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Speculating on the ‘Five to Seven’ Freshmen Gundy Says Will Play in 2020

Here is who we think might be in that group.



[Photo via Bruce Waterfield, Oklahoma State Athletics]

Mike Gundy met with the media on Monday and put a number on how many true freshmen he expected to see action on the football field this season, saying he expects “five to seven” guys will see their first action in their first season in 2020.

“We’ll know a lot more in about a week,” he added. “We just went full pads a couple days ago, so we haven’t gotten into what we would call real football for enough significant days to find out where we’re at.”

Gundy did not name names, but that won’t stop us from speculating about who those five to seven players might be. So speculate away, we will. (I’ve ranked them from highest degree of confidence to lowest degree of confidence in them paying this season. The further down the list you go, the less certain I am that they’ll see playing time this season.)

1. Brennan Presley | WR/ATH

There’s really not a lot of information coming out of fall training camp, but there’s pictures.  Lots of them. So I combed through all of them. And what I found was that Brennan Presley, the Bixby speedster, is at the very least taking reps in the return game on kickoff and perhaps on punt return, too. Early buzz is that he’s just as electric as he was in high school, and such an electric and talented player is going to be hard to keep off the field — even if he plays a loaded position like receiver.

2. Rashod Owens | WR

The third-lowest ranked signee in the 2020 class, Rashod Owens came in at a listed 6-2, 205 pounds — an inch taller and 20 pounds heavier than his high school listing. That should help his case for contributing in 2020, even if it’s on special teams. He has good hands and quick feet. Below, you can see him getting past a corner Christian Holmes and creating separation for (what I presume) was a nice catch. Holmes is pushing for a starting gig, so Owens getting quality reps in practice is noteworthy.

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 1.57.34 PM

3. Shane Illingworth | QB

Speaking of pictures, players in blue jerseys are scout teamers and green jerseys are QBs. There are three green jersey QBs: Spencer Sanders, Ethan Bullock and Shane Illingworth. The Cali freshman looks to have been taking snaps with second-teamers on occasion, and we already know QB2 is up for grabs this season. He might be the natural fit, with Bullock looking on the bigger side and walk-on Shaun Taylor, who I recently suggested may be in line to be QB2, seen without pads last week.

4. Korie Black | CB

/throws dart at wall and hopes it sticks

Someone has to play special teams, and there’s always a handful of newbies who contribute right away on that front. So with cornerback looking pretty set depth-wise, Korie Black could be one who plays early and potentially works his way into rotation reps. He has good size at 6-0, 165, and comes with his praise out of Waco Connally.

5. Mason Cobb | LB

Jim Knowles has a pretty nice track record of hitting on young defensive players, from Trace Ford to Kolby Harvell-Peel to Tyler Lacy. Cobb definitely falls in line with those recent revelatory names who were, for the most part, overlooked or underrated high school recruits who grew into their own in college. It’s going to be tough for him to carve out a role in a deep linebacker corps, but he has experience playing safety, linebacker and tight end, and the experience he gained as a ball hawk should bolster his case to play early in some form. He’s one of the more underrated signees of OSU’s 2020 class.

The final two?

Will it be five freshmen who play early, or will it be seven? I’m having a hard time reaching past five, but two guys who I predict could also be in the mix: Jordan Reagan (cornerback) and Cade Bennett (offensive guard). Reagan, like Black, figures to be a potential factor on special teams; Bennett may legitimately get reps at guard because of the lack of depth up front.

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