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Five Future Stars on This Year’s Oklahoma State Team



This upcoming 2017 season is set to be an all-timer. Oklahoma State is ranked as a preseason top 10 team for just the third time in its 100+ year history, and it has two potential first round picks manning the ship. But it also has a bevy of young talent that will contribute. Guys that we might look back on in two or three years and think, “Wow, so and so was on that team.”

So I put together a list. To qualify, players had to be classified as sophomores or younger. So you can say Justin Phillips is a future superstar, but I would say this is his fourth year on the Oklahoma State roster so let’s look elsewhere.

I’m thinking about Justin-Gilbert-in-2011-type guys. Gilbert went in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but he was a key playmaker on that elite 2011 team. When you look back on that 2011 team, it’s stunning to see that it had three future pros total on both sides of the ball. Who are the candidates to be those players on this team?

Here are the ones I came up with (I’m excluding Tyron for now just because, well, my kids could tell you that Tyron Johnson is going to be a star … I wanted to dig a little deeper).

Calvin Bundage — So.

I’m all in. I have purchased all of the stock and have rented a yacht to celebrate on when the IPO drops. He has all the qualities you want in a Star linebacker. Vicious hitter. Uber athletic. His only downside might be that he’s a sliver undersized. Thankfully, #BodyByGlass is a thing.

J.D. King – Fr.

Listen to what Gundy is saying. If you read between the lines — and you don’t even have to read that far between the lines — he’s hitching his wagon to No. 27. In recent weeks he has said King will probably play as a freshman and that the running back position is going to be “a special position” for OSU for the next 3-4 years. Even I can deduce what that means.

Brock Martin – Fr.

Another true freshman Gundy expects to play. If that’s the case with this defensive line, in this season, I think he has a chance to be something special eventually. Oklahoma State has sort of quietly been churning out high-quality DEs for quite a while. You know Gundy loves himself a top-notch wrestler, and Martin was a great one in recent Oklahoma High School wrestling history. He also seems like he has a little badass to him.

Marcus Keyes – R-So.

Depth chart enthusiast Adam Lunt has talked me into this one.

On the tape that I watched last year (5 games or so) he was the most physical at the point of attack and was only beat a handful of times.

I don’t know the ins and outs of how the NFL Draft works when it comes to linemen — Keyes seems a little short at 6’3, I guess — but it seems like he is OSU’s best shot to make it at the next level from this line (depending on how you feel about Aaron Cochran).

Side note: Josh Henson is a stud. I think he’s going to have OSU operating at a Wickline-like level on the OL again. Maybe not this year or next, but as long as he stays around for a while, I think that’s coming fairly soon. Gundy might try and run it 65 times a game!

A.J. Green – So.

Green seems to have been bitten by the Tyron Johnson bug this fall because of OSU’s lack of visibility at cornerback. That’s not his fault of course, but now I’m expecting a Darrelle Revis-Champ Bailey hybrid to take the field next Thursday. Regardless, he’s one of only six true sophomores with a letter under his belt already. That’s meaningful when you’re coming off a 10-3 season, and if Green makes the leap everybody is saying he’s going to, we could have another Gilbert-like situation on our hands.

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