Welcome back to another year of Cowboy football! (Almost.)
With another Oklahoma State football season, that also means another season of MVP Draft.
This year, we will have five writers competing for the crown and will also look to avoid the punishment that comes with being in last place (though I haven’t decided what that will be yet, so feel free to share ideas). (Also, they don’t know I’m doing a punishment. Surprise!)
Site Manager Cade Webb, Assistant Editor Dustin Ragusa, staff writer Austin Higgs and contributors Micah Allen and Joel Penfield will make up our panel of football “experts” this season. Yours truly will be serving as judge, jury and executioner and will not be partaking in the picks. This is mostly because all the other participants banded together and threatened to boycott the Draft since they knew if I was allowed to pick I would clean house.
Without further ado, let’s get to the everyone’s picks for tonight’s game, when the Oklahoma State Cowboys take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane!
Offense: Justice Hill - Knowing Mike Gundy, he won't want to show a ton to future opponents, and he'll rely heavily on his All-American running back to get the show on the road. I think Rudolph tosses for over 350 in the air, but I think Gundy tries to pound the rock to complement that. Hill has a huge day, and puts the work he's done in the offseason on full display. He rushes for over 120 and has two scores.
Defense: Chad Whitener - Tulsa will attempt to run the ball at will against Oklahoma State. With De'Angelo Brewer returning, the Tulsa rushing attack is nothing to scoff at. Thankfully, the Cowboys have a stout linebacker corps that I believe will excel in run support this season. I pick Whitener here because his strong-suit is run support, while he's a little bit weaker in pass defense. I think he has a huge day, recording at least eight tackles and a forced fumble.
Offense: D'Angelo Brewer - Brewer is the leading returning rusher for the Golden Hurricane, and he gave opposing defenses headaches last season. At 5'9", 190 lbs., he's not the biggest back, but he's shifty. He ran for over 1400 yards last season and had seven touchdowns, so he's certainly got the ability to give Oklahoma State headaches. With the questions at quarterback and receiver for Tulsa, I think their offense operates primarily through Brewer.
Defense: Jesse Brubaker - The fifth-year senior is a veteran anchor for the Tulsa defensive line. Last season, he had 55 tackles and 5.5 sacks on the edge for the Golden Hurricane. Given the amount of times I believe OSU runs the ball tomorrow, I think Brubaker has the opportunity to make plenty of plays in run support. I think he has a pretty solid game.
Offense: Jalen McCleskey - A combination of things lead me to believe Jalen McCleskey will be the offensive MVP of Week 1: competition for catches outside the numbers and the lack of Cowboy Back experience. McCleskey is going to OWN the middle of the field. I'm predicting that he leads the team in receptions and receiving yards against TU.
Defense: Kenneth Edison-McGruder - Here's the deal. TU is going to want to run the ball down our throats, but they will likely fall behind on the scoreboard at some point. Possibly by a lot. They are going to have to start throwing the ball, and without an experienced QB, the OSU defense should feast. The clearest beneficiary of this outcome is Kenneth Edison-McGruder. The former safety has moved up to the Star Linebacker position and should find his nose in a ton of both run and pass situations. KEM will lead the team in tackles and have a huge interception early in the first half. Bet.
Offense: D’Angelo Brewer - While TU is stuck between QB's, I'm going with their most dangerous weapon, D'Angelo Brewer. Tulsa will want to grind it out on the ground, and they have the talent to do just that.
Defense: Jesse Brubaker - The Oklahoma State offensive line is an experienced group, but they have been known to give up sacks. Mason Rudolph also has never been the best at releasing the ball quickly. Brubaker, TU's most experienced and talented d-lineman, should make plays. Brubaker's a fifth-year guy, and a smart player who had 57 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season.
Offense: Jalen McCleskey - He may not put up the biggest numbers this week, but if Tulsa decides to defend the outside receivers more he'll get a lot of catches over the middle. He's going to be a good bet this week.
Defense: Chad Whitener - I don't foresee Tulsa throwing too much because we don't know who their quarterback will be, I imagine the aforementioned Brewer will shoulder much of the offense. Whitener is a good run stopper, so he will get a lot of chances this week.
Offense: D'Angelo Brewer - He rushed for over 1400 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. With the QB situation uncertain, I expect him to carry the load for the Golden Hurricane.
Defense: Craig Suits - He's the leading tackler returning for Tulsa, so I except him to be a force at the linebacker position.
Offense: Jalen McCleskey - Jalen McClesky had a stand out season last year leading the team with 73 receptions and also had 812 receiving yards. I think games like this are a perfect opportunity to get McCleskey some reps and I think he gives it all he's got.
Defense: Ramon Richards - This will be Richards’ first game as a safety and he's going to want to show what he can do at the position. I think he'll be a force to be reckoned with.
Offense: D’Angelo Brewer - He's the clear favorite to replace some of the production they've lost. He's got the best stats from last year of any player still currently there. We all picked him apparently, but I mean who else do you choose?
*Editor’s note: I jumped the gun and gave the group grief for all picking Brewer while Micah was still typing up her paragraph. That’s how she knew everyone picked Brewer. My bad.
Defense: Craig Suits - It's kind of the same song, different verse with my defensive pick. He's got the best stats on the roster and looks like the he's going to be the leader of defense. They lost a lot on this side of the ball too and Suits is one of the few returners.
*Editor’s note: Dustin was unable to participate this week. He will not be penalized, other than going into week two with zero points.
Happy MVP Draft season everyone!
P.S.....There’s a chance I can be bribed. Do with that information as you will. I’m looking forward to a fun season!