By ANDREW GLOVER
STILLWATER — Last season the Oklahoma State University wide receivers were young but an exciting group to watch. With new receiver coach Jason Ray joining the staff from Wyoming, their enthusiasm has grown.
“He is a young enthusiastic coach who is new to our profession,” coach Mike Gundy said. “I was attracted to him because he is from Oklahoma and played at Missouri in an offense that focused on speed. He’s got a good temperament and a good future in our game.”
Oklahoma State isn’t Ray’s first rodeo in the Big 12 conference as he played for Missouri, when it was in the conference from 2003 through 2007. Ray is looking forward to returning to the conference he called home as a player.
“It’s a great conference,” Ray said. “A lot of great things in this conference. It’s one that will be an exciting conference. Just to be back in this region, in Stillwater is a blessing and I’m fortunate to be here.”
With the Cowboys only losing one receiver in Isaiah Anderson, they have a lot depth returning. Ray said it’s been exciting working with the guys.
“The inside guys are really talented,” Ray said. “You have Josh Stewart and David Glidden. We flop those guys around and have gotten away from the inside and outside receiver thing to make them interchangeable. Overall the group is a pretty strong focused group.”
The receivers seem to feed off the energy that Ray brings to practices.
“He’s a new coach that came in. He’s a really cool guy,” junior receiver Josh Stewart said. “He’s a great mentor to learn from. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a really good encouraging guy.”
“He knows a lot of things we are going through right now,” sophomore receiver David Glidden said. “He’s a positive guy. He’s always coaching us and wanting to make us better. ... He loves making big plays. Out on the field he jumps up and down with his fists in the air.”
Ray said he hopes he can help teach fundamentals and make the receiving core stronger.
“We want to teach the guys to be fundamentalist at their position,” Ray said. “I have a lot of high energy and in our group we have a good mix personalities.”
Glidden said along with perfecting fundamentals, Ray wants the receivers to enjoy themselves.
“He just wants us to go out and have fun,” Glidden said. “We sat by him during fan day and a couple of times he brought up ‘just enjoy the moment while you are here. It’s going to go faster than you think it will.’”
Senior Blake Jackson said Ray is someone easy to relate to, since he was a former player.
“It’s easy for us to click right away,” Jackson said. “He can tell us about his past experiences and how we can learn from his experiences and keep from making silly mistakes.”
This season, the receivers said they should have improved chemistry as they have a better idea of who’s going to throw them passes with only Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh competing for the starting job — compared to last year when Wes Lunt was also competing.
“We are a family in the receivers’ room,” Jackson said. “We love our quarterbacks. We block for each other, we go to war with each other. We are as close as we can get. With coach Ray being here for the whole spring, us being familiar with coach (Kasey) Dunn already and J.W. and Clint having experience last year, it feels like it’s complete and all ready to go now.”
Andrew Glover is a sports reporter at the Stillwater NewsPress