PFB - A Look at OSU’s Three Biggest Surprise Players of the 2018 Season

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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As Oklahoma State heads into their week four matchup this weekend against Texas Tech, I wanted to take a look at some of the biggest surprise players through the first three games of the season.

Tylan Wallace


Wallace is the first name that comes to mind when I think of biggest surprises so far this season. I knew he had the talent — the former four-star prospect is the 10th highest rated recruit in school history — but I didn’t expect him to emerge as Taylor Cornelius’ go-to guy so early on.

As a freshman, he only recorded 7 catches for 118 yards in five games of action. He’s already more than doubled those totals from last season with 19 receptions, 319 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2018. He is leading the team in receiving yards and has a 134-yard lead on the next closest guy.

He’s been TC’s favorite target in the intermediate passing game.


He’s also been his guy down near the goal line on fade routes.


My preseason pick to lead the team in receiving was Dillon Stoner. Honestly, if you would’ve asked me to choose a runner-up, I probably would’ve said Jalen McCleskey, and then, due to my Louisiana-bias, I most likely would’ve had Tyron Johnson third.

However, now it’s looking like Wallace will finish the year atop the statistical list and has a good beat on being near the top of the all-time record book when his time comes to an end in Stillwater.

Teven Jenkins


Before the season, there was a lot of talk about Larry Williams, Marcus Keyes and Johnny Wilson. They were the three most experienced linemen on this Cowboy roster heading into the 2018 season. Jenkins had seen some fill-in work last season when injuries occurred, and played decent, but still was a little bit of an unknown.

Through the first three games of this season, I think Jenkins has been one of the best, if not the best, lineman for OSU. It seems every week on the Tape Doesn’t Lie podcast, when Adam Lunt lists off the missed assignments on the line, Jenkins always has the least.


In addition, Pro Football Focus graded Jenkins out as the top lineman in the Big 12 for week one of this season.


PFF's Week 1 Team of the Week in the Big 12 on offense pic.twitter.com/S4BJB7ltQl

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 4, 2018


He also should be credited for a touchdown after pushing Cornelius into the endzone on the run below last week against Boise State.


It’s really exciting that this guy is only a sophomore as he will be a major asset to have for the next few years on this Oklahoma State offensive line.

Devin Harper


On the defensive side of the ball, there has been a lot of praise for freshman Jarrick Bernard as of late. This is definitely warranted as the young safety has played very well and stepped up at a position in which the Cowboys are very inexperienced. However, although Bernard has been a pleasant surprise, I wanted to go in a different direction for my unexpected standout player on defense.

With injuries to Patrick Macon and Blake Barron before the season started, there were some questions about Oklahoma State’s linebacker depth behind starters Calvin Bundage and Justin Phillips. Well, through the first three games, I think we have one for-sure answer to this question in redshirt sophomore Devin Harper.

The former three-star prospect committed shortly after receiving his offer from Oklahoma State and didn’t have any other major programs showing much interest. Harper only saw action in four games a year ago, recording 5 total tackles. This season, he’s played in all three games and has absolutely filled up the stat sheet recording 14 total tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception and 1 forced fumble. In addition, he took the one interception back to the house for six, which Thomas Fleming did a great job of breaking down a couple of weeks ago.


From what I’ve seen so far this year, he doesn’t seem to be out of position very much, and he doesn’t miss many tackles. Harper is a perfect fit for Jim Knowles’ defense with his size and athleticism at 6-1, 231 pounds, and I expect him to be on more highlight reels by the end of this season.




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