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

On the portal, NFL-bodied receivers and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The Cowboys on Monday put the pads on for the first time this spring.

Oklahoma State is about a week into its spring practice schedule. Mike Gundy met with reporters beforehand to give updates on how things are going. Here are the Top 5 quotes from his news conference.

1. ‘You Don’t Have a Choice’ with the Portal

The transfer portal moves quickly. Gundy discussed that last week and Mike Boynton discussed it earlier Monday.

A valid question then becomes how the pieces a coach brings in mesh together whether that be on the field or off it. Gundy said that’s an aspect of the portal that coaches just have to deal with.

“I don’t think you have a choice,” Gundy said. “You gotta have car insurance. You gotta have house insurance. You gotta have the portal. Is that a concern? Sure it is. It’s a valid question, but I don’t think you have a choice. You gotta figure it out because if not, you’re gonna get left behind in my opinion.

“But I could be wrong. I was wrong with the portal last year. I thought it would simmer down. It did everything but simmer down. It simmered up. But I don’t think you can live without it anymore.”

2. Bray, Shettron have ‘NFL-Type Bodies’

Oklahoma State receivers Jaden Bray and Talyn Shettron physically look the part.

A redshirt sophomore from Norman, Bray missed most of last season with injury but showed promise as a true freshman in 2021 with 13 catches for 250 yards and two scores. He is listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds this spring.

A redshirt freshman from Edmond, Shettron played a limited role last season, catching three passes for 31 yards and a score, but he has an elite pedigree as a former four-star recruit turning down offers to Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State, Notre Dame and others to go to Stillwater. He is listed at 6-2, 195 this spring.

“Both of them, they’re gonna be big and strong and fast,” Gundy said. “They’re 6-3, 215ish — whatever, I don’t know. Experienced. Bray’s gonna be a little further ahead just from a physicality standpoint just because he had more live reps than Shettron has, but he should make up some ground.

“They both have NFL-type bodies. Just depending on whether they decide to do it or not.”

3. Gundy Excited to See 346-Pound Kirkland

By a single pound, Utah Tech transfer Justin Kirkland is listed as the heaviest player on OSU’s spring roster.

Kirkland is listed at 6-4, 346 pounds to offensive tackle Calvin Harvey’s 6-8, 345. Kirkland is only a sophomore after going on a religious mission out of high school. As the Cowboys switch to a base 3-3-5 defense, Kirkland could be the perfect immovable object in the middle of the Cowboys’ defense.

“We brought big boy in here from Utah Tech, I think he got here at 357 [pounds],” Gundy said. “He’s 340 now. We’ll see what he looks like. I’m excited to watch him push on the center.”

4. Being the Underdog

The Cowboys are coming off a not-so-great season, going 7-6 and losing six of their past eight.

That on top of a large amount of roster turnover because of the transfer portal puts the Pokes in an interesting spot heading into 2023 in that it’s hard to say how good the Cowboys will be. But the underdog role isn’t something new to OSU.

“That’s kinda, really, Oklahoma State, right?” Gundy said. “Even though we have really good teams, people don’t usually put us high in preseason polls and stuff. It’s just like no matter what happens next year Duke and Kentucky are gonna be ranked pretty high in the preseason basketball poll. … Here, we’re kind of always a little under the radar. Moreso than ever, our emblem, our logo is recognizable across the country, but if you were to go randomly in spots across the country and say ‘In the preseason poll next year, do you think it’ll be this school or do you think it’ll be Oklahoma State?’ If it was a certain school, I’m sure they would say, ‘Oh, it’ll be this school. Not Oklahoma State.’ We’re always kind of in that situation.

“The thing that’s fun for me right now is to maneuver what we have and get everything to move in the right direction and be positive and find a way to be successful on the field. That’s intriguing to me right now. Because this [the portal era] is new. In my opinion, this is new.”

5. The Younger, Hipper, Cooler Pro Day

Oklahoma State will host its Pro Day on Wednesday, but next year, the Cowboys Pro Day is headed to the Lone Star State.

The Big 12 is in plans to host a combined pro day in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, allowing ease of access for NFL teams looking to scout Big 12 talent.

“I think it’s good,” Gundy said. “What it does is I think it brings them all together and it’s a neutral site for the GMs and the head coaches and scouts and owners — whoever — to get in one location and see everybody. It should make it much easier for them to do their job, in my opinion. And then you don’t have to concern yourself with one guy ran a 4.48 [40-yard dash] on this surface; well, if he would’ve ran at this school, he would’ve run a 4.3 because it’s a better surface. That’s history. We’re all in the same spot.”

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