With the early signing period come and gone, most of Oklahoma State’s 2019 class is set. 22 of the possible 25 scholarships are accounted for with new signees and transfers. With just three scholarships remaining, the coaching staff can hone their focus on landing the players they most covet the at the positions most in need of help.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at where Coach Gundy and Co. are likely focusing their efforts ahead of National Signing Day in February.
With the early departure of Justice Hill and the transfer of J.D. King, Oklahoma State is looking to replenish it’s once plentiful running back room. The Cowboys have already added JUCO back Dezmon Jackson but would also like to add a 4-year player at the position. There are a few recruits to keep an eye on.
Number one on the Cowboys’ “must-have” list is the talented 4-start back from Katy, Texas. Glass has the talent and ability to see the field “day one” and be an immediate contributor to the team.
Unless another team tries to jump in late, at this point it feels like a three team race between OSU, Miami, and Texas.
After the Longhorns missed out on Noah Cain, they circled Glass as their top target to fill the final running back spot in their 2019 class. Glass is planning to make a visit to Austin before he announces his decision on Jan. 14th.
Coach Gundy had mentioned that the coaching staff were working on some players during the first day of the early signing period. I have to think one of them was Barlow, but I have seen and heard no reason to believe he will flip his commitment from TCU.
While it was surprising to see Barlow now sign with the Horned Frogs during the early signing period, I don’t think it’s a positive sign for the Cowboys in any way. There has been some talk that USC is making a strong push, but there have been no signs that Barlow is leaning toward decommitting from the Horned Frogs.
If the Cowboys miss out on Glass and Barlow, keep an eye on the Booker T. Washington back.
The Cowboys still haven't made him an offer, likely to not scare off Glass. But if the Cowboys aren’t Glass’ choice on Jan. 14th, I’d expect an offer to the 3-star in-state running back to come quickly. It’s long been believed that “IF” OSU made an offer, Grayson would commit to the Cowboys.
With Oklahoma State losing their top-six defensive linemen from 2018, the Cowboys are looking to add some immediate impact players to the position group. They already signed JUCO defensive tackle Sinoe Asi from Snow College. Now they’re focusing their efforts on the defensive end position.
With the Cowboys looking for immediate help, they’re targeting the JUCO DE from Mesa Community College.
There are seven schools in the running for Fonua including OSU. Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, UCF, Liberty, and Hawaii. As of now, the Cowboys and Cornuskers look to be the favorites. Fonua has an official visit scheduled to Oklahoma State on January 25th and will also make a visit to Nebraska on Jan. 11th. He is also looking at visits to Florida State, UCF, and Kansas.
In nine games this season, Fonua racked up 51 tackles including 43 unassisted, .05 sack, 16.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.
Despite Mike Gundy’s comments on his distaste for the graduate transfer market and players transferring, Oklahoma State has been one of the programs that have most utilized the grad-transfer market since it began.
If OSU doesn’t land Fonua, I’d expect them to target another defensive end or lineman on the transfer market. While they could go after a traditional transfer I would expect at least one available scholarship used on a grad transfer player who would be immediately eligible.
While this is purely speculation, if this is a route the coaching staff takes, I would love to see the Cowboys target Louisiville Defensive End/Defensive Back Jonathan Greenard. The graduate transfer is a pass rush specialist who recorded seven sacks and 15.5 TFLs in 2017. He was poised for a breakthrough season this year but suffered a season-ending injury in Louisville’s season opening game against Alabama.
As far as the third scholarship goes and what position Oklahoma State might target, it’s very possible that won’t be determined until after the bowl game. There’s always the chance more players announce a decision to transfer or leave early for the NFL after the Cowboys’ visit to Memphis.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cowboys look to add a transfer punter. They have 28-year old Aussie Tom Hutton coming in this Spring, but he will be the only scholarship punter on the roster. Adding another punter as security wouldn’t be a bad thing as most teams have two on the roster.
Or after bowl practices, coaches may find another area they once thought set, that could benefit from additional depth.
The coaching staff will likely wait to see what happens between now and mid January to decide where best to utilize the final scholarship.