had any semblance of a running game, who knows what they could have done in 2015.
Give the defense a few extra breaks? Make opposing defenses play the inside of the field honest? Maybe James Washington wins the Biletnikoff, who knows?
Seriously though, it's pretty obvious that they went out and tried to fix the deficiencies up front with this year's recruiting class.
The Cowboys signed seven offensive lineman including John Marshall's Tramonda Moore, the No. 1 ranked high school recruit from Oklahoma. Moore, who apparently has some issues qualifying to play football at the next level, is supposed to be available this summer per Mike Gundy. If he does find a way to qualify, it will make this recruiting class look a lot better for the Cowboys than seventh in the conference.
Moore should compete for immediate playing time as well as a couple other o-line recruits. Matt Kegel and Tyler Brown could also have a chance to play as freshman and juco transfer Shane Richards should also be in the mix for snaps next year.
Winning on the Home Front
Speaking of Moore, the Pokes recruited pretty well locally. The Cowboys signed five of the top 10 high school recruits in Oklahoma as ranked by the Daily Oklahoman. No. 1 Tramonda Moore, No. 2 Calvin Bundage, No. 5 Tyler Brown, No. 7 Dillon Stoner and No. 10 Justice Hill. Three of those in Moore, Brown and Hill directly fill some of the offense's biggest needs in the o-line and at running back. Moore, Bundage and Brown all received offers from Oklahoma who only inked two in-state preps.
Let's not forget that the Cowboys got quarterback Keondre Wudtee to choose Stillwater over Ft. Worth even though he is unlikely to start with Mason Rudolph firmly entrenched as QB1. Wudtee, along with preferred walk-on Nyc Burns and Colorado State transfer Coleman Key will join John Kolar and Taylor Cornelius behind Rudolph.
Competition could heat up for the backup spot, with some speculating Wudtee may step into J.W. Walsh's role from last season. If I'm Mike Gundy I'd rather not have to do that. Wudtee (like any QB) could benefit from the redshirt year. An extra year with Rob Glass should allow the young quarterback to fill into his 6-foot-4 frame.
At receiver, the Cowboys added Jenks multi-position player Dillon Stoner and Tyrell Alexander from Lancaster, TX. They also added speedy tailback La'Darren Brown from Desoto, TX. All are play makers.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys added some young talent in the secondary with the likes of A.J. Green and Rodarius "Lee Lee" Williams as well as transfer Malik Kearse and early enrollee Madre Harper.
Oklahoma State added depth at linebacker with Devin Harper and Emmanuel Ogbah's cousin, Amen Ogbongbemiga and on the line with Cam Murray and Tralund Webber.
Of course the jewel of the class on defense was Edmond Santa Fe's Calvin Bundage who picked Oklahoma State over Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma. His decision led defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer to leave us with this gem before going on a much needed hiatus.
Now I can go eat some chicken and take a couple days off!— Glenn Spencer (@Glenn_Spencer) February 3, 2016
As with any recruiting class, we will have to wait a couple seasons to truly grade Gundy and his staff's efforts. What do you think at this point?