A lot of excitement in college sports is “Who’s next?”
But those up-and-comers need the experience of guys who have been there for a few seasons. Oklahoma State’s 2019 team brings a lot of excitement with new players coming in, but the 2019 Cowboys’ also have a solid returning core. Here’s a look at the OSU offense’s most valuable upperclassmen for the upcoming season.
Tylan Wallace, Junior, Wide Receiver
Gone is Justice Hill and without an announced starting quarterback, Tylan Wallace will be the season’s poster boy.
For the third time in as many seasons, Wallace will have a new quarterback throwing him balls this fall, as either Spencer Sanders or Dru Brown will take over. To say Wallace broke out last season is quite the understatement, as he went from catching seven passes as a freshman to becoming an All-American and Biletnikoff finalist as a sophomore.
From the jump this season, though, Wallace’s name will be at the top of teams’ scouting reports, and with another new quarterback, Wallace might have to be just as good in his junior year.
Dillon Stoner, Redshirt Junior, Wide Receiver
With how ridiculously stacked OSU’s receiving corps has been in his tenure, Dillon Stoner has never been the group’s marquee name, but no one can argue his production.
With team’s focusing on trying to contain Wallace and Chuba Hubbard, Stoner will be a sure set of hands for the new quarterback. Stoner enters his redshirt junior season with 97 career catches for 1,206 yards and eight touchdowns.
He probably enters the year as the No. 2 option in terms of pass-catching. After the open spring practice, OSU coach Mike Gundy said there is a possibility that Stoner moves from the slot to the outside to fill the void Tyron Johnson left.
“The good news with Stoner is he can play every position, so if we needed to make a move we certainly could,” Gundy said.
That type of flexibility will be important for this new-look OSU team that might have to find it’s identity early in the year.
Stoner still has two seasons of eligibility, though it’s felt like he’s been here since Clint Chelf was OSU’s quarterback. After an injury cut his freshman year short, he got a medical redshirt after having already played in four games and even throwing a touchdown pass against Central Michigan.
Johnny Wilson, Redshirt Senior, Center
OSU’s offensive line has its fair share of returning talent, but the group is under new leadership in Charlie Dickey.
The Cowboys’ offensive line has been in a rebuilding stage, and former offensive line coach Josh Henson’s departure could’ve restarted that process. But, the group seems to not have missed a beat with Dickey’s addition.
At center, Wilson will work with a new quarterback again in 2019, but it’s something he has gotten used to through his years in Stillwater.
“There’s not really a difference,” Wilson said after the spring practice. “I’ve been with Dru and them for a while, so it’s not really that big of a deal. But I had Mason (Rudolph), Corn (Taylor Cornelius), and now Spencer and Dru. I’ll be happy with either one of them. They’re both great quarterbacks.”