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The Most Important Cowboy Football Players for 2017: No. 4

A former walk-on turned starter earns his place in our countdown

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The countdown continues by returning to one of the most important positions in football, the offensive line. Today, we focus one of Mike Gundy’s favorite kinds of players; a former walk-on turned starter.

No. 4 - #71 Brad Lundblade

Whatever questions there are about the offensive line, there’s at least one position on it Mike Gundy and Co. don’t have to worry about - center.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Senior Brad Lundblade has been holding down the middle of the line since late in the 2014 season. The 6-foot-3, 300-lb. former walk-on was thrust into a starting spot late his freshman year, and hasn’t looked back since, starting in 29 straight games.

In fact, his first game as a starter was the same as quarterback Mason Rudolph, at Baylor in 2014. The two have worked together ever since. The importance of the relationship between a quarterback and a center can’t be understated. They have to be in sync to avoid mistakes. Considering Lundblade didn’t have a single snap incident in 2015, I would say the two are pretty in sync.

Lundblade isn’t just reliable, he’s smart. He made three first-team All-Academic teams last season including the CoSIDA Academic All-America Division I Football first team. This shouldn’t be surprising, but deserves to be acknowledged. Some of the smartest players in the NFL are offensive lineman. The center has to know the playbook almost as well as the quarterback.

If Lundblade can continue his starting streak in front of Rudolph, it will provide QB1 not just peace of mind, but stability throughout what is expected to be an historic season for the Cowboys.

We will be releasing the rest of our countdown each day leading up to the Spring Game April 15th. Check back every day to see who makes the list!

Top 15 Countdown:

15. Matt Ammendola
14. Backup Quarterback
13. Tyron Johnson
12. Marcus Keyes
11. Jarrell Owens
10. Zach Sinor
9. DeQuinton Osborne
8. Darius Curry
7. Chad Whitener
6. Jalen McClesky
5. Ramon Richards