STILLWATER -- Hey, I realize that Tulsa Union speedster A.J. Green would have looked good in an Oklahoma State uniform, but that wasn't going to happen. Green wants to play running back. The Cowboys recruited him for that position. Oklahoma recruited him as a defensive back and Green has been a "Sooner fan." He couldn't rationalize playing running back at Oklahoma State and against Oklahoma. Arkansas was a way to settle.
Oklahoma State needs recruits that want to be Cowboys. The recruits that want to be a part of a tradition they can embrace. Running back is a really good tradition at Oklahoma State. It has been for a very long time. Running backs coach John Wozniak and the Cowboys recruiting machine with head coach Mike Gundy, recruiting coordinator Todd Bradford and company will get another candidate or two to join Jaden Nixon out of Frisco (Lone Star), Texas in reloading the running back room.
The kind of players you want are the duo that our own Marshall Levenson just spoke to late last week after they committed. The four-star twins at wide receiver Blaine and Bryson Green are exactly what Gundy, Kasey Dunn, and the staff are looking for to push the tradition of "Wide Receiver U." and add quality character into the Cowboy culture.
My favorites have been the Texas trio on the Cowboys recruiting board and they still are my favorites.
I'm looking at Cam'Ron Valdez of Rockdale, Texas; Tavierre Dunlap of Del Valle, Texas; and Alton McCaskill out of Conroe (Oak Ridge), Texas.
Dunlap is the biggest long shot and the greatest competition with 35 offers including five Big 12 teams, but Texas and OU are not among them. Dunlap is 6-0 and nearly 200 pounds with speed, strength, and some wiggle to his game. His 40-time lists at 4.6 but he's faster on the field as proven by his breakaway ability in rushing for over 2,700-yards and 37 touchdowns. He is also an effective pass receiver out of the backfield. I watch him and think, "what's not to like?"
McCaskill is a big back at 6-1 and close to 200-pounds. He has Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida State, and Virginia Tech at the top of his list along with the Cowboys. I think he understands the value of being an Oklahoma State running back. He is also a track athlete and another value with McCaskill is that in the last two seasons he averages about 100 carries a campaign, so he is still fresh.
Valdez has been on the Cowboys list the longest and his 354 carries for 2,872-yards and 43 touchdowns has earned him a lot of honors the past two seasons. He is also a proven pass target out of the backfield. He is very athletic and quick at 5-10, 185-pounds. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas were his top three. Green's pledge to Arkansas may have dropped the Razorbacks.
Opinion here, all three are better running backs right now than Green. Green is really fast.
A quick rundown or where we believe the Cowboys are with the class as a whole.
Wide receiver is great with the Greens and Jaden Bray. Look for Kasey Dunn to add another, at least one to the mix in this class. Keon Coleman (Opelousas, La.) or Latrell Neville (Fort Bend Hightower, Texas) would both be good fits.
Quarterback is taken care of because Gunnar Gundy will enroll as a full-time student with his eligiblity clock beginning then.
Cowboy back is still in the works and the top targets are Gunnar Helm of Englewood (Cherry Creek), Colo; Demetrious Crowder of Grandview, Texas; and Landen King from Atascocita, Texas. You can probably bank on getting a scholarship caliber cowboy back as a walk-on in Luke McEndoo of Stillwater. McEndoo (6-2, 238) is the son of cowboy backs coach Jason McEndoo.
Offensive line coach Charlie Dickey picked up his first commitment this past week with Logan Nobles of Jenks. Dickey has two more slots to fill. One interesting possibility is recent offer Jordan Moko (6-5, 300) out of Australia. A rugby athlete, Moko is Polynesian and plays for former Oklahoma State offensive tackle and now Snow C.C. head coach Andrew Mitchell. I like Erick Cade of Baswell High School and a teammate of Oklahoma State cornerback commitment Cam Smith.
Defense has six commits so far and much fewer graduating or departing players after this season.
One defensive tackle is needed and that could be completed soon when Thomas, Okla. standout Aden Kelley finishes working on wheat harvest as a cutter. Kelley will have had lots of time to think while sitting in the tractor and his decision seemed to be down to Oklahoma State and TCU.
Collin Oliver is a prize at the hybrid defensive end/linebacker position.
At straight linebacker Kolbe Fields of Archbishop Rummel is committed and he may be joined by fellow Louisianian Jackie Marshall from East Reserve St. John. I also believe Del City's Donovan Stephens is close to making a decision. That pair would go a long way to sewing up the linebacker recruiting.
Already there are plenty of defensive backs in the fold with Cam Smith from Braswell and Makale Smith from Midwest City both committed. Raymond Gay II and safety prospect Ty Williams of Muskogee are also pledged. Look for another pair of defensive backs to be involved in the 2021 class.
There could be a kicker too. Oklahoma State has offered Southmoore standout Cameron Little. He can kick and punt, both. If Oklahoma doesn't offer then Oklahoma State is in the driver's seat.
2021 Oklahoma State Football Commitment List (11)
* Robert Allen stars
***Jaden Bray, WR, 6-3, 192, Norman, Okla.
***Kolbe Fields, LB, 6-1, 209, Metairie (Archbishop Rummel), La.
***Raymond Gay, CB, 5-11, 172, Red Oak, Texas
****Blaine Green, WR, 6-1 1/2, 205, Allen, Texas
****Bryson Green, WR, 6-1, 200, Allen, Texas
***Jaden Nixon, RB, 5-10, 174, Frisco (Lone Star), Texas
***Logan Nobles, OL, 6-6, 260, Jenks, Okla.
****Collin Oliver, DE/LB, 6-3, 220, Edmond (Santa Fe), Okla.
****Cam Smith, CB, 6-1, 170, Little Elm (Braswell), Texas
***Makale Smith, CB, 6-0, 173, Midwest City, Okla.
****Ty Williams, Saf., 6-1, 192, Muskogee, Okla.