Connect with us


Cowboy Backs Still Have An Important Role In OSU’s Offense



Oklahoma State’s offense has the potential to be really good this fall, maybe elite. It should be better (or at least deeper) at just about every position — except for maybe the most underrated one: the cowboy back.

“We’ve chewed on them pretty good,” Mike Gundy said of his cowboy back group. “They have big shoes to fill. You guys know that we couldn’t have won 11 games last year without Veatch and Jarwin.”

The tandem of Jarwin and Veatch combined for 402 receiving yards and three touchdowns last year, but those numbers account for a just a small part of their impact on the offense.

As Gundy and his staff continued to look for ways to bolster an ailing offensive line, they came up with this hybrid tight end/fullback position that could augment pass protection and run blocking, with the bonus of adding another dimension to the Cowboys’ passing attack.

Mainstays Jarwin and Veatch are gone and the next men up appear to be former four-star wide receiver Keenen Brown and under the radar veteran Britton Abbott, filling the Jarwin pass-catcher and Veatch blockers roles, respectively.

“We don’t have a lot of experience at that position,” said Gundy. “We have guys that have skill that they have to develop. Part of it is experience.”

Abbott played in twelve games as a sophomore but was relegated mostly to special teams. Now the former high school quarterback is ready to do whatever is needed to help the team.

“We’re a young group, not a lot of starts.” Abbott told Scout, “Just come out here early, try to get a lot of work in before practice, just get everything down best we can. You know experience is hard to come by at our position group, so we’re just trying to get in as many reps as we can.”.

Working early is common among the hybrid group. Even cowboy back coach Jason McEndoo puts in extra time with his guys.

“He’s a fun, great coach”, said redshirt junior Keenen Brown. “He gives us a lot of encouragement. He’s teaching us every step. He comes outside early with us and helps us along the way.”

Brown is basically a bulked up receiver. He moved over to McEndoo’s group last year after putting on nearly 40 pounds. If he can continue to improve as a blocker, he could be an x-factor this fall.

Brown says he’s been working on being more physical at the point of attack and with some of the mechanics of pass protection. Now he’s just ready to get out there.

“I’m looking forward to just having fun and going out there and letting it loose again,” said Brown. “Just getting ready to get better each week.”

It was predicted and then confirmed by Mike Gundy that OSU may run more four-wide sets this fall given the deepening pool of receiver talent he’s been blessed with. But it’s obvious that Gundy still sees a big role for the cowboy backs.

“They’re dedicated,” said Gundy. “They’re working hard. They understand the importance of that position in our offense. I would say that’s why they’re out here.”

If that doesn’t tell the cowboy back is here to stay, just look at this past recruiting class. The Cowboys added two pieces to their cowboy back tool box in this last signing class. After former commit Tyler Henderson flipped to Baylor late in the 2017 recruiting cycle, McEndoo was able to fill that spot with former Rice commit and in-state tight end Baron Odom. He and Sione Finefeuiaki, a junior college prospect, will join the program this summer.

So for Brown and Abbott and the rest of the group taking part in spring camp, the goal for each day is clear — get better.

“Just competing every day.” said Abbott, “Every day just compete with a chip on your shoulder. Nothing will be handed to you. Come out and get better. And just come out and really just lay it out on the line and get better.”


Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media