It’s no secret. The Oklahoma State roster isn’t perfect. There’s question marks at every position. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Yes, even the wide receivers. The main question Mike Gundy is probably asking is “How am I so lucky to be blessed with all these receivers?”
Unfortunately, that’s not the question at the cornerback spot. This is the spot that scares me, the fan, the most. The Cowboys lost Lenzy Pipkins and Ashton Lampkin to graduation. They lost Ramon Richards to the safety spot. So what does that leave for defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer? A whole mess of untested young cornerbacks.
Yikes. It gets worse. I looked up the stat lines.
Curry, a redshirt senior, has five total tackles to his name.
Kearse, the only other senior, has one tackle in the orange and black.
Harper has recorded eight total tackles.
A.J. Green has two career tackles.
16 total tackles is all the current OSU cornerbacks have to their names combined.
In comparison, the leading tackler at corner last year was Richards with 64. Lenzy Pipkins had 38 total tackles, while Ashton Lampkin was hot on his heels with 34 tackles.
Like I said. Yikes.
There is a bright spot though. Remember how we have an elite offense with an electric corps of wide receivers and an abundance of players to fill those spots on the field?
Who do you think the young corners practice against day in and day out? I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t the Stillwater High School team...
Gundy doesn’t seem fazed by the fact he has a young group of CBs.
"We've got some young guys that we want to get a lot of work. They'll get a lot of work as far as from a depth perspective, and they'll definitely get a lot of reps in the spring until we get some young guys in. We need those young guys to come in and improve. That's one of the positions where we need those guys to come in and play well for us next year, and to do it earlier than what you normally would at that position. We like the young guys. We like what they bring to the table. They just don't have a ton of experience yet. They've had a good offseason."
Glenn Spencer echoed his boss’s statement.
"They've got some ability, but they need to be tested. They need to get thrown in the frying pan and Lord knows they are out here with the guys that they are practicing against. I'm very pleased with them though. We gave up way too many big plays a couple of practices ago, but we trimmed that down quite considerably the next day so they're learning. Like anything in life, you learn from failure and your mistakes, but that's why we practice. I'm very happy with their effort."
Another great thing about this group is the height. The average height of this year’s CBs is exactly 6-0. Last year’s average was just slightly under that. Taller corners are a blessing, because you know they can go up and compete with the receivers on a jump ball.
So, this whole cornerback situation may not be as bad as we thought. I’d be much more worried if the coaches didn’t sound so nonchalant about the whole thing.
Here’s to hoping Clemson graduate transfer Adrian Baker comes to OSU and provides some much-needed experience to the group. Baker has visited OSU, Central Florida and Arizona State. Oklahoma State is his leader, according to 247 Sports.
Only time will tell if these corners will be ready. Big 12 offenses are coming, and they will be chomping at the bit to start testing the young CBs. All we as fans can do is hope they are ready for the assault that is coming ever closer.