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Newcomer Notebook: Wright and Bowman Go from High School Foes to College Friends

‘He’s one of my good buddies now that I can call and hang out with at any time.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy doesn’t normally allow first-year players to meet with the media, but he did Thursday.

Incoming transfers Justin Wright, Elijah Collins, Josiah Johnson and Anthony Goodlow all met with reporters for the first time as Oklahoma State players after the Cowboys’ Thursday practice. Here are stories from each that stood out.

Wright and Bowman Go from Foes to Friends

When Justin Wright and Alan Bowman saw each other in the Oklahoma State locker room, it wasn’t the first time the pair had met.

Both were seniors in Texas high schools in 2017 with Wright attending Abilene Cooper and Bowman at Grapevine. The pair squared off as juniors and seniors with Bowman and Grapevine taking a 61-7 win in 2016 before Wright and Abilene Cooper got their revenge with a 41-37 win in 2017.

A lot has changed since those days. Now Wright is married, Bowman is engaged and the two are each in their sixth season of college football.

“I don’t know — Grapevine was a very … rich? Maybe rich school?” Wright said. “It was a good school, so maybe I thought he was a typical — he’s ginger. I call him gingerbread man now, but I don’t know, I just thought maybe he was the typical quarterback from Grapevine High School. But, nah. Once you meet him, he loves God. He’s engaged. He’s one of my good buddies now that I can call and hang out with at any time.”

Collins Adjusting to New Surroundings

Elijah Collins said he has never been to Texas.

That’s a wild thought to an Oklahoman, but out of Detroit, Collins has spent most of his time in the north. He ran for 1,506 yards and 11 touchdowns at Michigan State. Aside from the absurd heat, Collins said he is enjoying his time in Stillwater, USA.

“I love it,” Collins said. “The people here are amazing. I think they’re second to none. That’s one thing from the north to the south that I really enjoy is the people here are very welcoming and allow us to come and be ourselves. Other than the people, honestly just the facilities and coaches and my teammates, I feel like it don’t get no better than where I’m at now.”

Johnson and the Return of the Tight End

Similar to Collins, Stillwater is a bit different than where Josiah Johnson has lived before.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Johnson spent five seasons at UMass. He caught 50 passes for 465 yards and five touchdowns with the Minutemen.

A 6-foot-5, 235-pound tight end, Johnson comes to Stillwater in a time where his position group is seeing an overhaul. Gone is the Cowboy back moniker, and the group has been split into tight ends and fullbacks again. In a lot of ways, Johnson has been a poster boy for the return of the tight end to Stillwater.

“It’s mainly just pressure from myself because I just want to be really good,” Johnson said. “I want to be really good for the Cowboys. But I mean, with the whole name change, we still see ourselves as interchangeable in areas. You’ll see Braden Cassity and Jake Schultz, they’ll have their hand inline and I might be kind of in the wing or something. The Cowboy back, tight end, fullback, it’s all very loose. With pressure and stuff, we want to be so good, and we really want to prove to everybody that we can play football with tight ends and fullbacks and really play smashmouth football.”

Goodlow No Stranger to Terrorizing Quarterbacks in BPS

In every game Anthony Goodlow has played in Boone Pickens Stadium, he has recorded a sack.

Goodlow visited BPS twice with Tulsa — once in 2020 and again in 2021. In both of those contests, he ended the game with four tackles and a sack.

A Del City product, Goodlow tallied 113 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in four seasons with the Golden Hurricane. What is the former OK preps standout expecting in his first game at BPS as a Cowboy?

“Loud fans, an exciting atmosphere — I’m very excited for it,” Goodlow said.

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