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Oklahoma State’s Style Draws Offensive (and Defensive) Players to Stillwater



It wasn’t a surprise to us to hear offensive players talk about the allure of playing in a high-tempo offense like the one Mike & Mike have constructed in Stillwater. Oklahoma State’s lineage of elite, NFL-like receivers is growing, and more and more recruits want to be a part of it.

“The offense,” said redshirt sophomore transfer Tyron Johnson. “They’re throwing it around. It’s something a receiver like me wants to be in. Any receiver actually. You see a team throwing it around like that it will catch your eye. That expectation has been met. Here they throw it a lot. A lot.”

“It’s the offense,” said senior Chris Lacy. “Being a receiver we like to catch passes, and Oklahoma State is known for throwing the ball and putting receivers in the league. That’s what I wanted to do is come here and catch passes so I’m loving it.”

This pair will make up two of the cogs in what should be one of the best passing games in the country. It helps the reputation of your offense and school when you’re catching passes from pros, too.

What was a bit of a surprise is that this same high-flying offense that averaged 2.89 points per drive last season tempts defensive players to come to Stillwater, too. Or the fact that other teams in the Big 12 have to toss it all over the yard to keep up with the OSUs of the world does, anyway.

“I got to run into (Justin Gilbert) at the spring game,” said redshirt freshman corner Rodarius Williams. “I got to talk to him, him being a first round pick. He told me, ‘It’s a bunch of man to man so you’re going to get a lot of exposure with the ball.’ I was like, ‘I’m that type of corner that wants to be thrown at.’ So I was like, ‘I’m committing on the spot.’ He told me I’m making a great decision.”

“I look at bump-and-run corners. Not too much of a zone corner. So if you’re a man corner the Big 12 is the place to be. Not only Oklahoma State, but this is where I’m at so I’m rooting for Oklahoma State.”

The Big 12 (and Oklahoma State) have traditionally lacked more compared to other conferences when it comes to interior defenders (although Joe Bob Clements is doing his best to rectify that). But I thought that was such a great point by Williams.

If you’re a safety or a corner, why wouldn’t you come to Stillwater or Austin or Norman to play college football? Why would you go to Auburn or Athens or Nashville where you might defend only two or three passes a game?

The Big 12’s reputation has a long way to go, but I think it can be a place (just like Stillwater can be a place) where elite offensive players attend school and just-as-elite defenders follow them. As Williams pointed out, it’s a smart route to take if you want to get better and eventually end up getting drafted in the first round like Gilbert.

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