Cowboy Football Notes: Moore Departed, Defenders Wrestling, Focused Ahead
STILLWATER -- There is still plenty going with Cowboy football even though it is still over a month away from the start of spring football and the second signing day hasn't hit yet. Another Cowboys/Junior Day for the recruiting class becoming known as the Class of the GOAT 2021. There will be more juniors in this Saturday and you can expect a few official visitors in as well.
One visitor that we are pretty sure of is former Missouri cornerback Christian Holmes. The fifth-year senior to be is a graduate transfer or will be after he finishes this semester at Missouri. Originally out of McNair High School in Atlanta, Ga., the 6-1 1/2, 185-pound Holmes announced his transfer a little over a week ago.
Holmes played in all 12 games for Missouri last season and started four of those. He finished with 29 tackles, 24 unassisted, 3.0 tackles for loss, and four passes defended. His best season was 2018 as he had 36 tackles and two interceptions.
He started against Oklahoma State in the 2018 Autozone Liberty Bowl that the Cowboys won over the Tigers 38-33. Holmes had six tackles, five of those unassisted, and he defended a pass.
C.J. Moore Makes it Four Receivers Departed
I have to admit this one surprised me. C.J. Moore, the former Tulsa Union and four-star recruit going in the transfer portal. He is the fourth receiver to go in in the last several weeks.
Patrick McKaufman didn't surprise me as he had dealt with the knee injury and was never really able to get into the rotation. Tyrell Alexander is a senior that had moved to the defensive side and back and while I think he has talent, I could see him wanting to go somewhere he could play more. L.C. Greenwood is talented, but he too had trouble getting on the field.
Moore is 6-5, and 175-pounds, so he still needed to put on some weight. He played in one game in 2018 while red-shirting. This season he played some early and got into five games and caught four passes for 81-yards and two touchdowns. I thought he was going to end up being huge for the Cowboys especially in the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
There are some fans that are in panic and I heard from them on the radio show on Tuesday. No panic needed as Tylan Wallace is going to be targeted the most among Oklahoma State receivers.
You also have Dillon Stoner, Landon Wolf, and Braydon Johnson among established receivers. Last year's top freshman recruit Langston Anderson certainly looks like he will be ready to contribute plenty. This also puts a premium on Jonathan Shepherd, the speedster out of Kilgore, Texas that will be a red-shirt sophomore next season. Shepherd has loads of ability but has had injuries to fight through. He know moves up in line.
Last week San Antonio Roosevelt athlete that recently signed in Rashod Owens was on his official visit. Owens looks the part physically right now and is an explosive athlete. He and Oklahoma Player of the Year Brennan Presley from Bixby, and 6-4 Matt Polk from Arizona will move up the depth chart faster.
The receiver position has some strong walk-ons and with Moore on the portal, now Oklahoma State can use all four of the initial scholarships that they have available and there are some solid receiver candidates in the portal. OSU has Damon Hazelton Jr. of Virginia Tech in last week and he committed to Missouri.
Here are four transfer portal possibilities that caught our eye.
State Champions Back on the Mat
Surely you remember when they were being recruited and they signed with Oklahoma State that Cowboys defensive end Brock Martin and safety turned linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez were both Oklahoma State Champion wrestlers.
Martin, who plays the "Leo" defensive end has 36 career tackles and 6.0 tackles for losses in two seasons, was a three-time state champion on the mat at Oologah.
Rodriguez, who was the fourth leading tackler this season in the Big 12 with 94 tackles and another nine tackles in the Texas Bowl to finish the year with 103 stops. He was a state champion in wrestling his senior year at Wagoner.
Both are heavyweights in the Cowboys wrestling room but Martin is around 245-pounds and Rodriguez a light 215-220-pounds
"They are pretty good, they both had good high school careers," Cowboys head wrestling coach John Smith said. "They are happy to be in there and they really seem to be enjoying it. It's hard and they have to pace themselves a little bit. They are helping us in those upper weights and I appreciate Coach Gundy letting them come over."
Smith was asked how it came about?
"I think they wanted to be over here," he answered. "I think they wanted to wrestle and Coach Gundy has helped us out some in the past with heavyweights. When we had Steve Macco wrestling here he went through so many guys (sparring in the room) that we needed guys. It helps us, they help us."
You never know because football has benefited from some wrestlers come to their sport, including Macco.
Focus on the Season Coming Up
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy loves the video signage up in the West End Zone. It can be customized for any occasion and gets used a lot for recruiting. It was customized for Martin Luther King Day recently.
This week the focus is all on the upcoming season as you can see the Cowboys are already thinking about a Beaver invasion coming Thursday, Sept. 3.
The schedule is a good looking one overall with seven home games and all three non conference games at home.