2010 Oklahoma State Preview - Offense
Oklahoma State WR Hubert Anyiam
CollegeFootballNews.com 2010 Preview - Oklahoma State Cowboy Offense
Preview 2010 - Offense
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What You Need To Know: The offense was supposed to be among the most talented and most dangerous in America last year with stars like WR Dez Bryant, OT Russell Okung, RB Kendall Hunter, and QB Zac Robinson leading the way after a stellar 2008. An injury to Hunter, a Bryant suspension, and the inconsistent play of Robinson led to a disappointing year. Now there's a massive overhaul going on with just two starters returning, and while the attack isn't going to be devastating, it should be fine even though former Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen will take over the play-calling duties from head coach Mike Gundy and he'll be trying to utilize the spread to create more big plays. Hunter is back and healthy to lead a group of talented backs, and while four starters up front are gone, it's a big line that should open up a few holes for the speed runners. It's 26-year-old Brandon Weeden at quarterback for the time being, but three true freshmen are better fits for the OSU offense and there could be an interesting fight for roles and work as the season goes on. The receiving corps, as a whole is unproven, but Hubert Anyiam leads a promising crew that should be better with a year to get its feet wet without Bryant. Overall, expect a faster-paced attack that gets the ball into the hands of the playmakers in a hurry.
Star of the offense: Senior RB Kendall Hunter
Passing: Brandon Weeden
15-24, 248 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kendall Hunter
89-382, 1 TD
Receiving: Hubert Anyiam
42 catches, 515 yds, 3 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior OT Nick Martinez
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Justin Blackmon
Best pro prospect: Martinez
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hunter, 2) WR Hubert Anyiam, 3) Martinez
Strength of the offense: Speed, Kendall Hunter
Weakness of the offense: Experience, Brandon Weeden's Experience
Projected Starter: While junior Brandon Weeden didn't get a whole bunch of playing time as the No. 2 man behind Zac Robinson, he played just enough to get his feet wet and look like the type of passer who could step in and keep the offense rolling. Following an inconsistent offseason, he was just good enough to hold down the backup job and finished completing 15-of-24 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns with an interception with his most important work coming in the tight win over Colorado when Robinson got knocked out. The 26-year-old former pitcher in the New York Yankee farm system is 6-4, 224 pounds, and has a gun. He's not going to run much, but he can move.
Projected Top Reserves: It'll be a major battle for the backup job with a slew of freshmen fighting it out. The best of the bunch is expected to be Johnny Deaton , a 6-2, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback who fits the OSU mold. He has decent size and excellent speed and arm strength, and he might be the most ready of the three new options maturity-wise.
Clint Chelf isn't all that big and needs to put on some muscle, but the 6-1, 200-pounder has a mid-level arm and is accurate on the short-to-midrange throws. He's more of a baller than a system quarterback and is strong on the move. Of the three new options, he might be the best option to run a pure spread.
Nathan Sorenson will be behind the eight-ball a bit working behind the other true freshmen early on, but he might have the best all-around skills of any of the team's quarterbacks. He's a big 6-3 and 200 pounds, is a fantastic athlete, and has 4.5 speed as a part of a state champion relay team. He's smart and has the tools to fit in somewhere right away.
Watch Out For … Weeden to be solid. He's not going to run for big yards here and there like Zac Robinson was able to, but he'll be a big bomber who should do a good job of pushing the ball down the field and using his maturity and experience in the system to make the right reads and plays.
Strength: The future. The Cowboys have three interesting, talented prospects to develop and work on for the next few years, and the coaching staff isn't ruling out moving one of them into the starting position in a hurry if Weeden is struggling.
Weakness: Experience. It's not like Weeden has logged in a bunch of miles, and if he sputters or gets hurt, the season will rely on a true freshman.
Outlook: Robinson had an inconsistent and disappointing senior season, but he was a leader who carried the team through adversity. Weeden has to make the team his from the start with his on-field play, and don't rule out the idea of rotating quarterbacks once in a while to get more of a rushing threat on the field.
Unit Rating: 6.5
Projected Starters: Let's try this again. Senior Kendall Hunter was supposed to be on the short-list of All-America candidates last season after leading the Big 12 rushing for 1,555 yards and 16 scores, but he suffered a foot injury and was never quite right all season long. He gave it a try after missing time, and finished with 382 yards and a score, but he was hardly the same player he was expected to be. The 5-8, 197-pounder isn't all that big and he's not necessarily a blazer, but he comes up with big runs when he gets into the open, has good hands, and despite the injury last year, is consistently durable.
OSU doesn't always use a fullback, but when it does, Bryant Ward gets the call. He made one start last season, against Grambling State, and gets a little work as a blocker with just one carry for four yards and caught a pass for no yards. The senior is a 5-11, 223-pound role player who's strong in pass protection and on special teams.
Projected Top Reserves: OSU always comes up with productive small, speedy backs, and it has another good one in sophomore Travis Miller, a 5-9, 192-pound flash of lightning who got a little bit of work in last year rushing for 59 yards. He'll split time behind Kendall Hunter, but he'll play more of a role as the coaching staff will find ways to get the ball in his hands.
Looking to potentially make a huge impact from Day One is true freshman Jeremy Smith, a 5-10, 203-pound big-time prospect who was considered one of the nation's top running back recruits. While he has a shoulder injury and might need a little time, he has the power and the skills to grow into a star right away even if he's playing second-fiddle to Kendall Hunter.
Watch Out For … the battle for the backup job. There's no question that Hunter is the lead back as long as he's healthy, but with a speedster in Miller and a talented prospect in Smith there should be plenty of jockeying for carries.
Strength: Talent. If Hunter is Hunter again, if Miller can get the space to use his wheels, and if Smith is the player everyone is hoping for, the Cowboys will have a tremendous stable of backs that could be the best in the Big 12.
Weakness: The offensive line. Part of the reason the Cowboy running game has been so terrific over the last few years has been the line. Led by Russell Okung, OSU's offensive front was so dominant that everyone who worked behind it produced. The line should end up being fine, but four starters need to be replaced and there might not be the room there was last year for the backs (at least early on).
Outlook: Hunter is coming into the season with an attitude and a purpose as he's looking to show everyone that 2009 was an aberration. If he's back to form (which he appeared to be this offseason) and if he's getting some decent blocking in front of him, OSU might have an All-America runner to work around. The backups are untested, but extremely promising.
Unit Rating: 8
Projected Starters: With Dez Bryant getting suspended for the season, the team needed a player to step up and become a receiver to rely on as a No. 1. Junior Hubert Anyiam wasn't Bryant and wasn't close to being a dangerous playmaker who struck fear in opposing defenses, but he was far better than expected finishing with a team-leading 42 catches for 515 yards and three touchdowns including ten grabs for 119 yards and a score against Missouri. A superstar recruit, the 6-0, 198-pounder might be just scratching the surface of his skills with great quickness and a good ability to get open.
Junior Josh Cooper hasn't always been healthy, but he's one of the team's fastest players and started to show off his skills a bit last year catching 20 passes for 234 yards and a score. At 5-11 and 192 pounds he has decent size to go along with his wheels, and now with a bigger role he needs to be more of a big-play performer.
6-1, 207-pound sophomore Justin Blackmon might be the new OSU receiving superstar, or at least he has the skills to be great. A superior athlete who was one of the team's top recruits a few years ago , Blackmon stepped up his play when given the shot last season finishing third on the team with 20 grabs for 260 yards and two scores in a consistent but unspectacular year. While he'll work on the inside, he'll get a look at several different spots.
At 6-2 and 237 pounds, Tracy Moore is a big sophomore who can be used as a receiver or a tight end. He might look a bit like a fullback, but he's fast for his size and has terrific hands. He caught 11 passes for 13 yards and three touchdowns in his limited role with just one grab over the final four games.
Projected Top Reserves: Working behind Blackmon on the outside will be Isaiah Anderson, a 5-10, 175-pound blazer with 4.34 speed good enough to make him a part of the track team. He was supposed to become a big part of the offense last year, but he only caught one pass for 23 yards against Grambling. A field-stretcher, now the sophomore has to grow into a role.
At 6-3, 240-pound Justin Horton has tight end size with wide receiver quickness. He's still blossoming into his skills and made a few nice plays catching four passes for 43 yards, but he has to be more focused and has to take advantage of every opportunity.
Redshirt freshman Charlie Moore is still trying to learn the finer points of being a wide receiver after spending his high school career as a running quarterback. At 6-3 and 199 pounds he has the size and he has the speed and athleticism, he was a star high school triple jumper, and he can be used as a runner or a receiver. In a pinch, he could be a Wildcat quarterback, too.
Watch Out For … Blackmon. The team needs a new star to work around, and while Anyiam will be close, Blackmon is the one with the talent to be terrific. He'll get a starting spot and he has to be a consistent playmaker.
Strength: Speed and size. The OSU receivers are tall, athletic, and they can all move. There might not be a sure-thing next-level talent to rely on right away, but there are several great speedsters who can stretch the field and become key factors.
Weakness: Proven production. Anyiam might have been great, but it's a huge drop-off from Bryant's 87 catches 1,480 and 19 touchdowns in 2008 to the 196 grabs for 2,333 yards and 20 touchdowns as a team (with Bryant leading the way with four touchdown catches) last year. Anyiam was great and several players got their feet wet, but there's a reason the NFL scouts are in love with Bryant's ability.
Outlook: The receiving corps was going to be all about Bryant leading the way and everyone had to adjust their roles on the fly early on. After a year of working without the star of the show, everyone should be ready to produce and do more. This should grow into a team strength by year's end.
Unit Rating: 7
Projected Starters: Russell Okung is the best offensive tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft and isn't going to be easily replaced. Trying to step into the All-America shoes at left tackle will be Nick Martinez, a 6-4, 317-pound former JUCO transfer who was originally brought in to be a guard and saw a little time in 12 games. A former tight end, he bulked up but still has decent athleticism and the strength to push defenders around. He's not going to be Okung and isn't the same athlete, but he should be better than decent with a little bit of time.
Jonathan Rush is a 6-4, 314-pound junior who has seen time at guard after beefing up big time. He came to OSU as an athletic 250-pounder and hit the weights hard and grew into his frame. The junior didn't see any time last year and he'll have to battle hard to stick in a starting spot at left guard, but he has the skills to be a mauler of a run blocker.
The one returning starter up front will move around to try to find the right fit. A great recruit in 2008, 6-2, 301-pound sophomore Lane Taylor worked at right guard for most of last year and could move in at center if he doesn't stay at his old spot. While he could settle in and be the anchor for the next three years, don't rule out a move to a few different spots depending on what the offense needs.
While there will be an ongoing fight for the center job with a few different options, junior Grant Garner will likely get the first look. The 6-3, 290-pounder is a smart, tough player who got a little bit of action last year and looked the part all offseason. He has yet to live up to his prep hype, but he appears to be ready to grow into a steady blocker.
6-6, 330-pound junior Levy Adcock got a little work in three games last season and now will take over the right tackle job. A top JUCO transfer who could've gone to Alabama, he has the size and the makeup to be a guard but has just enough athleticism to play on the outside. He quietly could turn out to be the team's most consistent blocker with a few games to get his feet wet; he has good all-around skills.
Projected Top Reserves: Expected to be a major part of the mix is redshirt freshman Parker Graham, a very tall, very promising blocker. At 6-7 and 289 pounds with great reach and good athleticism, he's being given every shot to win the starting left tackle job. He's physical, has the feet, and has the makeup to eventually be a rock, but he needs to be consistent and will likely spend most of his time working in a rotation.
Former JUCO transfer Anthony Morgan was expected to push for a starting job right away as a superstar recruit with the body and talent to be terrific when he arrived on campus, but he only saw time in four games. The 6-5, 320-pound senior will get the first look at right guard and he could quickly be one of the team's stars up front.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Webb was a huge recruit for the program, literally, checking in at 6-3 and 326 pounds and with the talent to go anywhere in the country. He'll start out working at left guard but could start at either guard spot if needed. He has future All-Big 12 star written all over him with the size and strength to be special.
Watch Out For … Okung to not be missed all that much. Of course you don't get better by losing a player of Okung's caliber, but the Cowboys have good players in Martinez and Graham who can potentially be very, very strong. Left tackle won't be an issue.
Strength: Upside. The world isn't ending just because OSU is losing four starters up front. The replacements are talented, too, and given a little bit of time this should jell into a good line that produces at a high level. If nothing else, this is a big line that should do some shoving around.
Weakness: Experience. The line should be good enough to get by, but it's asking a lot to replace a veteran group that allowed a mere 12 sacks while paving the way for 188 rushing yards per game. It might take a game or three to find the right combination.
Outlook: The offensive line was one of the team's biggest strengths last season, and while it should be solid in time, replacing four starters is never easy. There's upside at all five spots with good talent ready to step in at each spot, but the cohesion isn't likely to be there like it was over the last two seasons. It'll be a good line this year, and next season it should be a great one.
Unit Rating: 7
- 2010 Oklahoma State Preview |
Oklahoma State Offense
2010 Oklahoma State Defense |
Oklahoma State Depth Chart
- Oklahoma State Previews