The 2016 Oklahoma State running back stable is looking pretty full. By the time fall camp begins, there should be ten on the roster.
You've got three returning seniors in Chris Carson, Rennie Childs and Raymond Taylor and another in soon to be added graduate transfer Barry J. Sanders.
Sophomore Jeff Carr showed some promise last year but looks to prove his potential. Sophomore Sione Palelei would like his shot after spending most of his time in Stillwater on the sideline due to injury. Then you have former Juco transfer and practice team player junior Jakeem Johnson who would like to throw his hat in the ring.
The Cowboys also add true freshmen Justice Hill and La'Darren Brown as well as preferred walk-on Ja'Ron Wilson for 2016.
Running backs coach Marcus Arroyo, recently discussed the future of the position group after practice.
"...Next year when I lose four and I've got one left in the tank then it might be a little bit different, but for right now it's a good situation to have with guys with experience."
Regardless of what happens this year, the Cowboys will need to reload in 2017. Yet to receive a commitment at running back, Oklahoma State's coaching staff is always looking for an explosive runner who could be that every-down back and hopefully a game-changer.
OSU hasn't had 1,000+ yard rusher since Joseph Randle in 2012 (1,417 and 14 touchdowns). Yeesh.
Is there someone on the roster that can step up? Can the offensive line improve enough to help?
Or will Arroyo be able to land a big fish next signing day?
Here are a few of the 2017 prospects that have piqued OSU's interest.
Benjamin is one of the top running backs in the nation and the Cowboys may actually have a chance of signing him. The four-star running back and US Army All-American from Wylie East, TX, has OSU in his Top 10.
Thank You & God Bless. pic.twitter.com/0fSWNKGxiz— Eno Benjamin™ (@eno_benjamin5) March 14, 2016
He will announce his decision early next week.
I will officially be committing on April 18th!— April 13ths Very Own (@eno_benjamin5) April 4, 2016
If the Cowboys can land Benjamin, they get a potential game-changer who can walk right in and compete for a spot from Day 1.
Here are Benjamin's numbers per 247Sports.
Oklahoma State offered a four-star running back from Lakeland, FL on Tuesday.
Just received an offer from Oklahoma state University ⚫️⚪️#Cowboys pic.twitter.com/UXBcpPvsm0— AJ DAVIS⛔️❌ (@ajdavis_2) April 5, 2016
Davis, the 8th ranked running back in the nation by 247Sports, named Oklahoma and Auburn as his top two as early as February.
Another hurdle the Cowboys face with Davis is that he and current teammate, five-star wide receiver James Robinson, are reportedly planning on attending the same school. Oklahoma, Michigan and LSU are just a few of the schools to offer both. Oklahoma State has yet to offer Robinson a scholarship.
The Cowboys were one of the latest to offer this three-star running back from St. George's Independent School in Collierville, TN.
Blessed and excited to pick up an offer from Oklahoma State University! pic.twitter.com/pJB2XtnBjt— Chase Hayden (@Chase_Hayden2) April 6, 2016
Deep in SEC country, the Pokes will have their work cut out for them with Hayden, the son of former Tennessee running back Aaron Hayden also has an offer from the Volunteers.
Here's a look at Hayden's stats from 247Sports.
OSU has offered three-star back Alex Fontenot, the son of former Baylor defensive end, Al Fontenot. The 5-foot-11.5, 188-pound high school junior is relatively unrecruited with offers from OSU, Colorado State and North Texas.
Received offer #2 from Oklahoma State University! ⬛️ pic.twitter.com/BknO4Q12jM— Alex Fontenot® (@alexfontenot_) April 6, 2016
Per 247Sports, Fontenot put up pretty big numbers in a backup role behind TCU's Darius Anderson.
Fontenot may prove to be a diamond in the rough who garners increased attention as he takes on a starting role his senior year.
The Cowboys offered a 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back from Fitzgerald HS (Fitzgerald, GA).
According to MaxPreps, King only appeared in five games last year. But in those five games he racked up 1,185 yards and 14 touchdowns. That's an impressive 237 yards per game at an equally impressive 9.0 yards per carry.
His limited action may have something to do with his short list of offers and lack of a 247Sports star ranking. His numbers were obviously enough to grab OSU's attention.
King's recruitment will be worth keeping an eye on moving forward.