It’s Spring and we get to talk Cowboy football!!
Surely you’re as excited about the Spring Game as all of us are. That’s why we devoted (most) of the latest edition of the CRFF Roundtable to it!
The spring game is this Saturday, our first look at the 2017 team, minus the freshmen and transfers that arrive this fall obviously. Which position are you most interested to get a look at?
Joel Penfield - Although I won't be able to go to the spring game, I am most interested to find out about the wide receiver position. Obviously the receivers will be split up to different teams, but I am excited to see the best receiving corps in the nation in action. With the amount of depth an talent at the position, there is no doubt in my mind they are all going to have huge years.
Austin Higgs - Tyron Johnson, and whoever is covering Tyron Johnson.
Tyler Wiederhoeft - I want to see every position, since most of the starters likely won't be playing much, because everyone knows what Justice Hill and James Washington and Mason Rudolph can do. However, I especially want to see how the CBs match up with the scary good receiving corps. Keenan Brown is taking over the Cowboy Back position. Will he be able to step into the role that Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch made it out to be? Can Ramon Richards make the transition back to safety? I'll be watching for all this and more during the Spring Game.
Phillip Slavin - I want to know about the running backs. Justice Hill won’t be running and the big name recruits like Chuba Hubbard and JD King haven’t arrived on campus yet. That means Jeff Carr gets the chance to shine this weekend. Justice Hill was great last season and should be great again. Chris Carson was the other part of last year’s one-two punch but he’s gone now. So who is going to be the jab to Hill’s uppercut? Carr, Ja’Ron Wilson, and La’Darren Brown all get a chance.at the job. I’m curious to see which, if any, step up to the job.
Micah Allen - Quarterback, I really want to see how each one of them would fit into the JW package that Gundy has talked about.
Clemson grad-transfer cornerback Adrian Baker announced he is joining the Cowboys this fall. How does this affect your outlook on OSU's secondary for next season?
Joel - I feel a little better at corner now, especially now that at least one side has a lot of game experience. He will be able to add seniority to a position that desperately needs it. Being on a team that went to consecutive national championship games, he knows the kind of work it takes to get there.
Austin - The Baker news is huge, but I'm still worried about the kiddos out there for this season. Madre Harper, A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams are going to be thrown into the flames early on, and they are likely going to come out with some burns. Long-term, this season is really going to help those guys out. Not to mention that Darius Curry is more than able to hold his own. This may not be the year for dominant corner play, but I see a bright future.
Tyler - It helps take a load off my mind. That's for sure. But I'm still being cautious. Coming off a serious knee injury such as an ACL tear is always a question mark, but I'm confident in Coach Glass and the rest of the training staff will get him ready to go. He brings the battle-tested experience we need at the position, and should be our veteran corner that teaches the young kids their position.
Phillip - As far as cornerback goes, I feel better, but not as “sure” as everyone else. Baker was a starter at Clemson in 2015. The guy knows how to play. The question is whether or not he’s 100% after his injury. If he is, then awesome. If not... he’s still a valuable piece. As for the rest of the secondary, I do have high hopes for moving Ramon Richards to safety. If Gundy is positive then so am I.
Micah - It makes me way less concerned, he's got experience that we need in the secondary. I think it makes a huge difference in a weak spot that we had.
One of the big questions heading into the season is who will get the back-up position behind QB Mason Rudolph? Who are you hoping for?
Joel - I am hoping for Kenodre Wudtee to be the back up this season. If Gundy and Yurcich want to have a "J.W" type package in play this season, I think Wudtee's athleticism is the way to go. He has plenty of arm talent, and his ability to move around could pay dividends for the Cowboys down the road.
Austin - 18-Wheeler 2.0 (Jelani Woods)
Tyler - I think Cornelius gets the job, but I'd love to see Jelani Woods come out and battle for it. Gundy loves the kid, and has high praise for him. I like the idea of having a QB who will be the leader of the teams for a few years, instead of getting a new QB every year. It sucks for Cornelius, who has been a four-year backup, but that's what I would like to see for the future of the team.
Phillip - Cornelius. I just want a reason to cheer on the “Oil Baron.”
Micah - I like Woods for the job, I want him to work for it though. TBH I'm okay with whoever gets the job as long they work for it and deserve it. But I favor Woods based on his size alone the kid is huge and is only gonna get bigger. And he seems to take instruction well and Gundy is a big fan.
Turning to basketball... he's only been on the job for a short time, and hasn't coached a game yet, but how do you feel about the job new head coach Mike Boynton is doing so far?
Joel - I feel good about Boynton so far, he's hitting the recruiting trail hard right now, as he should. We are still months away from games though, so time will tell.
Austin - I think he's done everything that anyone could've realistically asked for in his short time as head coach. He's getting all our current guys back (Minus Jawun, who had one foot already out the door), and he kept our best prospect committed to the Pokes. He's been handing out scholarships to some young studs, and everyone seems to be feeling good inside the basketball program. Obviously, we'll see what happens once the season starts.
Tyler - I like all the recruiting he has done. I also think he is winning over the people by being active on social media. By showing the world that he is working hard, I believe it helps quell some people's fears that he was a big hire. It was a big win to keep Zack Dawson. It hurt to lose Amauri Hardy. I'm still less than blown away by the hire, but I'm giving Boynton all the support that I gave his predecessor. I will back any coach until they give me a reason not to.
Phillip - I never doubted his ability to recruit, especially after keeping Lamont Evans. I’m not sure there’s anything he can do to make me feel better before i see him actually coach. The announcement that Jeffrey Carroll is returning does make me feel better about next season.
Micah - I love him so far. He loves this teams and has gotten started on the recruiting front early which says something about him.
Finally, baseball. We'll make this simple; OSU baseball is now 19-13 this season. Do they make a Regional or do the Cowboys stay home this post season for the first time under coach Josh Holliday?
Joel - Right now it does not look to good for Josh Holliday's squad. Inconsistency at the plate and on the mound have cost the Cowboys quite a bit so far this season. Freshman are coming up big time for the team this year, and getting a lot of playing time. Even if it isn't this year, next year could be very good.
Austin - It's tough to say at this point. There are some big conference series coming up with Kansas and a very, very, very good Texas Tech team. Our team is very young, and I don't think there should be any cause for alarm if the season doesn't end the way we would've hoped.
Tyler - I hate to say it, but I think they will stay home. If they make it to regionals, they will have limped in to the end. Injuries are just too great this year, as well as the inexperience of a lot of young players. These guys are something special though. They will be back to the postseason, I just don't see this season being one of those seasons.
Phillip - If OSU can win this series against Kansas, they’ll be back above .500 in conference play. If they can finish above .500 in conference play I think they can make the post season. If not... well I hear OSU has a great golf course.
Micah - TBH, if they don't stop blowing games late they have no chance of postseason play, but if we get all the pitchers healthy and fix all the little kinks then it could happen.