Preview 2009 - Offense
2009 CFN Oklahoma State
2009 OSU Offense
2009 OSU Defense |
2009 OSU Depth
What you need to know:
After finishing seventh in the nation in
total offense two years ago, the OSU offensive machine was even better
finishing sixth in the country averaging 488 yards and 41 points per
game. Possibly the nation's most balanced and efficient attack, there
are four superstars to build around in QB Zac Robinson, WR Dez Bryant,
OT Russell Okung, and RB Kendall Hunter, with Bryant and Hunter likely
to be among the top ten players taken in the 2010 NFL Draft. There's a
little work to be done on a line that was dominant throughout last year,
but there are good options at guard. A No. 2 receiver has to emerge and
the dream season would likely go kaput if Robinson got hurt, but there's
depth across the board and the talent is in place for the offense to be
even more special.
Passing: Zac Robinson
204-314, 3,064 yds, 25 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Kendall Hunter
2441 carries, 1,555 yds, 16
87 catches, 1,480 yds, 19 TD
Star of the
Junior WR Dez
Player who has to step up and become a star: Sophomore OG
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Justin
Best pro prospect: Bryant
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Bryant, 2) OT Russell
Okung, 3) QB Zac Robinson
Strength of the offense: Talent, Production
Weakness of the offense: Proven No. 2 Receiver, Proven
Senior Zac Robinson
was a out of the spotlight compared to Colt McCoy, Sam
Bradford, Chase Daniel, and the rest of the Big 12 superstar
quarterback, but he was as good as any of them finishing fifth
in the nation in passing efficiency and 18th in total offense.
Not only did he throw for 3,064 yards and 25 touchdowns, but he
ran for 562 yards and eight scores, too. The one issue is with
interceptions, spreading out ten over the course of the season
with one in each of the last four regular season games and two
against Oregon. He makes up for his mistakes with tremendous
athleticism in a 6-3, 220-pound frame. With a good arm and his
mobility, there are some scouts that think he's the best NFL
quarterback prospect in the Big 12, but he has to be more
consistent to make it happen, and he needs to come up bigger
against the top teams.
Projected Top Reserves: Junior Alex Cate
was a big-time recruit out of Salt Lake City after
throwing for more than 6,000 yards and 74 touchdowns in high
school. However, he hasn't been able to see much action
completing 4-of-5 passes for 56 yards while rushing for a score.
He's only 6-1 and 200 pounds, but he has a live arm and can make
things happen on the move.
It was all there for sophomore
Brandon Weeden to take over the No. 2 job after
a strong spring, but he struggled in the final scrimmage and
things are put on hold going into the fall. The 24-year-old
former pitcher in the New York Yankee farm system has a good arm
and 6-4, 215-pound size, but he hasn't seen any real action,
completing just 1-of-3 passes against Missouri State. He's a
decent athlete, but he's not the best runner compared to
Robinson and Cate.
Watch Out For ... an ongoing battle for the No. 2
job. It's year two in the fight between Cate and Weeden for the
backup gig, and while the coaching staff would like to see
Weeden take the next step forward, mostly because of his size
and maturity, but he can't seem to push out Cate. Call them the
co-No. 2s throughout the season.
Strength: Veterans. The Bobby Reid experience is
well in the past; this is Robinson's offense. Weeden and Cate
have each seen plenty of practice time in the system over the
last two years and each are as seasoned as backups can be.
Weakness: Backup experience. Cate and Weeden might
seem like they're ready to go, but they haven't seen enough game
action to be counted on if absolutely needed. Oklahoma State can
win with either one, but Robinson could be the difference
between being really good and winning the Big 12 title.
Outlook: Robinson is one of the nation's best
quarterbacks and will finally start being talked about in the
same category as Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. He's a total
offense star who's ultra-efficient, but now he needs to use his
experience to cut down on his interceptions. Cate and Weeden
need as much game time as possible.
Junior Kendall Hunter
followed up a nice 696-yard, ten touchdown season by turning in
one of the best seasons of any runner in America. Not only did
he rush for 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns, while catching 22
passes for 198 yards and a score, but he was tremendously
consistent. He ran for 90 yards or more in 11 games before being
held to 84 yards by Oklahoma and 37 against Oregon. At 5-8 and
190 pounds, he's not all that big and he's not a blazer, he rips
off yards in chunks, is great at getting through the hole, and
is ultra-reliable as both a workhorse runner and a receiver.
OSU doesn't always use a fullback, but when it does it'll
once again be up to junior Bryant Ward after he was a
spot-starter in 13 games. While he's not huge at 5-11 and 225
pounds, and he'll almost never get the ball, getting one carry
for a one-yard score last year, but he's a great blocker and is
solid in pass protection and on special teams.
Projected Top Reserves: Senior Keith Toston
has been a terrific running mate with 631 yards and six scores
as a freshman and 686 yards and eight scores last year. He had
to fight through a knee injury in 2007, but he came back healthy
and was a great option behind Hunter averaging 6.7 yards per
carry with 100-yard days against Missouri State and Troy. At 6-0
and 205 pounds he brings a bit more power than Hunter and is
great when he gets room to roam.
came in from the JUCO ranks, after leading Butler
County CC to a national title by rushing for 288 yards and four
scores in the championship game, and ran for 357 yards and three
touchdowns in mop-up duty. At 5-11 and 210 pounds he a compact
speedster who can help take away some of the load in more
While there might not be a place for
him this year, 6-2, 225-pound freshman Dexter Pratt
has all the tools to eventually become a star back. All
but locked up at LSU, he changed his mind at the last second and
decided to bring his size and 4.48 speed to the Cowboys. He's
the total package who might be held out for a year with so many
other great runners, but he should eventually be special.
Watch Out For ... more of the same. Why mess with
what works? Hunter is the star, Toston can step in at any time
and run for 100 yards, and there are more talented backs waiting
in the wings. Throw in QB Zac Robinson in the rushing equation
and OSU will keep on rolling.
Strength: Big yards. Hunter averaged 6.5 yards per
carry, Toston averaged 6.7, and Johnson averaged 6.2. The line
is great at opening up holes for the quick backs to get through,
and there will be big runs after big runs again.
Weakness: The loss of two starters off the line.
It's nitpicking for a loaded backfield and a running game that
finished eight in the nation. It was a chicken and egg scenario;
was the ground game great because of the line, or did the backs
make the line look great? Both, and now the front five will be
without two key starters in center David Washington and guard
Outlook: After finishing eighth in the nation in
rushing two years in a row, it'll be a stunner if OSU isn't in
the top ten again as long as QB Zac Robinson is healthy. The
backfield is loaded with talented runner with Hunter an
All-American, Toston a fantastic No. 2. and more talent on the
way from a strong recruiting class. Durability has been a
problem in the past, but there are too many options to worry
much about one injury, even to Hunter.
Who was going to replace
Adarius Bowman? That was the big question mark going into last
season, and then junior Dez Bryant went from
being a rising star to, arguably, the nation's best receiver. At
6-2 and 215 pounds he has good size, and he plays even bigger
with tremendous leaping ability and good hands. He has the speed
to go along with the size hitting home runs from all over the
field averaging 17 yards per catch. The knock on him was his
inability to come up with big games against the top teams,
catching three touchdowns against Houston, Troy, and Texas A&M,
and four scores against Iowa State. And then he showed up big
time against Oklahoma catching six passes for 91 yards and two
touchdowns and 13 catches for 167 yards and a score against
Oregon. On the year he made 87 grabs for 1,480 yard and 19
touchdowns, and now the spotlight will be on with top five draft
pick talent if he can stay healthy. Dinged up at times
throughout last year, he was out this spring getting his knee
Needing to benefit from all the attention
paid to Bryant on the other side will be senior DeMarcus
Conner, a 6-1, 210-pounder has always been a work in
progress and has always been more vital on special teams and as
a blocking receiver, but he's been around long enough to start
to do more. He started every game last year but caught just
three passes for 32 yards.
6-1, 195-pound redshirt
freshman Justin Blackmon could be the star of
the future once Bryant's gone. Coming off a great spring, the
great athlete and top recruit should be able to stretch the
field and be great around the goal line. He has the skills to
quickly be a big factor and a breakout performer.
future NFL star Brandon Pettigrew gone, sophomore Wilson
Youman will take over at tight end. A defensive star in
high school, he's been a good blocker so far and a reliable spot
starter. At 6-5 and 252 pounds he has a big frame and excellent
toughness and athleticism. Now he has to become more of a
receiver after catching just one pass for four yards against
Projected Top Reserves: Sophomore Hubert
Anyiam was a superstar recruit in 2007 and started to
look the part this spring. The 6-1, 198 pounder caught 60 passes
for 1,058 yards and 12 scores as a high school senior, but only
came up with three catches for 32 yards last year. He'll find a
spot in three and four wide sets and will be the key backup
5-10, 175-pound redshirt freshman
Isaiah Anderson is a good young prospect with
phenomenal wheels. With 4.34 speed, he's not just a track star
playing football, he's a receiver. Of course it doesn't hurt
that he runs track for OSU, and there's plenty of excitement
about what he can become.
While Youman is the team's top
blocking tight end, sophomore Jamal Mosley
might have the best skills for the position. He's like a big
wide receiver at 6-4 and 243 pounds and he's not that bad a
blocker. He's not the physical player that Youman is, but he's
the better athlete and will play a big role in the passing game
after catching five passes for 57 yards.
Watch Out For ... Anyiam and Anderson seeing starting
time sooner than later. Conner isn't going to grow into anything
special in his senior year, but Anyiam and Anderson could be
fantastic. They're phenomenal athletes with the talent to blow
up in single coverage.
Strength: Talented targets. Bryant has the ability
to possibly be the No. 1 player in the 2010 NFL Draft, if he
chooses to come out early. Blackmon is a rising star, while
Anyiam and Anderson have a world of upside.
Weakness: Proven No. 2. The team's second best
receiver last year was Pettigrew, and the third best was RB
Kendall Hunter. There might be a ton of talent to get excited
about, but someone has to step up and show something with
defenses putting most of the secondary on Bryant.
Outlook: The OSU passing game is all about the big
plays and about efficiency. There's speed and skill to strike
from anywhere on the field, and with a superstar in Bryant to be
the unstoppable focus to start with, the rest of the talented
young targets can grow. The one big issue is Bryant's healthy.
Can he stay 100% throughout a season? He couldn't do it last
If Dez Bryant isn't the No. 1 pick in
the 2010 NFL Draft, it might be senior left tackle Russell Okung.
The 6-6, 305-pound junior might have been the first tackle taken in last
year's draft had he decided to come out early, and now it's salary drive
time. Phenomenal against top-shelf pass rusher, highlighted by the job
done against Texas star Brian Orakpo. He's an exceptional athlete who's
a sure-thing All-American and the anchor of one of the nation's best
Returning at right tackle is Brady Bond,
a 6-7, 295-pound senior who started every game last year has been a rock
on the line for 26 straight games. Very smart and very tough, he's
fantastic in pass protection and buries people in the running game.
While he's not Okung, he's as reliable as they come.
Andrew Lewis started every game at left guard and now
will step in and start for David Washington at center. The 6-5,
290-pounder is able to play anywhere on the offensive interior and was
great for the running attack all throughout last year. Better in pass
protection than most guards, he can do it all and could be in the mix
for all-star honors.
With Lewis moving over, sophomore
Jonathan Rush will take over at left guard. One of the team's
most talented young linemen, he came to Stillwater at 250 pounds and has
bulked up to 310 pounds on his 6-5 frame. Expected to become a mauler of
a run blocker, he'll benefit in all areas from playing next to Okung.
Taking over for Steve Denning at right guard will be Noah
Franklin, a 6-5, 310-pound sophomore who has good athleticism
for his size. A promising young player who should grow into the job
after being a key reserve for most of last year. He'll grow into the
Projected Top Reserves: 6-4, 310-pound sophomore
Nick Martinez was a good reserve who'll push for time
at left guard. One of the team's strongest linemen, he can push anyone
around for the running game, but he's not the best of pass protectors.
However, he can step in and produce whenever needed.
transfer Andrew Mitchell saw time in eight games last
year and will once again be a reserve behind Bond at right tackle. A
superstar for Snow CC, the former tight end went on a two-year LDS
Church mission and got bigger and stronger. He'll be 24 when the season
6-4, 320-pound JUCO transfer Anthony Morgan
is a superstar recruit who got to school early and will push
Franklin for the right guard job. Close to going to Florida out of high
school, he had to go to junior college route and went from a good
prospect to a phenomenal one. He's too big and too talented to not see
Watch Out For ... a war for the guard jobs. Morgan
and Martinez could easily be the starters and will be strong enough
backups to provide a good rotation. The situation is a major plus
considering those are the two holes needing to be filled.
Strength: Tackles. Okung, who went from good to
special, is the best in America while Bond deserves all-star
recognition. Having a mobile quarterback like Zac Robinson helps, but
allowing just 16 sacks on the year is still impressive.
Weakness: Proven guards. There might be options
for the two open guard spots, but for a line that was so good and so
consistent over the last few years, throwing two new starters into the
mix might be just enough for the elite line to take a step back.
Outlook: Fantastic over the last few years, the
line will be a major strength once again. It won't be as good as last
year's line after it had the luxury of all five starters in place for
the entire season, but it'll be plenty strong. Okung might be the
greatest lineman in school history, and the other four starters are big
enough and talented enough to form a formidable front wall.