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Photo by © Jake Crandall | 2021 Sep 4
Oklahoma State Football

Cowboy FB News: Mason Meets with Defense, New LB Coach, and Signing Day

February 1, 2022
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STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State defensive players met for the first time on Tuesday as a complete unit with their new defensive coordinator Derek Mason. Mason has been in Stillwater since last Thursday after being hired by Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy to take over the reins of the Cowboys defense following the successful stint of Jim Knowles, who left for Ohio State after the Big 12 Championship Game last December.

Robert Allen - Pokes Report
Mason met with the team in the new meeting rooms.

Mason, like Knowles, has been a finalist for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top Division I college assistant coach or coordinator. Mason has coached both sides of the ball in his career, he has been a defensive coordinator at both Stanford and last season at Auburn. He was also the seven-year head coach at Vanderbilt.

“I thought he was cool and I think he will do a good job,” one veteran Cowboy player said when he told me about the meeting. “He is a guy that I think our players will respond to. We got a new linebackers coach too.”

Joe Bob Clements Moves to Coaching Linebackers

You wondered throughout the process how this was impacting the current Oklahoma State defensive staff? Many Cowboy fans were distressed when an Ohio State Twitter site incorrectly reported that Joe Bob Clements was going to join Jim Knowles at Ohio State. The true story was that Mike Gundy, who had Clements head up the defense on game day in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame, had met with Clements and was positive about what he did in the bowl win. He explained why he was hiring outside for the coordinator but that this could be a positive for Clements’ future.

Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics
Clements will take over coaching linebackers.

Now we know what that looks like. Mason will have the same advantage that Knowles had in coordinating the defense without being tied to a position. For the first time since former coordinator Glenn Spencer was fired the linebackers will have a full-time coach working with them. Clements will take over the linebackers and that will be a positive for Clements as he will now be more involved in not only what goes on in the defensive front but also in the back end of the defense. More defensive coordinators coach linebackers than any other position.

During Knowles’ tenure first graduate assistant Shane Eachus, now defensive coordinator at Houston Baptist, coached the linebackers. After Eachus left, graduate assistant Koy McFarland, who went with Knowles to Ohio State, coached the linebackers.

Greg Richmond will now coach the defensive line, Clements the linebackers where he will have some turnover to deal with.

“You don’t want it too easy,” Clements joked.

Dan Hammerschmidt will coach the safeties and Tim Duffie will coach the cornerbacks. That pair has done an outstanding job working together and coaching almost as a team with the secondary.

As previously reported, Mason will come in and adopt the Oklahoma State defensive system and terminology while adding some of his own material to keep opponents off balance and allow the defense to continue to grow.

Signing Day Wednesday

I know Oklahoma State fans have been distressed with the players that have left Oklahoma State through the transfer portal (major losses include Jarrick Bernard-Converse, Tanner McCalister, Dezmon Jackson, and Shane Illingworth) or by declaring early for the NFL Draft (Kolby Harvell-Peel, Tre Sterling, Josh Sills, and Israel Antwine).

Snow C.C.
Seleti Fevaleaki

Oklahoma State will add two new signees in the 2022 class and possibly a third on Wednesday morning and the second football signing day.

Junior college All-American defensive tackle Seleti Fevaleaki from Snow Community College is expected to sign. Fevaleaki is 22-years-old and has already taken his church mission for two-years. He spent one season playing for BYU and then last season at Snow. He is 6-3, 285-pounds.

Davis Dotson
Dotson with Cowboys OL Coach Charlie Dickey.

Davis Dotson visited last weekend and the 6-6, 295-pound offensive tackle committed before he left. Dotson played both ways for Berryhill High School near Tulsa and was named All-State this season by The Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and the Oklahoma Coaches Association.

The third and possible signee is former Oregon commitment Stephon Johnson Jr. out of DeSoto, Texas. The explosive and speedy 6-3, 185-pound is a four-star standout that visited Oklahoma State earlier in January and SMU last weekend and is expected to decide between the Cowboys and the Mustangs and announce on Wednesday morning.

The Cowboys have not picked up any players through the portal, but they have a lot of early reporting players that signed in December including quarterback Garret Rangel; running backs C.J. Brown and Ollie Gordon; receiver Talyn Shettron, tight end Tabry Shettron, defensive lineman Landon Dean, linebacker Gabe Brown, and cornerback Dylahn McKinney. Both junior college signees offensive tackle Tyrone Webber and linebacker Xavier Benson are also on campus. That is 10 new players.

Discussion from...

Cowboy FB News: Mason Meets with Defense, New LB Coach, and Signing Day

5,696 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 8 mo ago by Ostateman
Polston31
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I love this! Go joe!
Imapoke
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Master moves by Gundy.
rcfb
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Is Ollie on campus ? Will he make it early ?
MycatToby
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2 or 3 years of eligibility remaining for Seleti Fevaleaki?
Orangeheart72
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Nice article and info Robert, thanks!
Ostateman
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Gundy has really matured as our HC and the results show.

I, for one, will admit that in the past, there were a few times I thought that Gundy had peaked as a HC. I am man enough to admit when I'm wrong.
Gundy has shown he is still willing to grow, learn and do the things a HC will do to better his team.

Recruiting, coaching hires and results are improving.
It still seems questionable if we take proper advantage of our successes in the peak years like this last one. To me, beating Notre Dame was bigger for our program than playing in a CFP game that would have seen us crushed (IMO) by either UGA or Bama.
We just weren't good enough to go toe-to-toe with those guys yet. Back in 2011 -- YES. We were and probably could have won a NC.
But that's water under the bridge, yet a valuable lesson learned -- don't rest on your laurels.

This transfer portai and the NIL have changed the face of college football forever. It makes Gundy's work even more difficult.
Will he rise to this new challenge?
It looks like he's accepted the fact that good coaches are going to move around, so be prepared to move someone better into their position. That's what mature coaches do.
I know there are rules, but do we really want to follow them now?
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