Oklahoma State will kick off its 15th season under head coach Mike Gundy this fall. Cowboys Ride For Free will have a 15-day countdown with one article each day until the Cowboys’ season opener Aug. 30 at Oregon State.
Oklahoma State currently has 14 players in their 2020 recruiting class, so in honor of 14 days until kickoff, we’ll look at each player.
Four-star quarterback Shane Illingworth of Norco, California, is the highest-ranked recruit in the class. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound pro-style signal caller should offer some excitement for Cowboy fans. With redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders, true freshman Brendan Costello and Illingworth (assuming he signs), OSU’s QB room should be set with quality depth for awhile.
Illingworth threw for 16.4 yards per play last fall and is the No. 19 prospect in California and the No. 10 pro-style QB nationally according to 24/7. It’s nice to see first-year offensive coordinator and QB coach Gleeson is able to pull in prospects like this.
Four offensive linemen
To protect their potential future starting QB, the Cowboys continue to build their offensive line depth with four linemen commits in the class.
We’ll start with Eli Russ and Trent Pullen. Russ was the first 2020 commit and has stayed with OSU after the coaching change from Josh Henson to Charlie Dickey. He’s a three-star in-state product from Plainview in Ardmore and fourth-ranked player in the state. Pullen, a three-star prospect from Waco, Texas, was the first to commit after Dickey was named the O-line coach and the second offensive tackle of the class. Pullen is said to be athletic and shifty, while Russ represented Plainview on the all-state team.
OSU also has two three-star tackles in Cade Bennett of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Monroe Mills of Columbia, Missouri. Bennett could play either guard or tackle, but is listed at the latter. Mills, who intends to enroll early, will unfortunately miss his senior season due to a torn ACL.
This is a solid group coming in to a position group that is still recovering from being neglected for a few years prior to Henson’s arrival. With Johnny Wilson and Marcus Keyes leaving after this season they should be able to give some much-needed depth.
Presley is listed as an athlete by 247Sports as he plays both wide receiver and cornerback, but is projected to play in the slot at OSU. The Bixby playmaker had more than 1,000 receiving yards last season on the way to winning the 6A state championship against Stillwater. Presley will be joining an already talented group, highlighted by junior Tylan Wallace.
Stewart joins a Cowboy Back position that is expected to become even more important with Gleason calling the plays. Stewart has the potential to be a physical pass catcher a la Blake Jarwin. With Jelani Woods and Grayson Boomer on the roster, Stewart won’t be expected to contribute early.
Working on defense
The defensive recruits don’t excite me as much. OSU’s biggest need is depth on the defensive line and three-star defensive tackle Grant Mahon of Denton, Texas, is the lone commit.
Linebacker is also a position of need. There, OSU has three-star inside backers Cole Thompson of Norman and Jeff Roberson of Choctaw. Thompson, a three-star, recorded 120 tackles last season and should be a nice addition to Jim Knowles’ defense. Roberson called OSU his dream school and people should be excited to see what he’s able to do.
Another important position is defensive back, where OSU is doing well in the class. The two highest rated defensive players in the 2020 group are cornerbacks with three-star Korie Black of Waco, Texas, and Jabbar Muhammad of DeSoto, Texas.
Muhammad is a stud and was named MVP of The Opening in Dallas. DeSoto is a powerhouse in the Dallas Metroplex area, and there’s a possibility he could be getting overlooked due to his small size (5-9, 163). He makes up for his smaller stature with his skills and technique.
Black meanwhile, chose OSU over 21 other programs who offered him. The Waco prospect is the 35th-ranked DB in the class.
Reagan didn’t get as much playing time this past season on a loaded defense, but should see more this fall. Obviously that was beneficial to OSU, who was able to get him to commit before a potential break-out senior year. Middleton is a smaller safety (5-9, 182) from Bishop Kelley (Tulsa) that is a versatile athlete who could contribute at the “Rover” spot or free safety. He’s also a former QB and running back making him a potential return man.
Names to watch
There is still plenty of work to do in the class. OSU will be looking to land a running back, at least one more linebacker and wide receiver, as well as a few more defensive linemen. There are a few guys to keep an eye on moving forward, including Sawyer Goram-Welch, Jabar Triplett, Daniyel Ngata and Matt Polk.