With the 2018 college football season officially over, it’s time to look ahead to 2019.
For Oklahoma State football fans, this is probably seen as a good thing.
The Cowboys’ 2018 season was a constant teeter totter, balancing between great wins and even worse losses. It resulted in a mediocre 7-6 record. It’s clear for the Cowboys to get back to being in the Big 12 title picture, which has become the norm under head coach Mike Gundy, they will need to be drastically better in 2019.
Here’s a way-too-early look at the 2019 Cowboys’ offense:
This position was talked about more than any other throughout the 2018 season, yet OSU started the same player every game. It will be talked about just as much entering the 2019 campaign.
Now that Taylor Cornelius has graduated, it appears the Spencer Sanders era has arrived.
Sanders was a four-star recruit out of Ryan High School in Denton, Texas. He redshirted the 2018 season at OSU after being named the 2017-18 Gatorade State Player of the Year in Texas. Sanders is a dual threat quarterback who won his final 30 regular-season games at quarterback in high school.
He will be challenged for the job by Dru Brown, a transfer from Hawaii who will be in his final year of eligibility. Brendan Costello, a three-star recruit from San Clemente, California will enroll in January and partake in spring practices. It’s hard to see him having a chance at the starting job, however. The quarterback position will be advertised as a competition entering spring and fall camp, but it’s hard to imagine anyone but Sanders winning the job.
Even with Justice Hill leaving for the NFL and J.D. King transferring, the running back position might be the best unit on the offense next season.
Chuba Hubbard stepped up in a big way after Justice Hill’s injury against Oklahoma. Hubbard started the final three games of the year and appears to be the No. 1 back entering 2019. He rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ bowl victory against Missouri.
Not far behind him on the depth chart is LD Brown, who battled injuries this season but has stamped his name on the depth chart behind Hubbard. Brown has really good straight-line speed and has the potential to be a nice counterpart to Hubbard.
The commitment of Deondrick Glass, a four-star recruit out of Katy, Texas, bolsters this unit exponentially. He is the No. 12 running back in the 2019 class according to 247Sports.
Another player to watch is Jahmyl Jeter. Jeter redshirted the 2018 season. He was a three-star recruit from San Antonio, Texas, and has good size, weighing in around 210 pounds. Gundy likes to get multiple backs involved in the offense, so someone other than Hubbard and Brown will need to step up and secure that No. 3 spot on the depth chart.
Tyron Johnson leaving early for the NFL hurts, but the Cowboys still return a lot of production at this spot.
Headlining this group is Tylan Wallace, who was a Biletnikoff finalist this season. He capped off an impressive season with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown against Missouri.
In the slot, the Cowboys return both Dillon Stoner and Landon Wolf. Stoner currently has a team-high streak of 25 consecutive games with a catch.
C.J. Moore is someone to potentially watch for in 2019. Moore redshirted the 2018 season but was a highly-touted recruit coming out of Union High School in Tulsa. He is cousins with former OSU receiver Tracy Moore.
Patrick McKaufman is set to return next year after missing this season with a torn ACL.
The cowboy back has been primarily reserved for a blocking-type player for a number of years now. Who knows what will happen with the new offensive coordinators’ system, but this group has the potential to have some playmakers in the passing game going forward.
Jelani Woods, who came to OSU as a quarterback before switching to cowboy back, continued to improve his pass-catching ability this season. He stands 6 feet 7 inches tall and has the potential to be a threat, especially in the red zone.
It’ll be interesting to see how Grayson Boomer meshes with this unit in his first season as well. Boomer is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds. He is a four-star recruit out of Collinsville, Oklahoma. His long, athletic frame could potentially be a weapon in the Cowboys’ passing attack. Logan Carter also returns at this position and will be the primary blocking-cowboy back entering 2019.
For OSU to succeed in 2019, this unit has to be exponentially better than it was this season.
The performance of the offensive line wasn’t always bad, but it was too inconsistent at times. Position coach Josh Henson has put a major emphasis on recruiting up front the past couple classes. It is yet to be seen if some of these youngsters, such as Bryce Bray out of Bixby, Oklahoma, or possibly Hunter Anthony from Tuttle, Oklahoma, will contribute in 2019.
The good news is OSU returns nearly everyone from the two-deep this season, except for Deionte Noel and Shane Richards. On the other side of that, the returners will need to improve quite a bit for the Cowboys' record to improve.