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2007 Oklahoma State Preview - Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 4, 2007


Preview 2007 Oklahoma State Cowboys Offense

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Preview 2007 - Offense

- 2007 Oklahoma State Preview | 2007 OSU Defense Preview
-
2007 OSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN OSU Preview 

What you need to know:
The potential is there for the nation's 16th best offense and seventh best scoring attack to be even better. Quarterback Bobby Reid lived up to the hype last season and proved he could be a star. While he loses a great target in D'Juan Woods, he gets Adarius Bowman back to go along with a slew of speedy but unproven receivers to stretch the field. The 1-2 rushing punch of Dantrell Savage and Keith Toston is among the fastest and most dangerous in America running behind a decent line that has experience, but will be a work in progress to find the right starting combination.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Bobby Reid
148-267, 2,266 yds, 24 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Dantrell Savage
126 carries, 820 yds, 8 TD
Receiving:
Adarius Bowman
60 carries, 1,181 yds, 12 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Adarius Bowman
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR Tommy Devereaux
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Russell Okung
Best pro prospect: Bowman
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Bowman 2) QB Bobby Reid, 3) RB Dantrell Savage
Strength of the offense: Running game, overall speed
Weakness of the offense: Offensive line depth, proven number two receiver

Quarterbacks

Projected Starter
:
Now that's the Bobby Reid everyone was expecting. A top recruit who was expected to come in right away and be one of college football's newest superstars, he couldn't stay healthy, was indecisive and erratic when he got his chance, and was starting to be considered a major bust. On the verge of transferring to get a fresh start somewhere else, everything clicked early in his sophomore as he showed off the mobility and arm that got everyone so excited in the first place. After rushing for 500 yards and five touchdowns and throwing for 2,266 yards and 24 scores, he goes into this season as one of the Big 12's top quarterbacks and most dangerous playmakers. He needs to cut down on his interceptions a bit throwing 11 last year, although three game in a blowout against Arkansas State, and he could stand to be more accurate, but he has all the tools and all the experience to be special.

Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Zac Robinson is a good-sized athlete with good mobility in a 6-3, 205-pound frame. He was used in various ways last season to get him on the field, and he delivered when he got the chance rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown averaging five yards per carry throwing for 345 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Originally considered a top receiver prospect coming out of high school, he's still improving.

With Al Pena transferring to Houston, there's an opening for 6-1, 190-pound redshirt freshman Alex Cate to establish himself in the number three slot. He's not much of a runner, but he has a live arm and a sensational high school résumé throwing for more than 6,000 yards and 74 touchdowns at Cottonwood High in Salt Lake City.
 
Watch Out For ... Reid to run less and throw it a bit more. He doesn't have to take off as much with a great backfield to hand off to and speedy receivers to get involved. Now that he knows what he's doing, his job will be to make everyone around him even better and not try to do everything himself.
Strength: Mobility. Both Reid and Robinson can run as well as any pair of quarterbacks in the Big 12, and they can also throw. They're not one dimensional.
Weakness: Accuracy. Reid only completed 55% of his throws and Robinson, in a limited role, didn't even hit half his passes. Without D'Juan Woods to throw to and a little bit of work needing to be done in the receiving corps, the passing will have to be sharper.
Outlook: The sky's the limit for Reid, who seems like he's been around for several years. He has all the tools to become an All-Big 12 star and should put up big passing numbers throwing deep to his speedy receivers. Robinson is a trusted number two after getting time in the system last season. Considering Reid's injury history, Robinson has to stay ready. 
Rating: 8

Running Backs

Projected Starters
:
It took half the season to get going after getting hurt early on, but when Dantrell Savage turned it on, he became special rushing for over 100 yards in five of the final seven games finishing with a whopping 6.5 yards per carry. The former JUCO transfer isn't all that big and doesn't have much power at 5-9 and 195 pounds, but he's a big-time home run hitter with a tremendous ability to stop and start on a dime before blowing through the open hole. With his sub-4.4 speed, he needs to get the ball on the move more as a receiver.

When OSU uses a fullback, it'll go to 6-1, 255-junior John Johnson, who developed into a nice short yardage back making five catches with three going for scores, and running one time for one yard and a touchdown.

Projected Top Reserves: OSU doesn't have backups as much as it has co-starters. 210-pound sophomore Keith Toston does a little of everything well finishing second on the team with 631 yards with six touchdowns and six yards per carry while finishing fourth on the team with ten catches for 92 yards and two scores. He provides more power at tailback while not giving away anything in the speed department. He might not be as fast as Savage, but he can score from everywhere on the field.

With Mike Hamilton transferring to Georgia Southern, to door is open for senior Julius Crosslin to play more prominent role. At 230 pounds, he's a powerful back who's good around the goal line scoring three times last season. He was a superstar high school linebacker who brings that physical attitude to his blocking.

In the fullback mix will be junior Jeremiah Burton, a powerful 250-pound runner and blocker who ran caught a touchdown pass against Arkansas State.
 
Watch Out For ... Savage and Toston to combine for 2,000 yards. With Hamilton out of the mix, there's room for almost 100 more carries from someone, and OSU has the speedsters to make the most of them.
Strength: Speed. All the tailbacks need is a little bit of a hole and they're gone. Savage averaged 6.5 yards per carry while Toston averaged six yards per run.
Weakness: Can the two stars hold up? Savage was dinged up last year and isn't big enough to handle the ball 20 times a game every game, while Toston only carried the ball more than ten times twice last season and didn't get more than 14 carries. If the running game misses Hamilton at any point this year, there will be big problems.
Outlook: There's speed, talent, power in the backups, and a whole bunch of production returning. While QB Bobby Reid will chip in with around 500 rushing yards again, it'll be the backs that make all the noise tearing off big play after big play. The coaching staff should be able to tinker with the gameplan using power backs like Crosslin and Johnson to provide a little bit of power at times.
Rating: 9.5

Receivers

Projected Starters
:
Adarius Bowman should be in the NFL. The 6-4, 220-pound former transfer from North Carolina has the speed and talent, along with the athleticism to play on the OSU hoops team, to go to the next level right now, but he chose to come back for his senior season and should be one of the nation's most productive receivers after catching 60 passes for 1,181 yards and 12 touchdowns highlighted by a jaw-dropping 13-catch, 300-yard, four score performance against Kansas. As good as he was, his production dropped off in a big way over the second half of they year and only finished the season with two-100-yard games.

On the other side, taking over for D'Juan Woods, will be senior Tommy Devereaux, a lightning quick receiver who made three catches for 37 yards in a limited role. Used more so far as a part-time punt returner, he has the speed and athleticism to blow up on the other side of Bowman. In the slot will be Anthony Parks, who equaled Devereaux's production catching three passes for 37 yards limited by injury problems. The former JUCO transfer has nice speed and excellent hands; now he has to prove he can use them and be a go-to target.

Early on until Devereaux and Parks get going, the number two receiver will likely be junior tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who finished third on the team with 24 catches for 310 yards and four touchdowns. He has NFL potential with good hands, great route running ability, and a 6-6, 260-pound body that's great for springing big plays on the outside for the running game.

Projected Top Reserves: Creating depth will be a big key, but OSU has some promising prospects to develop. One who's ready to roll right now is sophomore Jeremy Broadway, who missed all of last year with a broken arm after looking like a possible starter going into the season. He was a big-time recruit who'll likely push Parks out of the starting role in the slot early in the year.

Sophomore Artrell Woods was all set to start out behind Devereaux at the X after catching two passes for nine yards, but he suffered a horrible accident in the weight room, injuring his back, and will be out for a long time. While he's not as fast as Devereaux, he has good size and decent potential if he can return.

Junior Seth Newton is an experienced 6-3 target, but he only made one catch for eight yards last season and isn't likely to do much behind Bowman.

Behind Pettigrew and ready to make more of a splash in two tight end sets is junior Justin Waller, who caught five passes for 72 yards including a key 22-yard grab in the win over Alabama. He's 6-4, 240 pounds and can move.
 
Watch Out For ... plenty of deep plays. Bowman averaged 19.7 yards per catch last season, Devereaux is one of the team's fastest players, and Broadway can move. Even the tight end, Pettigrew, can stretch the field. Expect lots of home runs.
Strength: Speed. All the receivers can move and all should get chances to make an impact with all the attention paid to Bowman. While Bobby Reid will throw several deep passes, part of the design will be to get everyone the ball on the move in space.
Weakness: A sure-thing number two receiver. D'Juan Woods was a number one receiver who ended up being used as a number two. OSU has several fantastic prospects, but if no one can produce like Woods did, Bowman will be taken out of the picture by double and triple teams.
Outlook: Considering Bowman's stats from last year as a bit misleading, this might not be the be-all-end-all corps many will make it out to be. Even so, if Devereaux, Broadway and Parks all allow the passing game to be spread around a little bit, and if Bowman gets single coverage for an extended period of time, the potential is there for another year with well over 20 team touchdown catches and 15.1 yards per grab.
Rating: 7

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters
:
The tackles have a chance to go from very good to special. 6-5, 290-pound Russell Okung stepped in as a true freshman and ended up starting early on. He's a terrific athlete who was stunningly good in pass protection right off the bat. He has the upside to grow into an All-America caliber player if he gets a little bit stronger and continues to improve at left tackle.

On the other side, senior David Koenig will likely move to tackle, replacing Corey Hilliard, after spending last year entrenched at left guard where he was a strong run blocker. While he doesn't have the feet, skills or upside of Okung, he's a talented veteran who'll likely earn All-Big 12 honors if he can make the transition without missing a beat.

Junior David Washington has been able to improve and grow over his first two years starting 24 games at center. He made huge strides last year becoming more consistent and better in all phases. Now he's on the verge of being an all-star with the size at 305 pounds to be dominant in the running game.

Junior Steve Denning came to OSU as a 245-pound JUCO transfer, hit the weights hard, and now is a strong 6-5, 300-pound pile mover on the right side in place of Kurt Seifried. He could move to either guard spot if needed and even has the potential to see time at tackle in a pinch.

Sophomore Andrew Lewis will get the first look at left guard, but the 6-5, 295-pounder could be moved around depending on where Denning ends up. He should be tremendous on the move when combined with Okung on the left side.    

Projected Top Reserves: While there's good depth to play around with, true freshman Jonathan Rush is the one prospect line coach Joe Wickline is particularly excited about. While Rush still needs to put more weight on his 6-5 frame, the 250-pounder is a terrific talent at either guard or tackle. OSU isn't afraid to start young players, and he could find his way into a spot early in the year.

Sophomore Brady Bond will see plenty of action at both guard spots likely starting out on the left side behind Okung. After playing eight-man football in high school and redshirting a year, he showed the athleticism early on to get the starting nod at left tackle before being replaced by Corey Hilliard. He's a tremendous prospect who'll see starting time at some point.

295-pound redshirt freshman Jacob Secrest will play behind Koenig at right tackle and could slide over to the left side if Bond ends up taking over a starting job. He was a star recruit and has the strength to be a major player throughout the year.

Sophomore Noah Franklin played a little on the defensive side but now will move over to offense bringing his 6-5, 310-pound frame to right guard.

6-3, 310-pound Michael Booker is a bigger option than Andrew Lewis at left guard, but could quickly be lost in the shuffle if Koenig moves to guard.
 
Watch Out For ... lots of movement. Lots and lots of movement. Write the depth chart in pencil with there to be plenty of changes all across the board as Wickline tries to find the right mesh of talents.
Strength: Versatility. Washington will play center, Okung will play tackle, and everyone else will be plugged in as needed. The coaching staff likes to play around with all sorts of arrangements and will put the five best linemen on the field at the same time. However, that creates ...
Weakness: ... inconsistency. There's no complaining with the method since the O-line was a rock throughout last season, but with so many variables and few players getting rep upon rep with the same guys next to them, the potential is there for the linemen to not quite know how to play together.
Outlook: The line was tremendous last season giving up a mere 38 sacks in 13 games while paving the way for one of the nation's best rushing attacks. All-star Corey Hilliard is gone, but three starters return along with plenty of others with experience. Once the right combination is found, this should be one of the team's strengths yet again.
Rating: 7.5

 

Related Stories
2007 Oklahoma State Preview
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 3, 2007
2007 Oklahoma State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Aug 6, 2007
2007 Oklahoma State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Apr 3, 2007








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