STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Oklahoma State University football team welcomed 23 new members to the Cowboy family Wednesday on National Signing Day.
The Cowboys received national letters of intent from the 22 committed players, and got a late addition in junior college transfer Ofa Hautau, a defensive tackle from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.
"Today has been a really good for Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma State football," said OSU coach Mike Gundy, who claimed this as his best recruiting class at OSU. "We were able to sign a really balanced class with the exception of a few positions that we have a number of young players already on our team that we feel will develop and we'll pick up those positions next year."
Oklahoma State's biggest pull came, as no surprise, from the state of Texas with 17 signees from the Lone Star State. Headlining the group are wide receivers Marcell Ateman and Ra'Shaad Samples.
Ateman is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound four-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com and was ranked by Scout.com as the nation's No. 25 receiver. Samples is a four-star prospect by ESPN.com and had scholarship offers from the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC and Big 12 Conference rivals Oklahoma and Texas.
"We were able to attract receivers from a much larger area than we do other positions," Gundy said. "We have a number of young men that show a lot of interest in us, and at some point it can work against you a little bit because they may not want to come here because we already have 12 or 15 guys who can play. For the most part, it works for us and there is a little part that scares some guys away in the end."
OSU also pulled two recruits from the Atlanta area in defensive end Naim Mustafaa, a four-star prospect by ESPN.com who chose the Cowboys over several SEC schools, and running back Corion Webster, a four-star prospect by ESPN.com who Gundy said will likely play as a freshman — along with fellow signee Rennie Childs, a running back from Houston who committed to OSU after Joseph Randle declared for the NFL Draft.
"We've always played our freshman running backs," Gundy said. "So they're going to play."
The Cowboys also filled a hole left by graduating kicking extraordinaire Quinn Sharp with Ben Grogan, a kicker from Arlington, Texas. Grogan is ranked No. 9 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com and is the only kicker included on the list of Texas Football Magazine's top 300 prospects.
"We feel really good about his future," Gundy said. "... He has a strong leg. He has the capability to kick a 50-yarder right now."
The only Oklahoma native to ink with OSU was Dawson Bassett, the younger brother of graduating Cowboy Cooper Bassett. Dawson is listed as an athlete out of Tuttle, and like his brother played both sides of the ball in high school — at linebacker and tight end.
"We took one (Oklahoma) kid this year and that really bothers me," Gundy said. "Now we offered a number of them, but we didn't get them. I think it's important for the people in Oklahoma to know that if there is a player in any case that can help us, we're going to offer him because we want to take care of all the Oklahoma people."