Big 12: Juston Blackmon

Oklahoma State spring wrap

May, 14, 2009
5/14/09
9:15
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma State Cowboys
2008 overall record: 9-4

2008 conference record: 5-3

Returning starters

Offense: 8, defense: 6, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

QB Zac Robinson, RB Kendall Hunter, WR Dez Bryant, T Russell Okung, DE Ugo Chinasa, LB Andre Sexton, CB Perrish Cox

Key losses

C David Washington, TE Brandon Pettigrew, DT Tonga Tea, DT Jeray Chatham, CB Jacob Lacey, S Ricky Price, P Matt Fodge

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Kendall Hunter* (1,555 yards)
Passing: Zac Robinson* (3,064 yards)
Receiving: Dez Bryant* (1,480 yards)
Tackles: Andre Sexton* (100)
Sacks: Jeremiah Price* (3)
Interceptions: Patrick Lavine *, Donald Booker*, Perrish Cox* (2)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 Georgia
Sept. 12 Houston
Sept. 19 Rice
Sept. 26 Grambling State
Oct. 10 at Texas A&M
Oct. 17 Missouri
Oct. 24 at Baylor
Oct. 31 Texas
Nov. 7 at Iowa State
Nov. 14 Texas Tech
Nov. 19 Colorado
Nov. 28 at Oklahoma

1. Wide receiver depth: OSU coaches were concerned about developing additional players with Dez Bryant missing spring practice as he recovered from knee surgery. Redshirt freshman Juston Blackmon was a pleasant surprise -- he was one of the Cowboys' most consistent players in the spring. And sophomore Hubert Anyiam finally started showing the promise that made him one of the top recruits of the 2007 class.

2. Development at linebacker: No player has soaked in the defensive philosophy of new coordinator Bill Young more than Donald Booker. The former junior college transfer was a hitting machine throughout spring practice and appears to have won a starting job at middle linebacker.

3. Chris Donaldson: The Cowboys lost both starters at defensive tackle with the departure of Tonga Tea and Jeray Chatham. Donaldson, a massive 286-pound run-stuffer, struggled with injuries in his first season in the OSU program after transferring from Coffeyville Community College last season. After his strong spring, he could be in line for a starting position.

Fall questions

1. Backup quarterback: Late in spring practice, coach Mike Gundy appeared ready to install third-year sophomore Brandon Weeden as his No. 2 quarterback behind Zac Robinson. But Weeden struggled in the spring game and Alex Cade is back in the mix in the battle for playing time behind Robinson. Weeden, a former minor league baseball player, has the edge in maturity. But Cade has a knack for making plays that OSU coaches love.

2. Pass rush: Young's first task is to try to juice production for the defensive front that ranked last in the conference with 15 sacks last season. Richetti Jones, one of the nation's top recruits before breaking his hip as a high school senior in 2006, appears to have regained his form after a long comeback. The productive return of the 6-foot-3, 253-pound Jones would be important in the Cowboys' defensive growth.

3. Punter: The Cowboys have to find a replacement for Matt Fodge, who won the Ray Guy award last season but graduated. Redshirt freshman Quinn Sharp appeared to have claimed the top position, but he struggled with inconsistency during the spring and had two poor punts in the spring game.

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