Oklahoma State hosted its spring game Saturday afternoon in front of about 16,000 fans. The white team defeated the orange team 31-13. Mason Rudolph had an impressive showing. He threw an early interception, but bounced back with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zac Veatch. Former Cowboy Sam Mayes had high praise for Rudolph. “He is a natural born leader,” Mayes said. “He looks like an upper-classman out there. You can tell his teammates gravitate toward him. Physically, he’s got everything that you could ask for. Big arm. He’s athletic enough that if things break down he can move around and make a play. He is by far the best quarterback in the state of Oklahoma.” One guy who took a lot of heat in 2014 as a freshman was Ramon Richards. Richards was a quarterback in high school, but was thrust in to a starting cornerback role when Ashton Lampkin went down with a season-ending injury. Richards had the interception of Rudolph on a great play, out jumping James Washington for the pick. Mayes said having a rough freshman year will make Richards better in the long run. “He, physically, is everything you could ask for,” Mayes said. “He got beat over and over again last year, but the coaching staff didn’t make the mistake that a lot of coaches make. They didn’t pull him at the first sign of trouble. If you’ve got a kid who can withstand that kind of ass-kicking as a freshman, he’s going to come back a much better player.” Richards has the luxury of learning the position under arguably one of the best corners in the game right now in Kevin Peterson. Justin Gilbert overshadowed Peterson early in his college career, but those days are over. In fact, many felt that Gilbert was able to have so much success because teams didn’t want to throw at Peterson. Peterson had an interception of JW Walsh in the spring game, which he returned for a touchdown. Mayes said he thinks Peterson is going to be a star this season. “He’s going to be up for some All-American honors,” Mayes said. “Practicing against what I think are some of the best receivers in the Big 12 every day will certainly help. That’s part of the reason I improved so much when I was in college. Kevin Williams just beat the hell out of me for an entire year, and when I got in the game, it was like I was playing against nobody. I think Peterson will be the key guy in making that a top-25 secondary.” The offensive line may have struggled more than any other unit in 2014. There wasn’t really a time when you could look at the offensive line and say that they played a really solid game. Rudolph taking over at quarterback certainly helped, because he got the ball out of his hand a lot quicker, but the o-line still wasn’t anything special. Mayes said that if there’s one area of concern on this team, that’s it. “I think they’re very average,” Mayes said. “It’s hard to say how good they’re going to be in the run game because I don’t think they’re strong on the interior of that line.” Even with an average offensive line, Mayes still thinks Oklahoma State can have a successful season. He says it’s not unreasonable for Cowboy fans to expect 10 wins in 2015.
Sam Mayes Talks OSU Spring Game