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Countdown To Kick-Off: 6 Unexpected Players Who Will Contribute

Here are six outside-the-box guys that I think could have a major impact in 2018.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

We are now officially less than a week away from the start of the 2018 season for the Oklahoma State Cowboys!

It is no secret that Justice Hill, Tyron Johnson and Jalen McClesky are primed for big years. We know that the Taylor Cornelius’s and AJ Green’s of the world are going to be solid contributors. But the Pokes lost record setters and award winners across the board. Oklahoma State will have to replace three productive wide receivers, three offensive linemen, a pair of linebackers, both safeties and a red-nosed reindeer. Injuries to Blake Barron and Patrick Macon don’t help the linebacker situation either. All that being said, here are six guys that I would like to see step up and fill some of those roles.

Chuba Hubbard, Running Back

Chooooooooooob. I don’t know a single person who isn’t excited to see the Canadian sprinter take his first college snaps. While Hubbard doesn’t exactly fill a position of need for the 2018 Cowboys, he could be getting Justice Hill’s snaps next year should Hill decide to bolt for the NFL. Hubbard averaged 18.5 yards-per-carry his junior year of high school and found the endzone 40 (!!) times. While those gaudy numbers were against Canadian competition, that is exactly why he makes the top of this list. Hubbard has elite speed and anyone who wears the worlds brightest orange is ready to see what he can do at the college level.

Kemah Siverand, Cornerback

Oklahoma State returns both corners from last years squad but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to add graduate transfer Kemah Siverand. This is a guy who changed positions twice at Texas A&M before taking 25 hours last summer in order to graduate and be eligible to transfer and play elsewhere this season. His work ethic is absolutely there and the former 4-star recruit should see good playing time this season. While he won’t start, I’m excited to see exactly how good he can be once he gets fully acclimated to the system. Rodarius Williams wasn’t my favorite guy in the secondary last season so adding Siverand should add some good depth at the very least.

Thabo Mwaniki, Safety

The Pokes will have to retool the safety position after losing both Ramon Richards and Tre Flowers from last years team. Mwaniki was the only true freshman to earn a start last season and figures to step in to a starting role as a sophomore. The Denton Guyer product recorded 22 tackles (19 solo) and an interception last season. Mwaniki is one of the more promising prospects that will likely be stepping into a starting role this year.

Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver

While Oklahoma State lost James Washington, Marcell Ateman and Chris Lacy, it still somehow returns three options that most teams would love to have. Dillion Stoner and Jalen McClesky have both been big contributors the last two seasons and Tyron Johnson is, well, an actual animal. However, there is plenty of room for guys to step up behind them. Tylan Wallace was too good to keep off the field as a freshman. He caught seven balls for 118 yards and made a Sportscenter Top 10 catch against Pittsburgh. The former 4-star recruit is another dangerous weapon for Cornelius / Brown / Sanders to be able to go to.

Sean Michael Flanagan, Safety

I’ll round out this list with two freshmen, the first of which is Sean Michael Flanagan. I really don’t know who Gundy will slot in next to Thabo Mwaniki at safety and he might even use a more experienced corner back there. I highly doubt Gundy will throw Flanagan out there on night one, but he could be an intriguing candidate to receive some playing time with the possibility of earning more. Flanagan was once an Arkansas commit before flipping to the Pokes last December. The three-star athlete has been on campus since January, so he could have a leg up on his class of 2018 teammates having been on campus longer.

Tyler Lacy, Defensive End

Similar to Flanagan, Lacy could help shore up a defensive line that just lost DeQuinton Osborne and Vili Leveni. I don’t know if he will play, but if he does, he is a candidate to earn more significant playing time if given the opportunity. Lacy was one of the better recruits on the defensive side of the ball and I’m interested to see if he will get an opportunity to contribute this season.

No. 14 - The Changing of the Guard at OSU with No. 14 Taylor Cornelius
No. 13 - Ranking Gundy’s 13 Season Openers
No. 12 - The 12 toughest players OSU will face from the 12 teams they’ll play this season
No. 11 - Let’s talk #11 Zac Robinson
No. 10 - Why OSU will and won’t reach 10 wins
No. 9 - 9 Interesting stats and numbers
No. 8 - 8 Things we would like to see in 2018
No. 7 - 7 Predictions for 2018