Aug. 16, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. - The Oklahoma State football team practiced for two hours Thursday dressed in full pads on the grass practice fields adjacent to Gallagher-Iba Arena. After practice, wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn talked about his position group:
On how he views the process of replacing Justin Blackmon:
"The big thing for us at the position is making sure that everybody understands they've got to pick up their slack a little bit. I don't want Tracy Moore for example, who's replacing Blackmon, to feel like he's got to go out and get 120 catches. He needs to be that go-to guy for us on third down. That's what I'd like him to be - somebody we can rely on. Somebody that in crunch time, it's `let's call Tracy's number', like we did with Blackmon. He doesn't need to come out of every game with 10 catches. I'm sure he'd love to have that, but the reality is that Isaiah Anderson on the other side of the ball has to pick up the slack a little bit. He's got to have more numbers and more production than he did last year. It's about trying to match the production as a unit more than it is trying to fill a position and replace those 120 catches from that Z spot."
On what Isaiah Anderson brings to the team:
"Isaiah's got tremendous speed. Right now, he's really in control of his body and running great routes. The knock has always been with catching the football, but he has been stellar all the way through camp and has caught everything thrown his way. Yesterday, he probably turned in one of the top five plays I've seen - just an unbelievable catch and getting his helmet ripped off at the same time. He's playing great football right now. With that kind of athleticism and speed, he should be a pretty good force to be reckoned with within the Big 12."
On if Tracy Moore can be a consistent threat near the goal line:
"No question. He's a big body down there that we can throw a slant to, we can throw a fade to - we can do a lot of things with him when we get inside that score zone. I'd expect to see him used much the same way that we used Justin Blackmon last year."
On where Charlie Moore is in his development:
"Charlie Moore is pushing for that starting position at X right now. Isaiah Anderson has had a great camp and those two are in a battle. They're highly competitive guys and every day, they go to work and they practice their tails off. They're stepping up and taking extra reps. They both want that job bad. I can say what I want to about trying to get a guy motivated, but the best motivator is competition. Right now, those guys are really stepping their game up and have raised their bar. We'll see how it unfolds, but Charlie has done a tremendous job. Everybody thought maybe "okay, spring game, one-hit wonder", but that's not the case. He was great for 14 practices before that spring game and has been great all the way through camp."
On OSU's stable of true freshman wide receivers:
"We feel like right now, we've got three guys outside that we definitely can win with and then we've got to bring along the young guys - which is tough to do. They're rookies and they've got a lot of things to learn on their plate, from where's Wal-Mart to where's my class to who is going to be my girlfriend - all that stuff. Then you throw in football and it gets a little overwhelming for those guys, so we try to narrow their focus and put it on football because a couple of them are going to have to step up and play for us."
On if there has been any separation between the freshman receivers at this point:
"Not really. A couple of them jumped out early. C.J. Curry really stepped out early and then Brandon Sheperd came on midway through camp a little bit. Austin Hays has picked up his game here lately. Jhajuan Seales has shown flashes throughout camp of really being a tremendous player. He's got great upside. As soon as he decides he's going to figure it all out and play, we're going to have a great one here and people are going to love him. The fans are going to love him because he's a great kid and a great player. Nobody's stepped out and separated themselves from the rest of the pack yet. The one guy that's been the most consistent is Austin Hays from day one until where we are now."
On if he has a comfort level with putting the freshmen into a game:
"I do, a couple of them - I do. With a couple of them, we still have more time to go. As of right now, I'm a little cautious of putting a couple of the guys in there because we've got to make sure that they know where to run. It's not anything to do athletically. It's not their ability. It's not can they catch the ball and run with it afterwards. It's `am I going to make the right decisions' it's `am I going to help the inside guy get open if I know this coverage is set so I don't catch the ball, will I make sure that the inside guy gets the ball' We don't have those things nailed down yet with a couple of guys and we need to. All four of them, athletically, can play but ultimately it will come down to who is smart enough to play and who picks it up the quickest."