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OSU Mount Rushmore: the most remembered Cowboy football people

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The statue and the crowd

OSU honored Barry Sanders with a statue during the 2021 season for his feats as a Cowboy. 

Nearly every American is familiar with Mount Rushmore.

The 60 foot monument depicting the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on the side of a South Dakotan mountain in the Black Hills is ingrained as one of the most iconic American landmarks, as well as a great tourist attraction for those visiting.

For many sports fans, the term “Mount Rushmore” is sometimes used in determining the greatest of their sport. It acts almost as a top four list, but without any real ranking. All of this to say, what if Oklahoma State were to build a “Mount Rushmore” of its own? While mountains are few and far between in Oklahoma, here is a look at the four people that would be set in stone as the Mount Rushmore of Cowboy football.


T. Boone Pickens

It feels fitting to start with the man whose name is already up in lights in Stillwater. Boone Pickens was an OSU alumnus with a heart for giving back to the university. With his $165 million dollar donation in 2005, he opened the door for OSU to start competing in multiple sports at a competitive level. He specifically loved football, and he wanted to see the program soar to new heights and reach levels unseen in Stillwater. The impacts of his generosity are still seen at OSU to this day, and he is an easy first pick to go on the OSU football Mount Rushmore.

Barry Sanders

Next on the list is one of the best football players of all time, let alone at OSU. Running back Barry Sanders is OSU’s lone Heisman winner, and during the late 80’s, he guided the Cowboys to some of the most impressive seasons the program has had to date. Sanders accumulated 49 touchdowns and over 3,700 yards during his Cowboy career and he is one of the most famous college athletes to pick up a football. Rest assured Mount Rushmore were to ever wind up in Stillwater, Barry Sanders will be front and center. 


Justin Blackmon 

The 2010 and 2011 seasons are regarded as some of the most exciting years in OSU football history. With an electric offense and a solid defense, this team finished No. 3  in the AP Poll in 2011 and took down Andrew Luck and Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. Justin Blackmon became a key piece in these team’s successes. Garnering two Biletnikoff trophies, awarded to college football’s most outstanding receiver, 3,564 career receiving yards and 40 receiving touchdowns, Blackmon is one of the best receivers to play the game in Stillwater. Although his pro career did not result like people expected, Blackmon deserves to be regarded as one of the best at OSU.


Mike Gundy

There is not another person more synonymous with OSU than the man with the mullet, Mike Gundy. Mike Gundy has been at the helm of Oklahoma State football since 2005, and aside from his first season as head coach, Gundy reached a bowl game in every season of his career. He fits the perfect description for the “Mount Rushmore” criteria in terms of OSU legends. He started as a former player in the 80’s, coached as an assistant for the program and then eventually took over as head coach. He’s brought the program from mediocre to an ever-present force in college football. If anyone deserves to be on the OSU “Mount Rushmore”, Mike Gundy is at the top of the list. 

While a mountain is not just going to appear in Stillwater any time soon, these are just a few of the faces that would be etched in stone for the “Mount Rushmore” of OSU football.