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Oklahoma State Football

Update on Rodriguez, Harper, and Holmes as All Three Make OTA Splashes

June 12, 2022

STILLWATER – All is quiet on the Oklahoma State football front. There are some official visits in recruiting as Stillwater center/guard commitment JaKobe Sanders finished his official visit on Sunday. Monday (June 13) is the Cowboys youth football camp and there will be well over 200 campers involved. Summer conditioning and metabolics continue, but this is the summer. The same will soon be the case for the former Cowboys, including the most recent additions to the NFL.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Harvell-Peel received an injury settlement in Houston.

There were the three Cowboys drafted in linebackers Malcolm Rodriguez and Devin Harper, who were taken in the fifth round respectively by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Then in the seventh round cornerback Christian Holmes was picked by the Washington Commanders. Several Cowboys were picked up as rookie free agents including safety Kolby Harvell-Peel, but Peel has already been put on injured reserve by the Houston Texans and then waived with a settlement.

Caitlyn Epes - Pittsburgh Steelers
Warren just finished up minicamp in Pittsburgh.

Most undrafted free agents such as running back Jaylen Warren in Pittsburgh, defensive tackle Israel Antwine in Jacksonville, wide receiver Tay Martin in San Francisco, and offensive lineman Josh Sills in Philadelphia will have their make or break moment in training camp. It is not easy to come up the rookie free agent path.

As for the drafted Cowboys, we are already hearing reports on all three of them. Malcolm Rodriguez is making the biggest splash and that is not surprising as the Lions have found out that despite his size, 5-11 and 235-pounds, Rodriguez is a tough, smart football player.

Detroit Lions
Rodriguez has done well so far in Detroit.

“Malcolm Rodriguez is one of the smarter young players I’ve ever been around,” Detroit Lions linebacker coach Kelvin Sheppard told Detroit Lions beat reporter Tim Twentyman on the Twentyman in the Huddle podcast. “That kid, it’s because he’s a naturally smart player, but on top of that, it’s the work he puts in. This kid came in here in two days and he knew both (linebacker) spots.”

Rodriguez got a lot of reps in both the Lions regular minicamp and in the following OTAs. Expect that to continue as many observers feel Rodriguez could be playing a lot of special teams be a second-team linebacker starting the season.

“I looked him right in the eye and said, ‘You’re going to get an opportunity, dude,’” Sheppard said. “I said, ‘When you come in and show me things like that, you’re going to get every opportunity imaginable.”

Harper is getting some similar attention in Frisco, Texas at The Star where the Dallas Cowboys have wrapped up minicamp.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Harper (50) has shown up in Frisco for the Cowboys,

"He's got the speed that you look for in linebackers for today's game. It's a space game – run and hit. We love his special teams potential as well," Dallas Cowboys Vice-President of Player-Personnel Development Will McClay said of Harper.

Finally, in Alexandria, Va., where the Washington Commander practice and train Ron Rivera the head coach is happy with his entire rookie class and that includes Christian Holmes, who had an interception during the OTA workout on Monday. Rookies picking off veteran NFL quarterbacks draws quick and positive attention.

"It's kudos to our scouting department. I think Martin [Mayhew] and Marty [Hurney] and Eric [Stokes] and Tim Gribble, those guys have done a great job for us. And when these guys go out and find guys later and they look like they can come in and contribute, that's a big deal."

Rodriguez as back last Monday as he was at the Woemn’s College World Series watching girlfriend Miranda Elish play for the Cowgirls. You will see a number of these guys back in Stillwater in late June and July as they will jump in and workout with the current Oklahoma State team as many of them know the routine and will benefit from a Rob Glass refresher heading into training camp in late July.

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Update on Rodriguez, Harper, and Holmes as All Three Make OTA Splashes

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