Practice report: OSU
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Saturday, August 06, 2011
8/06/11 at 4:21 AM
Position update: Wide receiver
With Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper, who last season had a combined total of 169 catches, Oklahoma State is secure at two receiver spots. Michael Harrison and Tracy Moore will contend for a starting job and at the very least be involved in the rotation. Charlie Moore and Colton Chelf will be factors. During Friday's practice, Isaiah Anderson perfectly executed a deep post route and collected a long TD pass from Brandon Weeden. Josh Stewart is a freshman receiver to watch.
Coach Mike Gundy is hoping for a consistently strong preseason from senior Hubert Anyiam, who was outstanding in 2009 but missed most of the 2010 season with a foot injury. If Anyiam can return to his form of two years ago (42 catches, 515 yards), the Cowboys would have an additional big-play threat.
"When we lost Dez (Bryant during the 2009 season), he made a ton of plays for us," Gundy said of Anyiam. "I think he's back into the groove, both mentally and physically."
News and notes
ESPN tracks Weeden: During Friday's practice, an ESPN camera crew recorded Weeden's every move. Weeden and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken were outfitted with wireless microphones.
As part of its "Year of the Quarterback" series, ESPN is expected to present a one-hour, Weeden-OSU special at some point after the start of the regular season. The network has not announced a date on which the show will first air.
Beating the heat: On Friday, OSU opened its preseason camp with the earliest practice session ever for a Mike Gundy-coached Cowboy team.
Players were required to have finished breakfast before 6:30. When the 7:30 practice began, the Stillwater temperature was 86 degrees. When it ended at 10:15, the temperature was 95. By 3:30 p.m., it was 108.
In spite of the early start, Gundy said the Cowboys were energetic and practiced well. Players are accustomed to morning work, Gundy explained, because of 6 o'clock summer training sessions with strength coach Rob Glass.
"It went pretty well for a first workout," Monken said. "There wasn't much in the way of stupid penalties and busts like you might normally see early in the camp."
For as long as the extreme heat continues, the Cowboys will practice each day at 7:30 a.m.
Dinkins gives up football: Linebacker Chris Dinkins, a sophomore from Tyler, Texas, has decided to leave the OSU football program because of persistent headaches. He will continue to attend the university on a medical scholarship.
Rookies: Gundy mentioned defensive tackle Mike Mustafa, wide receiver Josh Stewart and middle linebacker Ryan Simmons as freshmen who performed well during their first college practice. Gundy also spoke about the two freshman running backs - Herschel Sims and Desmond Roland.
"I thought both of those guys did a decent job of moving around," Gundy said.
Opponent watch: Louisiana-Lafayette
Punishing heat is also an ongoing storyline in Louisiana. When the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns convened Thursday for their first preseason practice, the temperature was 103 degrees.
"I've heard people say that it gets hotter and hotter each year, but I don't know," coach Mark Hudspeth said. "If it kept getting hotter each week, we wouldn't be able to play football anymore."
Last season, the Ragin' Cajuns were 3-9 overall, 3-5 in the Sun Belt Conference..
This year, Louisiana-Lafayette is picked to finish eighth in the nine-team Sun Belt. The Ragin' Cajuns visit OSU for the Sept. 3 opener at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Saturday: Fan Appreciation Day, 2 p.m., Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Tuesday: First practice in full pads.
Aug. 13: Scrimmage (closed to the public).
Aug. 20: Scrimmage (closed to the public).
Aug. 22: First day of class.
Sept. 3: Season opener - Louisiana-Lafayette at OSU.
Note: All practice sessions and scrimmages are closed to the public.
Sept. 3: La.-Lafayette (Fox College Sports) 6 p.m.
Sept. 8: Arizona (ESPN-25) 7 p.m.
Sept. 17: at Tulsa (FSOK-27) 9 p.m.
Sept. 24: at Texas A&M TBA
Oct. 8: Kansas TBA
Oct. 15: at Texas TBA
Oct. 22: at Missouri TBA
Oct. 29: Baylor TBA
Nov. 5: Kansas State TBA
Nov. 12: at Texas Tech TBA
Nov. 18: at Iowa St. (ESPN2-26) 8 p.m.
Dec. 3: Oklahoma (KTUL-8) 2:30 or 7 p.m.
OSU wide receiver Hubert Anyiam missed most of the 2010 season with a foot injury. Tulsa World file