Connect with us


OSU Football: What We Learned From Fall Camp



Fall camp is in the rear-view and Tulsa is quickly approaching. As we finish off our season previews and begin looking ahead, we’ve decided to take one final glance back at what we learned from fall camp and how it will impact the upcoming season.

The offensive line unit shouldn’t be a concern

Since the 2014 season, the offensive line unit has been a point of concern in every preseason. That isn’t, and shouldn’t, be the case this year.

Although new offensive line coach Josh Henson is breaking in a new left tackle in Aaron Cochran, early returns are that this unit — which brings back starters at both guard positions, right tackle, and center — is primed to make another leap from its bounce-back 2016 campaign.

“It’s a mature unit, it’s a good unit with a lot of experience,” left tackle Zach Crabtree said this week. “We’re going to have a good year. It should be [a better year than last year.]”

Cochran is the only question mark, being a graduate transfer from Cal, but even he has solidified himself as more of an exclamation than a question mark.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him,” Gundy said of Cochran. “I’m always a little surprised when we can bring a player in and in two months, they can adjust to our culture. It’s not easy to do.”

OSU goes deep at running back, despite inexperience

Behind 2016 Freshman All-American Justice Hill, options appeared to be scarce going into fall camp. But that problem appears to have been resolved after camp, with true freshman J.D. King emerging as the yin to Hill’s yang, and several other guys proving to be worthy of carries in the fall.

“J.D. (King) has done a lot for us since preseason camp and Justice (Hill), watching him grow over the last year and seeing where he is now, we’ve got a great stable of running backs,” Crabtree said this week. “Those guys are going to do a lot for us this year.”

King has drawn comparisons by Hill as a bigger version of himself in camp, and as strong pass-blocker, he will no doubt be a strong second option to start the season — but he isn’t the only option. Behind King is redshirt freshmen LD Brown and Ja’Ron Wilson and true freshman Chuba Hubbard, who could emerge as the third option if he proves to be durable enough. Gundy specifically called out Hubbard, listed as the last man on the depth chart at running back, as a game-changer in the run game.

Although Hubbard was a guy who appeared to be on track to redshirt midway through camp, it seems he’ll get a shot to play this season. Instead of moving to scout team, he’s seen reps with the practice squad, and all indications are that he will get his shot early on.

“Chuba, if he hits the sideline, ya’ll will see what he can do,” Justice Hill said this week.

The young corners are going to surprise

When Clemson graduate transfer Adrian Baker wasn’t listed on the two-deep earlier this week, Cowboy nation lost its collective minds. But that’s less of an indictment on Baker, who has yet to see the field in more than a year, and more of a positive sign of OSU’s young corners. I’m told Green and Williams have been far-and-away the standouts in camp at the position.

A.J. Green is a young star from DeSoto, and Rodarius Williams, a Louisiana native with a history of track and field, is no slouch. He’s got the burners to become a legitimate cover corner and the confidence to back it up.

“I ran into Justin Gilbert, I think it was at the spring game,” Williams recalled of his recruitment as a high schooler. “With him being a first-round pick, his outlook on Oklahoma State, he told me ‘It’s a bunch of man-to-man, so you’re going to get a lot of exposure with the ball.’ So I was like, ‘I’m the type of corner that wants to be thrown at,’ so I was like ‘I’m committing on the spot.’ He told me I was making a great decision.”

With zero starts to their names, Green and Williams have a tremendous responsibility ahead with Big 12 title aspirations. But I love the mindset Green says he’s taking into the season with the expectations higher than ever.

“I say it’s good, but that was last year, not this year,” said Green of the national media’s attention of late. “We have something more to prove and we’re coming for more this year than we did last year. It’s good and it’s a stepping stone, but it’s a block we need to step over.”

Baker, as Gundy noted last week, will be used in specific packages and will likely grow into a role in the cornerback rotation. But for now, Green and Williams on an island with Malik Kearse and Madre Harper as the 2s isn’t a concern, despite the obvious lack of experience. But they will need to continue to grow and develop in a very short amount of time before conference play.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media