By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Cooper Bassett spent the last five years living his dream as a member of the Oklahoma State football team. Now his younger brother Dawson Bassett will get that same chance.
After a late commitment defected, the OSU coaching staff had a scholarship open and offered the younger Bassett — who quickly accepted. On Wednesday, Bassett and 22 other players signed national letters of intent to join the Oklahoma State team.
“Selfishly, I’m so happy to have my little brother follow in my footsteps in going to OSU, but more importantly because of how happy he is,” Cooper Bassett said. “He loves OSU just like I do. I can promise you Dawson’s loyalty and love for Oklahoma State is just as big as mine. That’s the biggest reason for why I’m happy — my little brother’s dreams came true today just like mine did five years ago.”
Bassett is listed as an athlete out of Tuttle but Gundy said he would play linebacker. Bassett was the only Oklahoma native to ink with OSU.
“He’s more active side-to side than Cooper. If he’s anything of a player and has the loyalty that Cooper had for our program, then he’s a great take for us,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “From a talent standpoint, we liked him from day one, we just didn’t know that he fit in this class. Unfortunately, sometimes that happens, but we’re thrilled that he’s a part of a great family and great Oklahoma State people.”
Cooper said he agreed with Gundy’s assessment of the younger Bassett, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, being more athletic than the 6-foot-5, 270-pound graduating Cowboy.
“I’ve always said God gave me size and God gave Dawson the agility,” Cooper said. “... He’s always had that advantage over me in the athleticism and agility and quickness.”
The fact Dawson is the lone Oklahoma native to sign with OSU struck a bit of a nerve for Gundy on Wednesday.
“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.”
It possibly could have been no Oklahoma signees for OSU, however. After the defection of a previous OSU recruit, a scholarship opened in the final hours and Gundy placed the call to Dawson a week before National Signing Day — even though they weren’t looking to sign any linebackers in this class.
“He was a little bit of a tweener for us because the positions that we needed him at and the positions he played, we weren’t going to take them in this class,” Gundy said. “From a talent standpoint and his attitude and his love of the game, we would have taken him months ago, but we really didn’t need him at outside linebacker because we have so many young players at that position.”
But Gundy has always been about family.
Dawson isn’t the only brother of a Cowboy to be joining the OSU family in this recruiting class. Darius Curry, a four-star cornerback from Flowery Branch, Ga., is the younger brother of C.J. Curry, a freshman wide receiver at OSU who played in two games this past year.
“I think it’s a testament to OSU. ... I think the younger brothers see the older brothers in the facilities and the environment and not just as a place to play or go to school, but that it really is a family up there,” Cooper said. “I think not only does OSU get good players, but I think they get a player that is a little bit more invested in the program. I think it’s a good thing to do and shows how great the program is that not only one family member wants to go there, it’s a good enough place to make the whole family want to go there.”
It’s just a continuation of bringing brothers into Stillwater to play for the Cowboys — dating back to the Woods brothers of Rashaun, D’Juan and Donovan. Junior offensive lineman Daniel Koenig is also the third brother to play for Oklahoma State.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had some brothers that have come through here that have done very well. That’s a sign that we’re handling them the right way and they’re happy here at Oklahoma State,” Gundy said. “If they weren’t happy, their brothers wouldn’t want to come here. ... I feel like Oklahoma State is starting to build a football tradition and that’s the foundation of where it starts. The former players have to come back and be a part of our alumni weekend.
“A number of our players have come back on their open weekend in the NFL and they are on the sidelines. They do that on their own. They come back and they want to be here and they want to be a part of our team. We’re starting to build some of that tradition that over years and years will begin to pay off for our football team.”