When Selection Sunday rolled around for college football bowls, there had yet to be any clarity on the status of Oklahoma State’s young starting quarterback Spencer Sanders.
It was after the Cowboys had been selected to the Texas Bowl against Texas A&M that Mike Gundy said he expected Sanders to be available for the game after missing the final two games of the regular season.
And as of Wednesday, Gundy said his budding quarterback had returned to practice in full.
“Practices have gone good,” Gundy said. “We’ve got Spencer out there. He’s back to full speed. Dru Brown is out there, he’s full speed. We’re starting to get some guys out there going and getting back to a normal routine.”
With OSU’s original starting quarterback this season back from the thumb injury in his throwing hand, what is Gundy’s game plan for the position in the bowl game?
“We’ll play both guys,” Gundy said openly.
While Gundy committed to utilizing both quarterbacks, he was uncertain, or unwilling, to go deeper into how the breakdown and preparation will be with both.
“I don’t know that. That part we don’t know,” Gundy said. “He just got back to practicing. Got his cast off and got back out there. We need to watch him and kind of see where we’re at, but I would fully expect both players to play in the game.”
A star is born in College Station
On a day that was focused on recruiting, it would difficult to look past where OSU landed its best safety on the roster heading into the matchup with Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl.
Kolby Harvell-Peel, who led the Cowboys in interceptions and pass breakups this season, was a three-star out of the hometown of Texas A&M – College Station, Texas. Harvell-Peel didn’t get any offers from the Southeastern Conference – including the Aggies – with OSU, Iowa State, Kansas and Minnesota being the only programs that extended offers out of the Power 5 Conferences.
“He wasn’t real highly recruited. Everybody did a great job of evaluating him,” Gundy said sarcastically. “He was just a guy that was barely, people didn’t think much of him at all. He’s a good example, I mean, how do you know? …
“I just know that we didn’t have to work very hard to get him and keep him on board, and he ends up being a, should be a four-year starter.”
Harvell-Peel was ranked No. 969 overall in the 247Sports composite, and was considered the 77th-best safety prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. The true sophomore was named to the All-Big 12 Conference first team as voted on by coaches.
As for the status of OSU’s safety for bowl game against his hometown college, that remains a mystery.
Second-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles was asked about Harvell-Peel – who was not made available to the media – on Tuesday, and mum was the word.
“I don’t know if I’m a medical guy,” Knowles said. “… I just coach the defense, so I can’t comment on it.”