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Predicting the Top 10 Oklahoma State Players on NCAA Football 25

How high will Ollie be?



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

EA’s college football video game will be back this summer, and for the first time, Oklahoma State fans will get to play with authentic Cowboys in their virtual Boone Pickens Stadium.

Through NIL, players have the opportunity to opt in to being a part of the game, and they’ll get $600 and a copy of the game for doing so. Ollie Gordon has already announced he’ll be in the game.

With the game set to come out in a few months, I thought it’d be fun to predict the Cowboys’ ratings. Ratings are often a bit of a controversial topic among those rating and those being rated. I just had to come up with 10 ratings, and I’ve learned it isn’t easy.

With no recent college game to look back on, I tried to base things off the latest Madden game. I looked at the Dallas Cowboys for a point of reference. Dallas is a good NFL team, and I think the national perception going into 2024 will be that OSU is a good college team. Dallas has six players at 90 or above, for reference.

Those caveats aside, let’s get to the list.

1. Ollie Gordon — 99 Overall

We had a lengthy discussion in our Slack and our forum about just how high Ollie Gordon should go. Like most of his carries in Morgantown, he went all the way.

Gordon finished seventh in Heisman voting last season, and the only player above him who is returning to college football in 2024 is Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe. So, if Gordon isn’t going to be a 99, who is?

Along with being the nation’s leading rusher last season, Gordon was also ninth in receiving yards among running backs, so I expect his ratings to be high across the board. That paired with his 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame ought to make him a bit of a cheat code in this game.

2. Collin Oliver — 93 Overall

Entering his senior season (time flies), Collin Oliver has quite the resume. He was a Freshman All-American, an All-Big 12 selection and has recorded 21.5 sacks in his first three seasons.

Oliver is also one of the most recognizable names on OSU’s roster, which, in all honesty, probably helps on things like this where the EA team will be tasked with creating and rating players from every FBS team in the country. When most people nationally think of OSU’s defense, they’ll think of Collin Oliver.

3. Brennan Presley — 92 Overall

Brennan Presley has led OSU in receiving the past two seasons, and on top of that, he is electric in the return game.

His speed, agility, catching and return ratings should push him up high on the rankings board for Oklahoma State. There will be players throughout the country with higher overall ratings than Presley, but Presley’s shiftiness might make him the most fun Cowboy to use in the upcoming game.

4. Nickolas Martin — 91 Overall

I struggled where to place Nickolas Martin on this list perhaps more than any other player.

Martin seemingly came out of nowhere last season to lead the Big 12 in tackles with 140 tackles — 25 more tackles than anyone else in the conference. He also tied Oliver for a team-lead in sacks with six apiece.

I’m fairly certain Martin is elite, but since he was a relative unknown going into last season, does EA know just how good Martin is? That’s my only hang up. Still, with his 2023 numbers, I can’t imagine Martin will be criminally underrated — maybe just a little underrated.

T5. Korie Black — 89 Overall

In 350 coverage snaps last season, Korie Black was targeted just 35 times, and he gave up just 16 catches for 264 yards.

That’s the fewest amount of receptions given up among Big 12 corners who played at least 303 coverage snaps. So, though Black’s traditional stats might not jump off the page at you (17 tackles, one INT and five PBUs), it is undeniable that most teams thought their best course of action against the Cowboys was to not throw at Black. If that gets taken into account during the ratings process, Black will be up there.

T5. Kendal Daniels — 89 Overall

Kendal Daniels’ resume ought to put him among OSU’s best players in this game.

After earning Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors and All-Big 12 honors in 2022, Daniels recorded a career-high 105 tackles in 2023. If EA takes pro potential into account, there won’t be many Cowboys above Daniels’ 6-4, 230-pound frame, either.

T7. Alan Bowman — 85 Overall

Interceptions were an issue for Alan Bowman last season — finishing with 14, the most in the Big 12. But Bowman was also the league’s third-leading passer with 3,460 yards, and he guided the Cowboys to a 10-win season.

This will also be Bowman’s seventh year of college football, so his awareness rating should be through the roof.

T7. Rashod Owens — 85 Overall

Like Martin, Rashod Owens had his breakout year in 2023.

Owens had just four catches for 37 yards in OSU’s first four games before finishing the year with 63 catches for 895 yards. He had three games of 100+ receiving yards: 112 against Kansas, 136 against Oklahoma and 164 against Texas A&M. Those types of numbers ought to stand out to those in charge of ratings.

T7. De’Zhaun Stribling — 85 Overall

Anyone who watched De’Zhaun Stribling at the start of the 2023 season will likely agree he should be rated higher than an 85. However, he played just four games last season because of injury, so I imagine he might fly under the radar in terms of national perception.

It’s hard to say exactly what EA will do with Stribling. He started the year ahead of Owens. Will the raters take that into account? Or will they look at the fact that Owens had three 100-yard performances while Stribling hasn’t had one yet in his career? I’ll take the easy way out and give them the same rating.

10. Trey Rucker — 84 Overall

Rounding out the list is Trey Rucker, another player who had a breakout 2023 season.

After playing in just one game in 2022, Rucker put up 100 tackles in his first season as a starter at OSU. Before 2023, the most tackles Rucker had in a season were the 65 he recorded as a freshman at Wake Forest. I think that lack of sustained impact will hurt Rucker’s rating a tad, but he did enough last season to be considered among OSU’s top 10 players.

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