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The nine best freshmen at Oklahoma State this year

James Washington and Mason Rudolph lead the way into 2015.



James Washington was a breakout player in 2014. (USATSI)

James Washington was a breakout player in 2014. (USATSI)

Oklahoma State played an astounding number of freshmen this season — 22 in all to be precise.[1. Thanks to the Tulsa World for pointing this out.]

In fact, just to accentuate the point — for the entirety of the 2013 season Oklahoma State started three freshmen (Zac Veatch, Paul Lewis and Jhajuan Seales).

In the 2014 Bedlam game alone it started five (Mason Rudolph, James Washington, Ramon Richards, Jesse Robinson and Zach Crabtree).

Only five true freshmen played in 2013 compared to 11 in 2014.

Somehow the win over OU is becoming more and more unbelievable the longer I look at these numbers. OSU shouldn’t have beaten any good teams, much less preseason No. 1 in its own house!

Anyway, here are the top nine of those 22 freshmen, ranked.

1. James Washington (WR)

He was the most consistent from August to December and you better believe the Rudolph2Washington transfer rumor Heisman campaign is getting fired up this offseason.

2. Mason Rudolph (QB)

A good QB in the Big 12 is completely indispensable if you want to be competitive at the top of the league. Gundy has been saying it for years and he’s right.

3. Zach Crabtree (OL)

Yeah that was him that returned in the Baylor game and breathed life into an offensive line that was in hibernation. Okay, it was Mason Rudolph, too, but Crabtree’s absence was felt.

4. Tre Flowers (S)

Sixth on the team in total tackles — stepped in when Larry Stephens went down with an injury. I also love that he wears No. 31.

5. Ramon Richards (CB)

Led the team in interceptions and amazing GIFs.

6. Justin Phillips (LB)

Ranked this high based on that Bedlam game alone. He had 10 of his 18 tackles on the season in Norman!

7. Vili Leveni (DT)

Underrated at the defensive tackle position but he mixed it up game after game and ended the year with 3 TFL and a sack.

8. Gyasi Akem (LB)

He didn’t play as much as I would have liked but when he was out there he was an absolute terrorist. I’m stokes about his future.

9. Jerel Morrow (S) 

Played in every game and notched 12 tackles and a sack. OSU’s secondary is going to be good for a while.

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