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OSU Football Notebook: Gundy Expects To Use Two QBs In Opener

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

J.W. Walsh is the odds-on favorite to be the Cowboys' starting quarterback in 2014 but coach Mike Gundy hasn't offered any confirmation of a clear-cut No. 1 lining up under center so far.

And, according to Gundy following Tuesday's practice, Daxx Garman is expected to make an appearance against Florida State in the season opener.

Gundy said he expects Garman to play anywhere from 10-to-12 snaps against the Seminoles.

Gundy has said on multiple occasions already that there is a likelihood that the Pokes will use multiple quarterbacks to mix up the offense and implement various strategies to keep defenses on their toes.

Garman impressed during the spring with his arm strength but hasn't played a meaningful snap since he was a high school junior at Jones near Oklahoma City.

Coach Pleased With First Day In Full Pads

"We had a good day in practice today, and it was our first day in pads. Our effort, our enthusiasm and the players' attention has been really good. I'm pleased with where we're at,” Gundy said. “Our message to them over the last few days, which will continue for the next few weeks, is that we need to get a little better every day. We need each drill and each team setting to improve. I think they're buying into that aspect of it, and we have a number of young players that are getting better. I see some signs of improvement since the first time they went out there. That's encouraging. We had nine players, I counted, on the second team today that are true freshmen, basically. Those guys are going to have to play, so I'm encouraged in that area. We've got a long ways to go, but the team is getting better and the attitude is great."

Michigan Transfer Adjusting To New Position

When ex-Michigan safety Josh Furman announced he was transferring to Oklahoma State during the spring, most saw it as a welcomed addition in a secondary in great need of veteran leadership after the loss of both starters – Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary – to graduation and key reserve/part-time starter Lyndell Johnson to dismissal.

However, Furman was reassigned upon his arrival in Stillwater and will be counted on to assist in the rebuilding process of another depleted position group – the linebacking corps.

The athletic senior has been adjusting to his new role in the Pokes' long-running hybrid “star” position and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer talked about the transition for the former Wolverine on Tuesday.

"He's had his highs and his lows. It's a different position for him,” Spencer said. “He's got some abilities against the passing game, just as an athlete. You've got to bring him along in some run fits with his aggressiveness in the run game. It's more of him not having done it and not having been involved in that role before, so there's got to be sense of urgency with continuing to bring him along."

Grogan Hopes To Impress In Year 2

Oklahoma State kicker Ben Grogan had tough shoes to fill – literally and figuratively – last season as a freshman replacing Quinn Sharp.

His debut season was ultimately a forgettable one for the highly-skilled specialist, connecting on just 11-of-18 field goals, low lighted by a missed 23-yarder in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game in OSU's eventual upset loss at West Virginia.

It's that moment in particular that Grogan tries to push from his mind but he hasn't been able to let it go completely and that might serve him well in the long run.

"I try not to think about it much. I try to forget about that kick, but at the same time, I know that it was there and that it happened. It's not going away, so I have to make sure I keep working so that it doesn't happen again,” Grogan said. “I don't think about it when I'm kicking, but maybe when I'm in the weight room, it's something that will push me."

As Grogan said, the motivation to improve and eliminate inconsistency has pushed Grogan, as has strength coach Rob Glass.

“I've worked a lot in the weight room. Coach Glass has got me on a kicking workout. It's helped me build a lot of strength during the offseason and I've gotten a lot better … I guess I feel a lot more prepared this year just because I've had a lot more time to work with the guys during the offseason. I was here longer. Last summer I was here for only four weeks before the season started so I didn't really have much time to prepare. I didn't have the whole offseason with coach Glass before, as well, so I definitely feel better prepared this year.”

 

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