CRFF The Podcast (Ep. 55) – Top 3 OSU Sports Moments in 2017-18

This was a fun one.

We’re back, baby.

For the first time ever, this week’s podcast was recorded in person! Exciting times for the podcast. However, we had some issues with the audio that didn’t appear until post-recording. Apologies there, and we will work to make sure that it’s taken care of going forward.

On this week’s podcast, we kick things off with a bit of news regarding CRFF. After that, we dive into the biggest OSU Athletics moments from 2017-18, and preview the defensive line for the Cowboys in 2018.

As always, you can listen to the podcast here on Soundcloud. You can also listen to the podcast any time on our iTunes page here. If you choose to listen on iTunes, do us a favor and subscribe to the show, and leave us a review while you’re at it.

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Video: Grad Transfer QB Dru Brown Hits Jalen McCleskey on Perfect Deep Ball

If Hawaii graduate transfer quarterback Dru Brown does win that imminent QB battle at Oklahoma State later this summer, it seems highly unlikely that the Cowboys’ high-flying offense will be handicapped by a lack of firepower.

During a practice session on Thursday, the ex-Rainbow Warriors gunslinger showed off his big arm by hitting a familiar name, OSU’s Jalen McCleskey, on a big deep ball connection in the desert. ‘Tis a sight to behold.

Brown is one of a handful of challengers looking to succeed Mason Rudolph at QB in 2018 including Spencer Sanders, Keondre Wudtee and Taylor Cornelius, and with that big arm it appears he’s got more than a puncher’s chance of winning the gig.

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Social Media Roundup: Boone Pickens’ Birthday, Sunsets at Karsten and Royal Wedding Memes

The biggest event to take place on OSU Twitter this week was the 90th birthday celebration of OSU’s biggest donor, Mr. T. Boone Pickens. A number of very special people wished him the best, which you can see if you go to his Twitter account. There’s a slew of other goodies in this week’s Roundup too, I hope you enjoy.

Mr. Pickens turns 90

Oklahoma State Royal Wedding Memes

The Siren is Sounding

Sensitive content ha-ha, maybe for opposing defenses.

Big 12 Baseball Championships

They fell short, but they looked good doing it.

I put a ton of Doug’s tweets in these roundups, but just discovered this article on him in the STATE Magazine. Please give it a read.

Perfect APR

Instagram Photo

Views from Karsten Creek

I do not disagree.

Instagram Photo

Rookie Premiere


Instagram Photo

Funny Non-OSU Tweet

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Cowboy Basketball draws South Carolina in the Big 12/SEC Challenge

The Cowboys will play Coach Boynton’s alma mater in January 2019.

It was announced that Oklahoma State basketball will host the South Carolina Gamecocks on January 26, 2019 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

This is a big game for the Cowboys because it is a great opportunity against a Power 5 opponent. This game could also be looked at as a great chance for the Cowboys to lose which apparently helps tournament chances. Plus, it is an opportunity for Coach Boynton to go up against his alma mater, and his mentor in Frank Martin.

The teams split their only two meetings, so this season is the rubber match. In Big 12/SEC games, the Cowboys are 3-2 overall.

Here is how the rest of the Big 12/SEC Challenge matchups shook out:

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Ranking the Running Backs for Oklahoma State in the Mike Gundy Era

It’s the offseason which means it is #RankingsSZN, and I got to thinking about how many tremendous running backs Mike Gundy has had in Stillwater over the last 15 years.

I’ll likely do this with every position over the next few months, but let’s start with the tailbacks. My criteria here are that you had to total at least 500 yards in your career, which actually limited the list to 12 non-QBs. I’m not sure why, but I thought there might be a few more than that.

I added in a J.D. King-shaped caveat since he’s only played one year but will certainly qualify over the next year or two. As a result, we have a pretty clear break between the unranked, Nos. 6-10 and Nos. 1-5. Or it’s my opinion that we do anyway. Let’s take a look.

Unranked: Beau Johnson (4.9 YPC | 8 TD), Tyreek Hill (5.2 YPC | 1 TD), Rennie Childs (4.1 YPC | 13 TD)

Beau Johnson! I couldn’t put Tyreek on the list for multiple reasons. First, he’s not really a running back. Second, OSU never really used him properly, and he had one more TD than I did as a RB in Stillwater (and I got carries in Stillwater!).

10. J.D. King (4.7 YPC | 4 TD)

It surprised me that King only averaged 4.7 yards per carry his freshman year, but maybe I focused too much on what happened in Morgantown and too little on everything else. He’ll end up in the top seven of this list (at least).

9. Desmond Roland (4.5 YPC | 27 TD)

The ultimate aggregator. Only four backs in the Gundy era have carried the ball more than Roland did at 442 times, and all four of them averaged at least a yard more per carry. Roland was fine, but in a middle class man’s Chris Carson kind of way.

8. Mike Hamilton (5.2 YPC | 5 TD)

Hey, remember when Mike Hamilton had 23 for 161 and a TD in 2005 against a ranked Texas Tech team that OSU beat in Stillwater? I don’t know if he could crack the two-deep these days, but he’ll go down as one of the better “wait, who?” guys of the Gundy era. To be clear: I’m not saying Mike Hamilton is better at football than Tyreek Hill, but he was more accomplished in Stillwater and better (relatively) when he was there.

7. Chris Carson (5.1 YPC | 13 TD)

Did it ever at any point feel like Chris Carson averaged over 5 yards a carry when he was at Oklahoma State? Also, how many OSU fans could give me the number of TDs Carson amassed while he was in orange and black? How many could get within five? It was a strange few years for No. 32, but it did culminate in a 2016 season in which he averaged a Barry Sanders-like 6.8 yards per carry on 82 carries including 8.6 on 17 carries against and 7.6 on 12 carries against OU.

6. Jeremy Smith (5.4 YPC | 34 TD)

Wait, Jeremy Smith had thirty-four touchdowns at OSU? It’s true. He scored in 27 of the 50 games he played in, but he only cracked the 80-yard mark in a game four times. Bonus points because one of those was a 10-carry, 119-yard, 2-TD Big 12 clincher against OU in 2011.

5. Dantrell Savage (6.0 YPC | 17 TD)

Now we get to the pantheon of backs under Gundy. Nobody on this list (and nobody since 2000) has averaged more yards per carry than Savage (6.0) with as many carries as he had (349). Maybe the most underrated player of the Gundy era.

4. Keith Toston (5.8 YPC | 27 TD)

He gets the nod over Savage because he did it for a longer period of time and was probably a better receiver and overall back. These two are fairly interchangeable to me, though. I could be talked into one or the other pretty easily. Their careers overlapped for two years, and Toston averaged nearly as many yards per carry as a freshman as Savage did as a junior in 2006. Better numbers for Savage, but I just think Toston was a better talent.

3. Kendall Hunter (5.9 YPC | 37 TD)

Hunter carried it 708 times in his four-year career, and Gundy rode him like he was trying to win the Belmont. Two seasons of 1,500+ yards, and he likely would have had three if he hadn’t gotten injured his junior year. He’s one of just four Pokes ever with a pair of 1,500-yard seasons (David Thompson, Terry Miller and Thurman Thomas).

2. Joe Randle (5.5 YPC | 40 TD)

I remember when Hunter left and Randle took over, some folks lamented the transition. But I also remember a certain big-armed QB being excited about the switch. Hunter was awesome, an elite tailback, but Randle was more dynamic. He could do anything and everything you wanted him to. The forerunner to Hill in a lot of ways. He played just three years at OSU — and one of them overlapped with Hunter — but he’s 8th all time in rushing yards and 4th in rushing TDs. He had 14 games in which he gained over 100 yards and five in which he scored three or more TDs on the ground. Peak Randle may have even come in a loss … to Texas in 2012 when he gained 199 on 25 carries, had a pair of scores and did this.

Goodness, Joe Randle was good.

1. Justice Hill (5.5 YPC | 21 TD)

Come at me.

I once called him a “much better” version of Randle. That was hyperbole, and I may have been drunk on Bedlam 2017 in which, lest I remind you, he was the best player on the field with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on the field. I’ll never get over that show he put on. I would love to hear Gundy’s three-Coronas deep thoughts on whether he’d rather have Hill or Randle for a given season. I’d take Hill, but I understand why someone would take Randle.

As far as evolutions go, though, I think we’ve seen a full one from Gundy’s first RB (Hamilton) to his most recent (Hill). No. 5 is everything you want a running back in 2018 to be. Now he’ll get his “Randle in 2012” season this year where he gets to be the best player on what could be a great offense and a real shot over the next two (?) years at every OSU and Big 12 rushing record.

It’s going to be fun to see what Hill does. He has a chance to not only make OSU history, but college football history.

The Big 12 rushing record is possible. Texas’ Cedric Benson holds the record with 5,540 yards from 2001-04. Texas’ Ricky Williams had 5,289 yards from 1996-98, but he also had 990 yards as a 1995 freshman in the Southwest Conference, so that mark is 6,279.

Hill needs 2,931 yards over two years to catch Benson. Hill needs 3,670 yards to catch Williams. That’s a tall task. That’s two seasons of averaging 1,835 yards. OSU has had only three years in which a tailback rushed for at least 1,835 yards – Sanders’ monster 2,850 yards in 1988, Miller’s 1,887 in 1976 and Anderson’s 1,877 in 1982. [NewsOK]

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Poll Question Thursday: Who is Mike Gundy’s Greatest Wide Receiver?

Mike Gundy took over head coaching duties at Oklahoma State in 2005 after the abrupt departure of Les Miles. Ever since then the Cowboys have been torching opposing defenses through the air. Thanks in large part to excellent arm talents and elite wide receiver corps.

Three names stand out about the rest when it comes to wideouts, though. We’ve talked about the best WRs in school history a lot, but I’m not sure we’ve ever had you guys weigh in on them. We’re going to do so today.

Two Biletnikoff award winners and another that should have been. You need to relive some of their monster highlights below. Enjoy and happy voting!

Dez Bryant

Justin Blackmon

James Washington

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OSU One of Two Schools with Perfect APR in Football and Men’s Basketball

Mike Gundy has always been very clear about his feelings (and focus) on the academic side of college sports, especially when it comes to graduation rates and the long-term success of his players both in and out of football. Sure, it may be window dressing but it’s hard to argue with the the results.

On Wednesday, the NCAA released the APR numbers (academic progress rate as defined here) for all sports for the 2016-17 year and Oklahoma State was the only Power 5 school to see both its men’s basketball and football programs post a perfect 1,000. Nevada is the only other school with a perfect rating in both football and men’s basketball. Men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s golf and softball brought OSU up to six sports with a perfect rating.

Here’s a look at the scores for all 15 sports.

Sport 2016-17 Multi-Year Rate
Baseball 982 979
Men’s Basketball 1,000 965
Men’s Cross Country 990 987
Football 1,000 969
Men’s Golf 1,000 1,000
Men’s Tennis 1,000 963
Men’s Track and Field 978 979
Wrestling 991 968
Women’s Basketball 953 965
Women’s Cross Country 958 988
Women’s Golf 1,000 976
Softball 1,000 980
Soccer 983 992
Women’s Tennis 968 992
Women’s Track and Field 970 988

OSU’s men’s golf program posted a 1,000 multi-year rate (a combined score of the last four academic years) which is all the more impressive given its recent success. And according to Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World, Oklahoma State’s current multi-year football APR of 969 is the school’s highest ever.

“Getting a perfect score in the APR means a lot to our program because there is so much hard work that goes into it,” said Mike Gundy. “It’s a great accomplishment to score 1,000 on the APR with essentially the same group of players that won 10 games for three straight years.

“Seeing our players succeed both on the field and in the classroom at this kind of level serves to validate the strength of the Cowboy Culture we have in place. We’re so grateful for the team over in academics for the time and effort they put into helping our players have success.”

Mike Holder was predictably pleased with his school’s strong showing.

“There is a lot to celebrate in this report and it’s a credit to our coaches, to Marilyn Middlebrook and her staff in the Academic Enrichment Center and to the student-athletes themselves that so many of our programs are achieving at a high level,” said Holder. “Kudos to Alan Bratton and the golf program for maintaining a perfect multi-year score and to Mike Gundy, Mike Boynton, Jay Udwadia, Courtney Jones and Kenny Gajewski for leading their respective programs to perfect scores this past academic year.”

Nine of OSU’s 15 sports showed a positive trend by either matching or surpassing their multi-year rate from 2016-17, and the biggest jump of all came from football, which jumped 16 points from 953 to 969. The men’s basketball program jumped from 955 a year ago to a current total of 965.

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Highlights, Recruiting Pedigree of New WR Offer Langston Anderson

Oklahoma State is still in search of commitments at wide receiver in the 2019 recruiting cycle. The Cowboys have roughly a dozen offers out to various prospects, but the staff is wasting no time on moving in on new targets in the meantime.

The latest target that emerged Thursday with a new offer is Langston Anderson, a 6-foot-2 Midlothian recruit who has more than 20 scholarship offers from programs across the country.

Anderson is just a three-star prospect per 247Sports, but Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State, Missouri, Ole Miss and Nebraska, among others, have all extended offers his way.

As a junior last season, Anderson amassed 850 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns en route to earning First-Team All-District honors. Coming from Texas, OSU makes some geographical sense for Anderson — but before he landed at Heritage, he played at Flowood Jackson Academy in Mississippi, which throws a wrinkle into his recruitment if he chooses to move back east as a college athlete.

At wide receiver, Oklahoma State is still pursuing Arkansas prospect Jadon Jackson, as well as Melissa (Texas) prospect Kennedy Lewis. But OSU’s top-three ranked offers — Garrett Wilson, Jordan Whittington and Arjei Henderson — have already made commitments, leaving OSU no choice but to slide down its board in pursuit of a commitment (or two) at the position this cycle.

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Dakota Geer on John Smith, his Summer Wrestling Plans, and Being a PA kid with an Opportunity to Dethrone PSU

On Monday we wrote Dakota Geer would be transferring from Edinboro to OSU. We gave him a call Tuesday to see how the process was going and what his plans and expectations are for next season.

Seth Duckworth: So I know you’re out here (in Oklahoma) today. When do you move down, start practicing, etc…?

Dakota Greer: I’m actually down here for a while. My dad is probably going to ship some of my clothes down, but I can’t practice yet because I’m not enrolled. Probably today or tomorrow we’ll get that figured out, get my USA card and I can start practicing.

SD: Last year you were at 184. Is that the plan for this year?

DG: Yeah, I think so. He’s also talked about getting me all bulked up and going 197. We’ll see, I’m sure he has a plan.

SD: My understanding is you’re eligible to start right away and have 3 years left. Is that correct?

DG: Yes.

SD: You guys had some turnover at Edinboro with Tim Flynn going to WVU. Where has that put you lately with training, working out, wrestling, etc…?

DG: With everyone moving around I really haven’t had many people to train with there. That’s sort of why I was in a hurry to get out here. I felt like not having any training partners, I was getting a little behind. It’s been a little rough trying to get some practices in.

SD: Coming from PA to a team here where you could have the opportunity to dethrone PSU is there any added motivation for you?

DG: I feel like anybody with an opportunity to dethrone them probably has some extra motivation, just because they’ve been so good for so long, but yeah. I’m just excited to wrestle with these guys here. Everybody on the team has a common goal and wants to win a team title. At Edinboro we never were really in the running for that. It’ll be exciting here to wrestle in the national tournament, not only to get yourself to the finals, but also your team doing well and hopefully winning a team title too.

SD: Are you going to try to go to U23s or do any wrestling this summer?

DG: I’ve hardly been able to get any practice in because no one was there at Edinboro. I told them I just wanted to get down there and start training and get used to being down here I think.

SD: With Flynn leaving for WVU I’m sure OSU’s not the only school that reached out to you. Was there anything in particular that sold you on OSU vs. other schools?

DG: Well obviously the coaches are amazing coaches here. You couldn’t ask for better coaches. And the practice partners I’ll have down here. All the kids around here at the upper weights are tough. You got Dieringer sticking around training, it’ll be cool to get to train with him. Also the area actually. It’s not too big of a campus, easy to get around. I’m from a small town so that was a good fit.

SD: Most OSU fans I think connect you with your match against Nolan Boyd a few years ago where you really pushed him and almost beat him. Was there any connection with OSU for you in high school?

DG: Actually out of HS I verballed to Edinboro about as quick as you’re allowed to verbal, so my recruiting pretty much stopped at that point and I didn’t really make a lot of contact with many other schools. Then after Flynn left, I had thought about transferring somewhere else because I committed so early. I feel like it’s every wrestlers dream to wrestle under John Smith just because of how good of a guy he is. Not just because of his credentials, he’s one of the nicest most down-to-earth guys I think I’ve ever met.

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Roethlisberger Helping Mason Rudolph, Says Previous Comments Taken Out of Context

Much was made of Ben Roethlisberger’s comments about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ third round draft choice of Mason Rudolph, his supposed heir apparent. Rudolph was quick to dismiss any controversy and pay respect to his elder and even said Big Ben reached out to him ahead of rookie minicamp.

On Tuesday, as the Steelers convened for the start of OTAs, and as both QBs shared the field for the first time, Roethlisberger was predictably asked about those comments.

“I’ve always done that,” said Roethlisberger of helping younger QBs. “I think people took some things into a context that I was going to be mean or rude. That was not it at all. If you listen to the whole conversation I said in jest, laughing and having fun.

“I have never been the type to be rude or mean to other quarterbacks. I’ve had a lot of quarterbacks through here that have been younger than me that I’ve tried to help any way that I can. I’ll continue to do that.”

As far as Rudolph goes, the future Hall of Famer says he likes what he’s seen so far.

“He has a big arm,” Roethlisberger said. “Seems to understand the offense. Seems to not have any issues in the huddle. So I thought he did really well.”

Big Ben also took the chance to begin mentoring the rookie QB by giving him a pointer or two on intermediate throws. Good eye, Ben.

“I tried to help him out with a couple of things I saw out there. He hasn’t asked me anything yet, but I inputted my two cents,” said Roethlisberger. “There was a particular play he ran a little naked on and he was six or seven yards from Rosie (Roosevelt Nix). He threw it pretty hard at Rosie and threw it high, and Rosie didn’t catch it. I pulled him aside and said you’ll learn quickly every throw doesn’t have to be the hardest throw you can make. You don’t have to put every throw on guy’s chests as hard as you can. That’s a great opportunity for a nice easy touch pass. Just trying to instill things like that.”

Hopefully, that’s last of the QB controversy in the Steel City, that is until Mason usurps Landry Jones as QB2 in training camp.

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