It’s a sound that hasn’t been heard on Oklahoma State’s campus since November.
The sound of shoulder pads popping as two players collide with each other.
On Tuesday, OSU had its first practice in pads since the 2020 season ended. With the spring game scheduled for April 24, coach Mike Gundy said he’s excited with the energy and attitude the team shows.
Gundy said they currently have 112 players on the roster, compared to the 85-90 they would have in a normal offseason. This is because of a larger early enrollment class, transfers, and seniors that stuck around for their extra year of eligibility given by the NCAA.
“Even our young players and new players are getting really quality reps,” Gundy said. “I’m looking forward to watching the tape and seeing what guys do.”
Here are other storylines from Tuesday’s press conference:
Gundy sees improvement in the offensive line’s pass protection
Gundy compared the offensive line to “musical chairs” last season because of the constant rotation due to injuries, leading to issues with pass protection.
Two weeks into spring practice, he said he sees improvement.
“It looked like we were better, in protection, which will allow us to be a better run blocking team,” Gundy said. “I’m excited about that.”
Ry Schneider and Tevin Jenkins both declared for the NFL draft following the 2020 season, but starters, Josh Sills, Hunter Woodard and Jake Springfield all are returning to OSU.
Gundy said it has been fun to watch the third offensive line group compete in practice. The third group is composed of athletes in early enrollment, and who haven’t played at this level of competition.
Brennan Presley will be a versatile option in the offense
After a breakout performance against Miami in the Cheez-It Bowl, grabbing six receptions for 118 yards and three touchdowns, Brennan Presley set expectations to be the next star receiver for the Cowboys following Tylan Wallace’s departure.
Gundy said he will have a versatile role in the offense this season.
“He can do a lot of things,” Gundy said. “He can catch it, he can run it, he can throw it. We need to be able to bring him into the offense in different ways because he is so versatile and he’s a quick learner.”
Presley will even take part in punt returns, and in special situations punt coverage.
Presley said he hasn’t been on the field for returns since high school, but will assume the role if he is asked to.
“Whatever it takes to do it for the team,” Presley said. “All of us would do it. Take advantage of anything, a lot of people would kill to be in this position that I am, so I’m not going to look at myself and think I’m any different from anybody else.”