Breaking down OSU's 2013 signing class
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Thursday, February 07, 2013
2/07/13 at 5:50 AM
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It stings to lose Parade All-America receiver Fred Ross to Mississippi State on the eve of signing day. But the Cowboys still landed a nationally ranked - and balanced - class of 23 players.
"This class is part of the bright future that we have here at Oklahoma State," coach Mike Gundy said. "It's a class that is basically split evenly between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, with an excellent prospect at kicker."
OSU's most highly ranked prospects on the offensive side of the ball are receivers - Marcell Ateman of Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas, and Ra'Shaad Samples of Dallas Skyline.
Landing running back depth was important since Joseph Randle declared for the NFL draft. Coming aboard are Rennie Childs of Cypress Ridge High School in Houston and Corion Webster of Atlanta, Texas.
The Cowboys didn't sign a quarterback because they have three who started games last season. Quarterback prospect Luke Del Rio once was committed to OSU, but chose to walk on at Alabama.
Needs: Running back was an absolute need for the Cowboys after losing Randle, who led the Big 12 in rushing during the regular season, to the NFL draft pool. Jeremy Smith should move into a starting role, but depth is sketchy after that.
Headliner: Scout.com lists receivers Marcell Ateman and Ra'Shaad Samples as four-star prospects. Receiver Fred Ross would have given the Cowboys a third four-star receiver, but he switched to Mississippi State at the last minute.
Sleeper: The Cowboys were only going to sign one running back in this class. Then Randle announced he was leaving school and the Cowboys got a commitment from Childs, who will have a chance to impact the depth chart immediately.
Immediate impact: Ben Grogan is a special teams player rather than an offensive player, but he'll provide some offense three points at time. Grogan's signing gives OSU a replacement candidate for kicker Quinn Sharp.
The Cowboys have changed defensive coordinators since the end of the season. Former co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer takes over for former defensive coordinator Bill Young, and Spencer used his Georgia ties to land four-star defensive end prospect Naim Mustafaa.
OSU's haul included six defensive end prospects, including junior college transfer Sam Wren, whose biggest impact last season was as a pass rusher.
Needs: When you rank as low as OSU did in defensive categories, the Cowboys need help everywhere on this side of the ball, but they are so stocked at linebacker that they didn't sign one. The biggest area of need was the defensive line, according to Gundy.
Headliner: Safety Jordan Sterns of Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas, is a four-star recruit, according to Scout.com.
Sleeper: Dawson Bassett of Tuttle is OSU's most under-the-radar recruit. He is listed as an "athlete" on the commitment list, but Gundy suggested Tuttle will be an outside linebacker.
Immediate impact: Coaches don't sign junior college players unless they think they can help immediately. Paging Sam Wren.
Dallas Skyline's Ra'Shaad Samples (top right), an OSU signee, poses with Skyline teammates (from left) Ellis Onic (Northern Colorado), Kelvin Coleman (Texas A&M-Commerce), Kerrick Huggins (Oklahoma) and Devante Kincade (Mississippi) on Wednesday. LOUIS DELUCA/The Dallas Morning News