Oklahoma State Football: All-Time Best Recruit at Each Position
The Oklahoma State football program has built itself into a perennial Big 12 contender by doing a great job in the recruiting department, bringing in highly-touted players, along with lesser-known guys that fit the system.
Today, we're going to look at the many blue-chip prospects who came into Stillwater with all the hype in the world.
That means this list will only really look at recruiting hype from the media and websites like Scout.com—not really concerning itself with on-field production.
Because of that, most of the players on this list will come from the last ten years or so, when recruiting services really started to make their mark. Make sure to leave a comment if you feel anyone from before the Scout/Rivals/247-era was left off the list.
Quarterback: J.W. Walsh
USA TODAY Sports
Scout.com: 4-Star | No. 5 QB
Honorable Mentions: Alex Cate, Bobby Reid
J.W. Walsh might not be the Cowboy's opening day starter in 2013 (that right probably belongs to Clint Chelf), but he was more highly rated than any other Oklahoma State QB coming out of high school.
The dual-threat signal-caller excelled at Guyer HS, using his strong arm and even stronger legs to make himself Scout's fifth-best quarterback.
Last season, Walsh threw for over 1,500 yards while accounting for 20 total touchdowns to just three interceptions.
He might be more of a situational quarterback this fall, but don't be surprised if the young Poke turns heads as the starter in 2014.
Running Back: Herschel Sims
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Scout.com: 5-star | No. 5 RB
Honorable Mentions: Dexter Pratt, Jeremy Smith
As far as getting blue-chippers to commit, 2011 might go down as one of Oklahoma State's best years on the recruiting trail.
They brought the previously mentioned J.W. Walsh and added Herschel Sims, the fifth-best running back in that class, as well as five other 4-star prospects.
Unfortunately, things didn't work out as well for Sims as they did for Walsh.
Coming out of high school, Scout.com compared Sims to LaDainian Tomlinson, and he looked like "the next big thing" at OSU. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be and, after losing playoff time to Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith, Sims was involved in a theft incident and was dismissed from the program.
Wide Receiver: Dez Bryant
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images
Scout.com: 4-star | No. 13 WR
Honorable Mention: Brandon Shepard
Dez Bryant might be the best wide receiver to ever play for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Considering Hart Lee Dykes, Rashaun Woods and Justin Blackmon were all Pokes, that's saying something.
Sure, Blackmon won two Biletnikoff awards while playing for Oklahoma State, but no one can match up with Bryant's big-play ability. It's close, we're just picking Bryant.
However, as good as they both were as players, it's impossible to deny that Bryant was the better recruit. His composite rank from 247sports has him as the sixth-best wideout in his class, and Scout lists him as a 4-star prospect.
Blackmon, on the other hand, was just a 3-star recruit and the 58th-best receiver in his class. Brandon Shepard is one of the few recruits that's considered close to Bryant coming out of high school, but Dez is the easy answer at this spot.
Offensive Line: Anthony Morgan
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
247sports Composite: 4-star | No. 1 OL (JUCO) | 92 Rating
Honorable Mentions: Travis Cross, Greg Brantley
Offensive line was the hardest position to judge for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, because so many of their high-level players come from the JUCO ranks; which makes it tough to decide who gets this spot.
That said, Travis Cross and Greg Brantley are both solid options as top-15 recruits at the position; however, it's hard to argue with Anthony Morgan.
Morgan was ranked by 247sports as the No. 1 offensive linemen, and that's what gets him this position.
Obviously, if you're just looking at guys who came straight from high school, you have to go with either Cross or Brantley; but for this list, we're going with Morgan.
Defensive Line: Xavier Lawson-Kennedy
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Scout.com: 5-star | No. 3 DL
Honorable Mention: Richetti Jones
It's unlikely many Oklahoma State fans are going to immediately remember Xavier Lawson-Kennedy's name.
True, he remains the highest-rated defensive lineman the Cowboys were ever able to bring into Stillwater, but the young man who was supposed to be a dominant force in college football only recorded half of a sack in his three seasons at OSU.
Fortunately for Lawson-Kennedy, this list doesn't really care about on-field production, and he's able to take this spot from players like Richetti Jones, who actually made an impact on the gridiron.
Linebacker: Shaun Lewis
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Scout.com: 4-star | No. 7 LB
Honorable Mention: Jared Glover, Alfred Dupree
Shaun Lewis came into Stillwater as one of the most hyped recruits in Oklahoma State fan's recent memory, and the young linebacker has yet to disappoint.
Lewis came out of high school as one of the best athletes as his position. He added exceptional tackling technique and something that can't be taught: the ability to up his game during the biggest games.
In his first season as a Cowboy, Lewis was named the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and made amazing plays like this. Since then, it's been pretty much the same, as Lewis has become one of the team's defensive leaders.
This list isn't really concerned with on-field production, but Lewis is one of those cases where the production matches the hype.
Defensive Back: Perrish Cox
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Scout.com: 4-star | No. 6 DB
Honorable Mention: Daytawion Lowe
Perrish Cox will likely go down as one of Oklahoma State's best recruits at two positions. Sure, he was an excellent defensive back who was a dominant cover corner in high school.
However, his biggest impact might've been in the return game.
Cox was absolutely electric with the ball in his hands, and, even if he wasn't the most highly rated defensive back in Cowboys' history, he'd probably still make this list because of his ability to dominate at two positions.