Gundy Calls Junior Day from Last Saturday, "The Best" and Says Pokes Recruiting some Big Stars
STILLWATER -- On Tuesday, so much of the attention, as it should have been, was on current Cowboys. It is the Chuba Hubbard return, Tylan Wallace back, linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga and the other defensive starters and back-ups returning, and those big offensive linemen that were standing in front of the stage looking like bouncers that will decide where Oklahoma State football will go in 2020. They’ll also decide whether Hubbard's stated goal will have legs beyond his that churned for over 2,000-yards this past season.
We did ask head coach Mike Gundy, knowing he could not mention any names including the first 2021 commitment in Louisiana linebacker Kolbe Fields or the lone running back in four-star Texan Cam'Ron Valdez, or highly-rated offensive lineman Jaeden Roberts, who can block out the sun at 6-5, 335-pounds, about his Cowboy Junior Day; the start of recruiting for what Cowboy football is calling the "GOAT 21 Season" in honor of Barry Sanders #21 for 2021.
"We had by far the best Junior Day we've had since I've been head coach here," Gundy said of the previous Saturday and thinking of the 36 prospects and their families that attended.
"I really like our recruiting staff and, surprisingly to others, we are going after four-and-five stars and not settling for two-and-three stars," Gundy added with a smirk on his face.
Gundy's mullet and his persona has grown bigger. The thoughts on Twitter, the rattlesnakes, the ranching, and all that is Gundy and the Oklahoma State football program are seemingly on the rise. The Cowboys have added a more national profile to their recruiting, quarterbacks including Shane Illingworth from California, some standout defensive players like Nick Session and Mason Cobb from Utah. Then there are still the Malcolm Rodriguez and Kolby Harvel-Peel players that weren't loaded with stars but turn into All-Conference players in Stillwater.
"We are trying to get the best players that we can get," Gundy again smirked. "That is all based on the young men that can fit into our organization. We sometimes takes commitments from guys that aren't highly-rated or are unheralded, but we feel like they will develop into really good players and they will want to be at Oklahoma State and that they will fit into our culture."
Gundy questions the same recruiting rankings some Oklahoma State fans point to in questioning whether he and his staff are recruiting as well as they should.
"You know I don't know, there are a lot of recruiting rankings out there, but the only thing I know to rank recruiting on is wins and losses," Gundy said. "How else would you grade it other than on success that you've had?"
Which takes us back to last Saturday and what looks like the start of a strong class. While Gundy's staff is on the road, as is he some in finishing up the 2020 class with some strong players especially a standout running back to add to the majority of the class signed in December.
"I felt like from a numbers standpoint, Robert," Gundy said to Pokes Report. "With the young men that were here and have scored well on their test, that can develop into good players, that we're here last weekend, that we had a fantastic day."
The Cowboys recruiting and coaching staff will focus on more local players this coming Saturday (Jan. 25) and then have another major Cowboy Day/Junior Day for the classes in 2021, 2022, and 2023 on Feb. 1.