Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The Revolving Door: Oklahoma State
By ESPN.com staff
I've done it. You've done it.
"Hey, is that guy still around?"
Even with two fewer teams, it's hard to keep track. Our next series, which we did last year, too, takes a look at two key players for every team in the league that are taking their talents elsewhere, returning to campus, or arriving to try and write a legacy of their own.
So really, this series isn't so much for the fans of the teams in the posts, but more for everyone else. It wouldn't be a bad idea to bookmark this series.
Next up: Oklahoma State
Kendall Hunter, RB
Hunter sandwiched a pair of All-American, 1,500-yard seasons around a frustrating 2009 campaign and finished fourth on the Cowboys' all-time rushing leaders. In 2010, he was a constant for the high-powered Oklahoma State offense, topping 100 yards nine times in 13 games. That's two more big nights than any other back in the Big 12. Hunter wasn't the fastest back, and at 5-foot-8, 200 pounds, he definitely wasn't the biggest, but he always seemed to grab three or four more yards when they seemed impossible. I'd like to know how many of his career yards came with three or four defenders wrapped around his waist.
Orie Lemon, LB
Lemon was robbed of being a part of one of the most hyped seasons in Oklahoma State history in 2009 when he tore his ACL days before the opener and missed the year. But he came back in 2010 as the senior leader of a defense that was part of the most overachieving teams in Big 12 history. The Cowboys won 11 games, and Lemon finished second in the Big 12 with 133 stops to finish second in the league.
Justin Blackmon, WR
Blackmon didn't have any real profile across the country this time last year, after catching just 20 passes as a freshman. In his debut against Washington State, he caught three touchdowns, but still hardly registered. Until he kept catching touchdowns. Lots of them. Twenty, to be exact, and more than any receiver in college football. His 1,782 receiving yards were the most of any receiver in the nation, and he was rewarded with the Biletnikoff Award for his efforts as the nation's top receiver. He passed up a chance to be a possible first-round pick and come back to BCS-minded Oklahoma State and extend his record streak of 12 games with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Brandon Weeden, QB
The only thing most people knew about Weeden this time last year was his age, 26, and that he used to play baseball. He's 27 now, but most folks figured out pretty quick that he's a heck of a quarterback. A solid set of receivers and a great offensive line helped him throw for 4,277 yards and 34 scores, the second-most yards in the Big 12. His big arm and 6-foot-4, 224-pound frame make him an ideal quarterback on paper, but his decision-making and accuracy helped him carry it onto the field in his first year as a starting quarterback since 2o01.
Michael Bowie, OL
A junior college transfer, Bowie crashed the party this spring and figures to become a possible factor on the Cowboys' offensive line in 2011. Oklahoma State returns all five starters, but at the very least, the 6-foot-5, 320-pounder gives them more depth on the line. At the most, it gives them a new starter, most likely at right tackle opposite Levy Adcock, who I pegged as the Big 12's best returning offensive lineman.
David Glidden, WR
Texas Tech has seen players like Glidden before, and Oklahoma State may get used to him this year. Depth at receiver is necessary for the Air Raid, and Glidden, a shifty, 5-foot-8, 160-pounder may provide some in his first year on campus. He played in a similar system in high school in Mustang (Okla.).
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