At Oklahoma State, Players Remain the Best Recruiters

first_imgPlayers make the best recruiters. This has probably always been true. It’s certainly true when recruits are not wide-eyed high school kids but rather hardened college students acutely aware of the ins of college football as Big Business as well as the outs.It’s also maybe more true at Oklahoma State than most schools because there are more tools with which current players can recruit their friends and players they know about to Stillwater.“When [transfer Lenzy Pipkins] told me [he was transferring], I told Coach Spencer and we got it done,” Chad Whitener told the Oklahoman recently. Now Pipkins figures to factor in to what should be one of the better secondaries in the Big 12.“He’s going to give us some depth at (cornerback),” said Mike Gundy earlier this fall of LP. “In this league, you play with three or four corners in a game – depending on whether you’re in a nickel or dime package. He’s older and has played at this level, so I’d expect he’s going to be on the field quite a bit. He needs to help us on special teams. He can be involved in punt return or punt coverage and I think his body will be able to adapt and take it because he understands what it takes to play at this level.”“I knew he’d be a big help to our team,” added Whitener. “So I did all I could to make sure he got here.”20-year-olds generally trust other 20-year-olds more than they do adults. I know that was true for me so I presume it’s true for college football players. And Oklahoma State has given players like Whitener plenty of reasons to give to other 20-year-old stud players looking to shake things up.Between the facilities, the booming gameday atmosphere and the seemingly receptive coaching staff, OSU is a player’s school.“How we treat our players here, there’s really no difference,” Whitener told the O’Colly. “The walk-ons get treated the same way. We all eat at the same place. We all hang out. We all sit in the same meetings. There’s really no step off besides the financial part of it. I didn’t know half our walk-on class were walk-ons. The way they were treating everybody, I just didn’t know.”That’s not normal.Trust me, as a former college walk-on, that goes against what most programs do.Did it factor into Tyron Johnson’s decision to move from LSU to Oklahoma State this week? I don’t see how it didn’t when you look at the players on OSU’s current roster. Jalen McCleskey’s dad tweeted about Johnson joining his son and the other Louisiana kids on this team. There was some definitely some player ‘crootin going on. Players talk. They’re friends. They’re honest with one another. And OSU had a lot of guys Johnson knew pulling him towards OK.This actually came up this week.“We kind of owe it to the Johnsons that Jalen is at Oklahoma State,” J.J. McCleskey told Go Pokes after the Johnsons had pointed Jalen towards Stillwater back in high school. “The least we could do is repay the favor.”Here’s the Oklahoman again.Johnson undoubtedly did his research when selected OSU as his new college destination. The Cowboys attempted 517 pass attempts last season. LSU? Just 278. And there are currently six players on OSU’s roster — receiver Jalen McCleskey, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, linebacker Kevin Henry, quarterback Keondre Wudtee, offensive lineman Marcus Keyes and cornerback Rodarius Williams — from the state of Louisiana to make it feel like home.“They were the school I initially thought of when I decided that transferring was the best option for me,” Johnson told NOLA.com, “and I’m glad everything worked out.”Me too. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more