STILLWATER -- Last season Oklahoma State picked up an unsung and underrated linebacker in Cole Thompson out of Norman. The Cowboys know the way to the hometown of their bedlam rival and in the 2021 class have now picked up a commitment from Norman Tigers wide receiver Jaden Bray. Bray was one of the top receivers in the state in 2019 with 40 receptions for 936-yards with 11 touchdown catches.
Bray has been considering the Cowboys strongly since they offered and he said now was the right time.
"I wanted to (commit for awhile), some of my friends have committed to Oklahoma State and there are more that will commit soon," Bray said when asked about the timing and his decision. "They throw the ball a lot and there is the opportunity to make a lot of plays. Coach Dunn and Coach Gundy have preached that and they have been honest with me through the whole process."
The 6-3, 190-pound Bray is also a starter on the Norman basketball team. In fact, he told Pokes Report that he has a basketball tournament to play in on Sunday. My guess is the hoops work has fueled one of his best attributes as a receiver. When you watch him on video he has excellent body control and moves to catch the ball about as well as any prep receiver that I've seen. He will change his position while the ball is in mid-flight, even late in the pass to outwork the defender for the football.
"Thank you," Bray said when told we thought that his ability to adjust to the football was a key attribute to his game.
Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy likely made his mind up on Bray last August as Gundy was in Norman watching his son, Gunner, quarterbacking for Stillwater and in that scrimmage Bray did something that even took his position coach by surprise. On a run play he made a highlight reel block destroying one of the Pioneers corners.
“When he de-cleated that kid, we all looked at each other like, 'whoa,’” Norman receivers coach John Baldwin told the Norman Transcript. “Like we had no idea that was in him.”
Baldwin also agrees with my critique that Bray's basketball plays into his ability to adjust to passes late in the play. He is also a good route runner that often gets open clean because of the precision of his route.
“I watched his footwork on the basketball court because that's a big deal when you're playing wide receiver, you gotta have good feet to be able to run routes and stuff,” Baldwin also said to the Norman Transcipt. “And so, I saw his footwork on the basketball court and I knew kind of immediately like this kid could play wide receiver.”
If not at that scrimmage, Gundy overall, has seen Bray play three times against Stillwater, so his evaluation of the young man has been extensive along with the sharp evaluation skills of Kasey Dunn.
Bray is the second pledge for the Cowboys on offense as he joins running back and all around explosive offensive threat in another Jaden, Jaden Nixon of Frisco Lone Star in Texas.
The Cowboys gained Bray's pledge over 11 other scholarship offers including Arkansas, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, North Texas, and SMU.