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Randle will play key role for OSU

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 12:07 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 6:36 a.m.

DALLAS — Oklahoma State boasted one of the nation's top offenses a year ago and is expected to be just as explosive this season.

With Justin Blackmon, perhaps the best wide receiver in college football, coming back for his junior season and veteran quarterback Brandon Weeden returning to lead the offense, it's easy to understand why.

But there's another reason the experts are high on the Cowboys: Joseph Randle.

The Wichita native is coming off a freshman season in which he rushed for 453 yards and two touchdowns, caught 37 passes for 427 yards and one touchdown and was one of the top first-year players in the Big 12. And all while playing behind all-conference running back Kendall Hunter.

He will take on a bigger role as a sophomore, and his teammates are fine with that.

"He's special," Weeden said. "He's probably the best unknown player in the Big 12. He's athletic. When he's in there he's basically an extra receiver. We can hand the ball to him, we can motion him out of the backfield. We can do so many different things with him to make our offense better. He gives us a lot of options."

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is confident Randle will build on his breakout freshman season, and play anywhere from 40 to 50 snaps per game.

"We need Joe to do just what he did last year," Gundy said. "He caught the ball well, ran the ball effectively and he was tough. We understood that he was versatile. We can move him out of the backfield or put him in the backfield. You see a different side of our offense whenever he's in there."

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