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The Top 5 Quotes from Mike Gundy’s Monday News Conference

On Bowman’s knowledge of the offense, freshmen linemen and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Blink and you missed it, the Cowboys are running out of spring practices.

Mike Gundy met with reporters ahead of Monday’s practice to start Week 4 of the festivities. With just one more week after this one, here are Gundy’s Top 5 quotes from Monday.

1. Learning the Playbook Not an Issue for Bowman

Alan Bowman is an experienced quarterback, but he isn’t experienced in OSU’s system.

Mike Gundy said that hasn’t been an issue when it comes to the playbook, as the terminology is similar to what Bowman dealt with at Texas Tech. With the Red Raiders, Bowman threw for 5,260 yards and 33 touchdowns in three seasons.

“It’s no problem,” Gundy said. “He’s already got it all. As soon as he got here, he started working into it. I’ll bet you 60 to 70% of what we do, terminology, he’s already had it at Texas Tech. It’s from that same tree. Probably 50 or 60% he was already exposed to. I haven’t seen him stumble in practice once in terms of terminology-wise.”

2. Freshmen Linemen Standing Out

Usually the early enrollee hype at this point in the year is centered on skill position players, but Gundy is pleased with what he has in two young linemen.

Jack Endean and Jakobe Sanders both forwent their high school senior springs in order to get to campus early, and despite playing in a man’s world in the trenches, the two young pups are apparently performing well.

“Jack is very mature and is repping some with the twos,” Gundy said. “So he’s getting thrown around, but he’s further ahead. And Jakobe the same. Jakobe has come in and done real well for a high school player. Has to snap, point things out, extremely difficult. So we’re pleased with both those guys.”

A major benefit the two have by enrolling early is working out with Rob Glass. That’ll allow them to physically adjust to the college game, but apparently Sanders didn’t need a ton of help on picking up heavy objects in the weight room.

“As soon as he walked on campus in January, I think he was the third strongest player on our team,” Gundy said.

3. Battle of Offense vs. Defense Even

Gundy said the team is done with installing schemes at this point in the spring, which has in turn led to more team drills.

He spoke to the benefits OSU’s offense gets with going up against this 3-3-5 defense, and apparently those team periods have been fairly even.

“Last Saturday the defense worked them over pretty good,” Gundy said. “Last Wednesday the offense worked them over pretty good. One of the more difficult things for a head coach is deciding what you want. I want to see the defense do really well. Offensively we can figure it out. We’ll be more effective rushing the ball. We’ll do things to figure it out. I want to be really good on defense.”

4. Nardo Will ‘Put Those Headphones on and He’ll Be Just Fine’

Gundy said he was worried about the Cowboys’ season-opener in 2013 when Mike Yurich was prepping to call his first game at the Division-I level.

Gundy hired Yurcich from D-II Shippensburg, and in his first game, Yurcich had to call plays against SEC foe Mississippi State in Houston. The Cowboys won that game against Dak Prescott 21-3.

Division-II callup Bryan Nardo will call his first DI game Sept. 2 against Central Arkansas. With the experience Gundy gained with Yurcich, Gundy said he isn’t as worried with how Nardo will adjust to his new surroundings.

“Football is football,” Gundy said. “Life is life. Coaching is coaching. … Bryan said sometimes last year the press box he was in in the stands and the people on the sideline can hear him talking. From that point, there’s an adjustment. But from all the fundamental teaching, coaching, planning, relationships, it’s the same. I’m gonna guess when he goes in the box next year he’ll put those headphones on and he’ll be just fine. Once he gets going, it’ll be just like the old days. It’ll just be a little louder.”

5. More Kirkland Hype

It’s been a while since OSU had a defensive tackle with as much mystique surrounding him as Justin Kirkland.

A Utah Tech transfer, Kirkland stands out because of his brickhouse size of 6-foot-4, 346 pounds. After a few weeks of pads, the hype train doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

“He’s changed his body,” Gundy said. “I’m not sure where he’s at weight-wise right now. I know that he’s changed the physique part of his body. Muscle weights more than fat, so he’s probably not lost much weight, but he looks really good. His conditioning is better. I was worried about his conditioning because I think when he arrived he was 350 [pounds]. But we’ve seen him out there now and six and eight and even some 10-play stuff and he’s done just fine.”

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