Miles pleased with outcome of OSU spring workouts

Sunday, April 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Les Miles' second spring as Oklahoma State's football coach has him excited about his second fall.

The Cowboys wrapped up spring workouts Friday with a scrimmage that left Miles encouraged about the prospects of improving on last year's 4-7 record. Running back Seymore Shaw had 131 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries. Aso Pogi was 15-of-22 for 187 yards. Willie Young had six catches for 105 yards.

``Offensively we're going to be better. I think everybody feels that, knows it,'' Miles said. ``I think our top three backs are better than the top three backs a year ago. Our quarterback position is shored up. It's just a night and day difference between this spring and last spring.''

Shaw, a sophomore to be, sat out last year as a partial qualifier. He was one of the state's top recruits when he came out of Shawnee and initially signed with Oklahoma before going to OSU. He joins Tatum Bell and Greg Jones at tailback. Bell missed some of the workouts due to a hamstring injury, but otherwise was impressive.

``Seymore is an exciting guy _ awfully talented, elusive, big and strong,'' Miles said. ``When he matures, he's going to be a really good back.''

Shaw is one of three young players who impressed Miles on offense during the spring. The others are receiver Errick McCown and tight end Billy Bajema. Both will be sophomores next season.

``Bajema's going to be a good tight end for us,'' Miles said. ``When we put him on the field, now you're going to have to cover three wide receivers and maybe have to worry about our tight end now and then.''

At quarterback, Josh Fields is listed first on the depth chart ahead of Pogi, who started most of last season before getting hurt. Pogi then suffered another setback when he injured his non-throwing arm in an offseason automobile accident. He had a solid performance Friday, throwing seven touchdown passes in red-zone drills.

``Aso Pogi is a good quarterback,'' Miles said. ``There's some competition there at that position, and really that makes the team kind of healthy.''

The coach said he expects the defense to be improved next season, based on what he saw during the spring. The Cowboys have several starters back, led by linebacker Terrence Robinson, tackle Kevin Williams and safety Elbert Craig.

Cornerbacks Ricklan Holmes and Darrent Williams were impressive, and Miles said his front four of Williams, LaWaylon Brown, Greg Richmond and Kyle Beck will be able to measure up to just about anyone the Cowboys play.

``Those guys at times make it hard for you to get first downs and move the football,'' he said, referring to the whole unit. ``On defense we can be better, I think it's pretty obvious.''

The Cowboys will need to be if they're to improve in 2002. The schedule includes games with UCLA, Nebraska, Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma.