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Notebook: Cooper’s Grind, Bowman on Presley’s Involvement and Cameron Epps Just Getting Going

Takeaways from OSU’s Monday availability.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Fresh off an open week and back-to-back losses, the Cowboys are prepping to host the defending Big 12 champs.

Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Boone Pickens Stadium. OSU players were made available after Monday’s practice. Here are three storylines that came from that availability.

Cooper Grinds His Way to Power Five Starter

Dalton Cooper was the No. 2,675 player in the 2019 recruiting class, making him the No. 30 player from the state of Oklahoma.

That class saw Dax Hill go to Michigan, Marcus Major go to Oklahoma, Collin Clay go to Arkansas and Trace Ford go to Oklahoma State.

Out of Prague, Cooper signed with Texas State over offers from Abilene Christian and New Mexico State, and though he might have not appeared Power Five-worthy back in 2019, he worked himself up to the same level as those other guys.

He started 37 games at left tackle in his four years with the Bobcats, earning freshman All-America honors and All-Sun Belt accolades before hitting the portal this past offseason.

Cooper said within three minutes of being in the portal OSU offensive line coach Charlie Dickey reached out. Once Cooper committed to the Cowboys, he said OU coach Brent Venables followed him on Twitter (X).

“I was like, ‘A little late for that, buddy,'” Cooper said. “I’m already here. Trying to pull a late recruit, but we’re good now. I’m right where I wanna be.”

Once having to leave the state to play Division-I ball, now both of the major in-state programs were at least interested.

Cooper began the season as a backup right tackle, but with some shuffling early in the season, he is back to left tackle, where he started against Iowa State. He put up his best PFF grade of the season against the Cyclones, and Cooper’s season grade is the best among OSU’s offensive linemen.

Not bad for the No. 2,675 player in his recruiting class.

“Just kinda put your head down, just work,” Cooper said. “I will say coming out of high school, I didn’t think I would ever be a very good player until I had a coach down there believe in me and be like, ‘Listen, if you just stick to it, you’ll be good.’ It kind of just opened my eyes like, ‘Wow, maybe I can do something. Maybe I can be able to like provide for my family in the future.’ I just kinda put my head down and started working. Just get in the weight room and learn the playbook.”

Teams Keying on Presley

As a true freshman, Brennan Presley had 118 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions against Miami in a bowl game.

As a sophomore, he had 10 catches and 137 receiving yards in OSU’s Fiesta Bowl win against Notre Dame.

As a junior, he had nine catches for 118 yards against Oklahoma.

One could argue those were the most important games of each of those seasons, and Presley combined to catch 25 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns.

Well, four games into his senior season (with games against Central Arkansas, Arizona State, South Alabama and Iowa State), Presley has caught just 15 passes for 98 yards and two scores.

OSU coach Mike Gundy said at his Monday media luncheon that the Cowboys need to get Presley the ball more. Newly named starting quarterback Alan Bowman shared a similar sentiment after Monday’s practice.

“No doubt, I definitely think teams are keying on him,” Bowman said. “Obviously he is an elite player. He can take a 5-yard pass 90, right? So I think anybody that we play is definitely gonna have at least two sets of eyes on him every play. But we’ll do things to get him out in space and get him the ball. I do think now that we’re kinda running together that me and him can connect a little bit more.”

Epps Thrown into Fire against Cyclones

Entering Oklahoma State’s game in Ames, Cameron Epps had played 50 snaps of college football, according to PFF. Then he played 66 snaps against the Cyclones.

A redshirt freshman, Epps appears to have a bright future given his size for a defensive back at 6-foot-3, 208 pounds, but there were some struggles against Iowa State. It seemed like the Cyclones made it a point to test the young, unproven safety.

Epps came to Stillwater as a jumbo corner before making the move to OSU’s strike safety this offseason. He was a part of the same recruiting class that brought OSU D.J. McKinney, who is off to a great start in his redshirt freshman season. That seems to be a solid young core for the Cowboys’ defensive backfield moving forward.

“D.J. is one of my best friends,” Epps said. “We’re just constantly learning every week and trying to be the best that we can.

“… Can’t wait. Got a lot of high expectations for me and the team. Just trying to go out there, play good and get a win.”

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