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With Portal Open, OSU OC Kasey Dunn Says Recruiting Current Players is Paramount

‘The first thing that you do is you recruit your own players.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowboys’ next game might not be for a few weeks, but Mike Gundy’s staff is entering perhaps the busiest time of the year.

Oklahoma State will play Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27, but with the transfer portal opening Monday and the early signing period opening Dec. 20, there is still plenty to do in the meantime.

OSU saw a mass exodus to the portal about this time last season — an exodus the staff was able to counteract and make a run at the Big 12 title game this season. But, with all the recruiting that will go on over the coming months, Cowboy offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said being around for his current players in this time takes precedent.

“The first thing that you do is you recruit your own players,” Dunn said. “I think you have to be in a position where you’re there to answer questions and make sure that you’re available for them and you’re not on the road. If they see you just out there immediately beating the bushes, I don’t know how they take it.

“I know this: me personally, I wanna be around for my guys, and if they have any questions or doubts, I want to be there for them and not on the phone somewhere. I think that’s the first thing. The first point of business is to recruit your own guys.”

As of writing, only one Cowboy has announced his intentions to enter the portal: safety Lardarius Webb Jr. Webb joined the Cowboys about this time last year out of Jones College. He played in only four games this season, maintaining a redshirt.

Webb could turn out to be a good player. He certainly has the pedigree for it. But that isn’t quite on the level of some of the bombshells of last season like Spencer Sanders, Mason Cobb, Jabbar Muhammad, John Paul Richardson and Thomas Harper. If the Cowboys can limit the major defections and pair that with the level of talent evaluation they showed by bringing in guys like Dalton Cooper, Leon Johnson III and Anthony Goodlow, it could set up to be quite the portal season in Stillwater.

Given the landscape of college football, it’d be hard to imagine Webb leaving is it for the Cowboys, but wide receiver Rashod Owens said he doesn’t see what happened last year happening this year.

“I really can’t see anybody hitting [the portal],” Owens said. “This team’s real close with each other. We built a relationship since January, since we built this team. A lot of relationships have been built, a lot of trust, leadership and all that has been taken and everything. I don’t really see a lot of people hitting that portal. It’d be surprising if somebody does or a few people do.

“We’re gonna try our best to keep people around for sure, definitely, to have this team back and try to get back here. But you can’t fight for a decision that they want to make. If there’s somewhere better for their position and for what they see, we gotta let them do what they want to do.”

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