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OSU Football: Four Leftover Observations from Saturday’s Spring Practice

What you might have missed from this past weekend’s festivities.

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STILLWATER — With Saturday being the first time the public has seen the 2019 Oklahoma State football team, there was a lot to take in.

The quarterback battle and C.J. Moore took up most of the headlines, but there are still plenty of interesting tidbits that slipped through the cracks a bit from Saturday. Here are some of those topics.

1. Gundy Encouraged with O-Line Progression

In a practice lacking game-like contact, the trenches can be tough to judge.

Without players tackling to the ground for much of Saturday, Gundy said it could be difficult to tell whether a run would’ve went for two or eight yards if the players were going full blast, but one thing he said he was encouraged with up front was his offensive line’s pass protection.

“I think we’re considerably further ahead than we were at the end of the year last year,” Gundy said. “I thought our pass protection today was awesome.”

Along with a handful of returners from the 2018 season, the Cowboys’ offensive line also has new leadership under Charlie Dickey. Injuries and inexperience provided for some rough patches for OSU’s line last season, but with the optimism of spring, it looks to me a more stable group in 2019.

“We love Coach Dickey,” Johnny Wilson said. “He’s a good guy, and he really brings a lot to the table, technique-wise. He’s coached a lot of good players, and we’re lucky to have him here.”

2. McKaufman Working His Way Back to 100 Percent

Patrick McKaufman had a handful of catches Saturday, but many of the receivers were overshadowed with how well C.J. Moore performed.

McKaufman is coming off a knee injury that delayed the start to his on-field OSU career. He is still in a knee brace from the injury. The process of it coming off depends on some machine strength test. Gundy said he is a guy that should get a lot better throughout the summer.

“I hate to put percentages on things, but he looks like, to me, he’s about 70 percent,” Gundy said. “He’ll take off and run and kind of forget about it, then he remembers it, and then he doesn’t run as hard. I would guess that he’ll get a lot better by July in just the wear and tear.”

3. No Set Timetable for Tracin Wallace’s Return

Another receiver with a knee injury, Tracin Wallace wasn’t suited up Saturday, but was still roaming the sidelines providing encouragement.

Wallace had two early catches last season before another of what’s been a string of knee injuries. In late February, Wallace posted on his Instagram: “Knee surgery #4 and still standing,” but apparently that won’t be his last, as he still has at least one more to go. After Saturday’s practice, Gundy said there hasn’t yet been a timetable set for his return.

“He’s got another procedure coming up, then they’ll make that determination,” Gundy said.

4. Alums Back for the Weekend

There were a handful of OSU football alums in Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday.

With Marcell Ateman and Chris Lacy on his flanks, Mason Rudolph told a sideline reporter he was there to “get Gundy a haircut scheduled.” The alums had a golf outing and luncheons scheduled during the weekend. Gundy said OSU football didn’t have much of an alumni program less than 10 years ago, but assistant director of operations Rod Johnson has taken it over, and it’s been beneficial.

Gundy said he didn’t get to see his former players too much because while they have their golf outing and lunches, the coaches are visiting with recruits in for the weekend. Rudolph and his crew made sure to stop by and see their old ball coach, though.

“I had a recruiting meeting going on today in my office a couple hours before the game,” Gundy said. “There was a family in there of about six, and they came banging through the door and kinda took it over. At first I thought it might be a negative, but then I realized it was a positive.”

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