It’s hard to break into one of the top position groups in the country.
It’s even more difficult to try to do so when started at a disadvantage based on time.
But Washington State transfer Tay Martin appears to have done so in Oklahoma State’s vaunted wide receiver corps.
Martin joined the Cowboy roster after fall camp, and a week into classes on the Stillwater campus – officially announcing he had departed the Pac-12 for Oklahoma State on Aug. 22.
He arrived at OSU having hauled in 143 catches for 1,615 yards and 18 touchdowns in his three years with the Cougars. That includes a sophomore campaign in which he had 69 catches for 685 yards and eight scores.
And just four weeks later, Cowboy coach Mike Gundy was already impressed enough to make it known that fans can expect to see the new offensive weapon in the season opener this weekend against Tulsa.
“I would expect him to get an extensive number of snaps in Saturday’s game,” Gundy said. “… Certainly with Tay, another week of practice is an advantage for us and him, as well.”
Martin may have a little more of an advantage than any other receiver trying to move into the Oklahoma State offense late in the preseason, after having played the past three seasons at WSU under now former coach Mike Leach.
Former OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen brought it to Oklahoma State in 2010 after having worked on Leach’s staff for seven years. Thus, it’s not that far of a leap for Martin to learn the new system.
“Well, actually, Leach built his offense off ours,” Gundy quipped. “But either way, the terminology is relatively similar, so it did help him in his adjustment to Oklahoma State.”
Oklahoma State’s star wide receiver Tylan Wallace agreed with Gundy in assessing how quickly Martin has picked up the offense.
“I think that helped him a lot,” Wallace said. “I mean, kind of running the spread and everything, airing the ball out, I think having that experience behind him is definitely going to help him in the way we run our offense, for sure.”
But that’s not the only aspect that has sped up Martin’s adjustment to Oklahoma State’s offense.
With a veteran-laden wide receiver group – with four players listed in the two-deep with at least four years in the system – and a quarterback who has been learning the system for the past two years, Martin has had plenty of options to lean on if there is uncertainty about an Oklahoma State scheme.
“There’s guys grabbing him and picking him up on the side and just kind of just teaching him a lot,” Sanders said. “… Everybody’s kind of taken off of everybody else and everybody wants everybody to succeed. And that doesn’t mean I’m not helping him, that just means like everybody wants to help him.
“That’s what I really like about this team, because it’s not only me helping out, because I know how much I’ve told him and how much he’s already learned. So I know there’s certain stuff I haven’t told him that he’s learning, so I like that he’s taking information from everybody and he’s just learning, he’s just going and he’s just getting better every day.”