SIGNING DAY: OSU lands highly rated receivers
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
2/06/13 at 7:02 PM
Signing Day 2013: Stay up to date with the latest news on recruiting day with videos, bios and stories on Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa.
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STILLWATER -- The Oklahoma State football program, during the days of Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders, was referred to as Tailback U.
Now a more fitting name for the program is Wide Receiver U. That reputation perhaps got furthered when the Cowboys landed two of the nation’s top 40 receiver prospects -- Marcell Ateman and Ra’Shaad Samples -- on signing day.
The rich get richer?
But what was made clear from the positions of players on the signing list is this: Mike Gundy is serious about upgrading OSU’s defense.
“We are going to make some adjustments in recruiting on that side of the ball, which we already have. from a numbers standpoint, to try to get a little better on defense each year,” he said.
OSU signed six defensive lineman in the recruiting class of 2012. The Cowboys added six more this year, including Naim Mustafaa (who committed to Georgia before enrolling at OSU for the spring semester) and junior college transplants Ofa Hautau and Sam Wren. Hautau didn’t show up on a commitment list until his letter of intent arrived Wednesday.
Gundy identified defensive line as a position of need. And, in addressing the need, he said the Cowboys signed their best group of defensive linemen (“because we have some meat in it”) in his time as head coach.
“We have got guys that are coming in that are big and physical as we speak,” the coach said, adding that he expects them to get bigger in coming months as they work with strength coach Rob Glass.
“And then we have some guys that are on the edge that have some height and some range,” Gundy said, describing Wren as explosive. “And we needed some help at the end position because we lost (three seniors).”
Gundy then referred back to his “best-yet” statement, saying “I will be very surprised if 18 months from now that we all don’t agree that this is the best group of defensive linemen that we have signed since I have been the head coach here.”
Alpharetta defensive lineman Naim Mustafaa (99, right) celebrates after he sacked Chattahoochee quarterback Travis Marhsall in the first half of their game at Alpharetta High School Friday night in Alpharetta, Ga. JASON GETZ / AJC