Oklahoma State Football: 5 Young Players to Watch in the Cotton Bowl

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2013

Oklahoma State Football: 5 Young Players to Watch in the Cotton Bowl

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    Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Bowl games are fun to watch for many reasons. For one, fans get to see their team play one last game in the season before they're stuck waiting the many months until fall football kicks off again.

    It's also a chance to see some of your favorite stud players lace up their cleats for their final college game before graduating or pursuing NFL dreams.

    However, possibly the most interesting and exciting thing to watch bowl games for is the opportunity for young guys to make a big impression and generate positive momentum as they move towards spring practice.

    Which Oklahoma State young guns should you pay attention to when the Cowboys play the Missouri Tigers in the Cotton Bowl? Read on to find out.

Jimmy Bean

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    Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

    Position: Defensive End

    Class: Sophomore

    Jimmy Bean made a solid impact in a few games this year, notching 2.5 total sacks in relatively limited action.

    However, the young DE might be able to do much better as he matures and develops his game during the offseason. Look for Bean to begin to show that during the Cotton Bowl, which will hopefully lead into a huge spring.

    Oklahoma State's defensive line throws a lot of guys out there to keep players fresh, so expect Bean to get every opportunity to show off his skill set against Missouri.

Jhajuan Seales

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    Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

    Position: Wide Receiver

    Class: Freshman

    You've probably noticed this already, but Oklahoma State is absolutely loaded with talent at the wide receiver position. In fact, the team has nine (NINE!) freshman wideouts on their current roster.

    Now, obviously, all nine of those guys aren't going to be stars down the line, but if I'm picking one, it's Seales.

    He's already shown some legitimate skills in his first season, putting up over 500 yards and two touchdowns. However, that could just be the tip of the iceberg.

    Seales has the height at 6'2" and should bulk up with a full offseason under the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff. Expect Seales to be a major part of OSU's offense in the Cotton Bowl and beyond. 

    And don't be surprised if the 6'4" Marcell Ateman joins him.

Ben Grogan

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    Position: Kicker

    Class: Freshman

    As a freshman, Ben Grogan left a bit to be desired for Oklahoma State fans who had become used to the greatness of Quinn Sharp.

    However, that wasn't unexpected and the young placekicker was solid in his first season, even kicking a 41-yarder during an earthquake.

    The talent is there for Grogan to be the next great OSU kicker and he should take a major step toward that with an outstanding Cotton Bowl.

Ryan Simmons

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Position: Linebacker

    Class: Sophomore

    Ryan Simmons took over in the middle of the Cowboys defense this season after Caleb Lavey moved over to the weak side in place of Alex Elkins. 

    He hasn't been dominant as the starter, and I personally like DeMarcus Sherod quite a bit, but Simmons has proven capable during the 2013 season. 

    Hopefully he can put up a big game against Missouri and confirm his status heading into an offseason that should see a lot of changes with both Lavey and Shaun Lewis graduating.

Kevin Peterson

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    Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

    Position: Cornerback

    Class: Sophomore

    As the only player to make ESPN's All-Big 12 underclassmen team, Kevin Peterson is the main inspiration on this list.

    After all, the Cowboys will need to replace the conference's best corner next season with Justin Gilbert taking his talents to the NFL. If anyone can pull it off, it's Peterson.

    The young corner has two interceptions on the season, with one coming during a key time in the Bedlam rivalry game (though Oklahoma State would eventually lose, as you all know).

    If Peterson continues to build upon his physical gifts with solid fundamentals and a better understanding of the defense, he could have people saying, "Gilbert who?"

    Okay, that's probably unlikely, but Peterson should get a fast start to his 2014 campaign with a big Cotton Bowl performance.