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Six Thoughts on OSU’s First Depth Chart of the Season

On the offensive line, QB depth and other takeaways.



Oklahoma State released its first depth chart of the football season on Monday ahead of the season-opening game Saturday against Tulsa, and it was met with few surprises. With 10 returning starters on defense and the skill positions on offense largely set, that’s probably good news.

There were some key takeaways from the two-deep, however, so let’s get to those.

1. Offensive line clarity

Bryce Bray and Jacob Farrell’s dismissal from the team last month left some holes in the offensive line for Charlie Dickey to fill, and now we know who will fill them. At left guard will be West Virginia grad transfer Josh Sills, and at right guard, redshirt freshman Cole Birmingham, who has been the buzz of the position group since camp, gets the nod. Hunter Anthony will start at right tackle, Teven Jenkins at left tackle and Ry Schneider at center.

How OSU’s offensive line holds up will depend on how Sills and Birmingham perform, and while neither have proven they can do it yet at OSU, I actually think this is an encouraging development. Birmingham isn’t experienced, but he was a freak of nature in high school who plays a punishing style, with a blend of size, force and anger that should help him win early. And Sills has experience at the Big 12 level that should bode well for him to be at least capable. There are fewer questions about this unit than people might think.

2. Jarrick Bernard-Converse locks down CB1

Moving from safety to cornerback didn’t hinder Jarrick Bernard-Converse’s quest to lock down a starting role. The junior defensive back is listed as the team’s starting cornerback opposite Rodarius Williams, edging out Mizzou graduate transfer Christian Holmes for the job. Holmes is listed as the backup to both Williams and Bernard-Converse.

This was the way things were trending, and why I listed him as a player with breakout potential this season. He steps into some big shoes left by A.J. Green at corner, but he has serious talent and has a technically sound approach that should help him in his first season at corner.

3. Receiver riches

There’s not a lot to learn about OSU’s receiving corps. — it remains loaded as ever — but it’s worth taking a look back to reflect and realize just how embarrassingly talented this bunch is. Tylan Wallace is a first-round talent, Dillon Stoner has reached Perry Ellis-level longevity and Braydon Johnson might be the downfield threat for OSU that Marquise Brown was for OU.

Not to mention Dee Anderson, Langston Anderson, Landon Wolf and Brennan Presley, who are all listed as backups. It’s kind of stunning.

The thing I noticed first about this depth chart at the position is that Brennan Presley, the Bixby freshman who has flashed in camp, is listed as an or with Landon Wolf as the backup to Stoner. Think he’ll get some quality reps outside of some return duties.

4. Calvin Bundage, the backup

It’s weird to see the former Edmond Santa Fe sensation listed as a backup, but after missing a season, perhaps it’s expected. He’s listed as LB2 behind Amen Ogbongbemiga. And from my view, I think this speaks to the strength of OSU’s defense this season. Malcolm Rodriguez and Amen are starters, and Bundage and Devin Harper are quality backups — but really they’re co-starters with All-Conference potential. This is maybe one of the deepest groups of linebackers OSU has fielded in years.

5. Notable starters on special teams

Here is the full two-deep.

I won’t run through every starter because you can find it above and doing so would be monotonous and uninteresting, but here are a few that stand out as noteworthy No. 1s on the depth chart on special teams.

  • Kick return (Braydon Johnson and LD Brown) and punt return (Dillon Stoner then Landon Wolf: I expected Brennan Presley to be listed on the two-deep here, but instead he’s listed as an or on punt return behind Wolf at punt return. Maybe this is some gamesmanship — Presley had been expected to be starter on kick return duties — but a noteworthy development that Braydon Johnson is initially listed ahead of him here.
  • Alex Hale, as expected and now official, is taking over field-goal kicking duties this season. His backup is listed as Brady Pohl, a redshirt freshman.

6. QB logjam (behind Sanders)

The battle for QB2 this season wages on into Week 1. Spencer Sanders gets the nod at QB1 as expected, but true freshman Shane Illingworth and redshirt junior Ethan Bullock have yet to separate themselves on the depth chart, with both being listed as co-backups.

Illingworth enrolled early and Bullock was a late arrival, but Bullock has experience and Illingworth doesn’t. Ultimately, this backup battle hopefully doesn’t mean much for this season, but an interesting situation behind Sanders to start the season that remains unsettled for now.

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