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Eight OSU Players Who Could Play Both Ways If Rosters Are Shortened in 2020

Who is OSU’s next Bob Fenimore?

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The 2020 season still has a lot of uncertainty around it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has a people throwing out myriad options as to how to combat the upcoming school year. The Ivy League is reportedly already in deep talks to move the upcoming season to the spring. One of the things that has floated around is the potential that rosters are trimmed down a bit to have fewer players involved.

It’s something no one wants to happen, but it can make a few ears perk up as to the possibilities of guys playing both ways like Bob Fenimore did back in the day. A lot can be said about Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s recruiting tactics, but one thing is for sure, he loves versatility in prospects.

So, for fun, here are eight guys who I think would be the best two-(and three)-way players on OSU’s roster.

1. Dillon Stoner

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Dillon Stoner’s do-it-all career at Jenks is nearly a meme at this point.

Stoner was a receiver, safety, punter, return man and holder for the Trojans en route to four state titles. To further his versatility, Stoner also won state in the 400 meters as a junior.

So, Stoner has the skillset to literally never leave the field. He averaged 39.8 yards per punt as a high school senior. It isn’t all about distance, but for reference, Tom Hutton averaged 38.7 yards a punt last year.

Here is what okstate.com has on his junior year stats as a Trojan: 35 catches for 597 yards and six touchdowns, 45 tackles, 26 pass breakups, and an average of 37.8 yards on 40 punts. It also notes that he scored on offense, defense and special teams in a victory against Southmoore.

2. Devin Harper

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Devin and Thomas Harper each played both sides of the ball at Karns High School in Tennessee, and will both make this list.

Devin, the elder brother, played running back and linebacker (while also playing basketball and running track). He averaged 213 all-purpose yards a game as a senior on offense, and had 40 total tackles as a defender.

The first I had heard of Devin Harper was when he ran for 345 yards and four touchdowns in a game in his senior year of high school. He was committed to OSU as a linebacker at the time.

Devin is listed at 6-feet, 237 pounds entering his redshirt senior season as a Poke. He could fill in nicely as a power back or a fullback-oriented Cowboy back on offense.

3. Thomas Harper

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Thomas, the younger brother, starred as a receiver and defensive back (while also playing basketball). Here is what Thomas did as a high school senior: 80 receptions, 1,279 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns, 92 total tackles, seven pass break ups, two forced fumbles, one interception and one blocked field goal.

Thomas came to OSU as a corner, where he racked up 13 tackles in 12 games as a true freshman. At 5-10, 178 pounds, he could contribute as a slot receiver if need be.

4. Malcolm Rodriguez

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Malcolm Rodriguez has already proved his versatility as a Poke, starting as a safety as a true sophomore before transitioning to a starting linebacker as a junior last season. But he had even more versatility as a Wagoner Bulldog.

Rodriguez won three state championships as Wagoner’s starting quarterback in high school. His two-way stats in those three seasons: 115 total touchdowns, 6,144 yards passing yards, 2,449 rushing yards, seven interceptions, 238 total tackles.

I don’t know where you put him on offense. Probably not quarterback, considering that would probably take more time to get down, but I’m sure you could drop him out there somewhere and he would figure it out.

5. Tre Sterling

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Similar to Dillon Stoner, Tre Sterling was a three-way guy as a high schooler, playing safety, running back, punter and kick returner.

Here were his statistics from his senior season as Sunnyvale in Texas: 2,081 rushing yards, 10.3 yards per carry, 31 rushing touchdowns, 63 total tackles, 40 solo tackles, nine tackles for loss, four interceptions, one pass break up, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, 36.6 yards per punt, 21 receptions, 300 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.

Like Rodriguez, I’m not sure where you put him, but he can definitely play football.

6. Braden Cassity

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Braden Cassity already played both ways as a redshirt freshman in 2019.

He started the year as a defensive end, but finished the year as a Cowboy back. He was primarily used as a special teamer, but he impressively found his way onto the field during all 13 games in his redshirt freshman year.

Cassity is listed at 6-feet, 242 pounds, so it’s unlikely he could be an offensive line/defensive line hybrid, but he could continue to get work as a defensive end and Cowboy back if the rosters needed to be cut.

7. Cameron Murray

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One thing that’s true of most of OSU’s contributing offensive linemen is that they weigh more than 300 pounds.

Similarly only three of the Cowboys’ defensive linemen eclipse 300: Cameron Murray, Samuela Tuihalamaka and Sione Asi. Murray is the tallest of that bunch at 6-3, so I’ll give him the nod as a guy who could maybe play both ways up front.

Technique is a big deal for offensive (and defensive) linemen, but maybe Murray could slot in at a guard position and just maul some folks.

8. Josh Sills

Alright, let’s get a little weird.

Incoming grad transfer offensive lineman Josh Sills punted and kicked at Meadowbrook High School in Ohio back in his day, along with starring on the offensive and defensive lines.

Sills was an All-Big 12 offensive guard at West Virginia, but before that, he was the East Central Ohio League Gray Division Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2015 and the East Central Ohio League Gray Division Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2014.

He nailed 69 extra points in his high school kicking career. He was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts with a long of 43 yards. His averaged punt was 41.9 yards, and he accounted for 18 touchbacks.

Sure, it’s been a while since he has kicked or played defense, but he is listed at 6-6, 338 pounds (second-heaviest among OSU’s offensive linemen). So, good luck trying to move that out of the way.

 

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