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Oklahoma State QB Keondre Wudtee leaving Stillwater via transfer

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The quarterback competition at Oklahoma State this spring has been reduced by one. Keondre Wudtee is one his way out of Stillwater after entering his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal, it was reported on Wednesday.

As noted by Pistols Firing, redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders appears to be the most likely candidate to land the starting job at quarterback for the Cowboys in 2019 following the graduation of Taylor Cornelius. Wudtee was the only other quarterback to record any passing stats for Oklahoma State in 2018 in his backup role, completing two of five attempts for 26 yards and a touchdown. A pair of wide receivers, Tylan Wallace and Dillon Stoner, were the only other players to attempt a pass for Oklahoma State in 2018.

Oklahoma State’s quarterback depth chart will still be padded even with the departure of Wudtee. Dru Brown, who transferred to Oklahoma State from Hawaii, is still around and the Cowboys added an early enrollee in three-star Class of 2019 quarterback Brendan Costello. Being enrolled early will allow Costello to get started with spring practices this semester in Stillwater and could potentially have him prepared to step in if needed in the fall.

As for Wudtee, we’ll see where he heads next. He will have to sit out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules, of course.

Houston adding pair of P5 safeties via transfers

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New Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen is busy compiling his first football roster with the Cougars. Two new additions to the roster will come from a pair of power conference programs with the additions of safeties Thabo Mwaniki and Jordan Moore.

According to a report from Tulsa World, Mwaniki is heading to Houston after making his decision to leave Oklahoma State last November. After starting the first four games for the Cowboys, Mwaniki was reduced to a backup role in the Cowboys defense.

Moore, who previously played at Texas A&M, announced his decision to transfer to Houston on Sunday night with an image on his Twitter account. The image of Moore in a Houston football uniform included the message “New chapter,” thus noting he was ready to start with a clean slate with the Cougars. Moore announced his decision to transfer from the Aggies just before Christmas.

Moore will be required to sit out the 2019 season and will be eligible to play again beginning in 2020 due to NCAA transfer rules. However, because he only appeared in four games for Texas A&M in 2018, he can preserve a year of eligibility under the NCAA’s redshirt rule. That would make him a redshirt sophomore in 2020.

Mwaniki still has a redshirt option to use as well. Mwaniki appeared in seven games for Oklahoma State last season so he would have to use his redshirt year for the 2019 season, which he would have to sit out anyway due to NCAA transfer rules. Mwaniki will have two years of eligibility to use at Houston.

Record 135 players leave eligibility on the table, enter NFL draft

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If it seemed like there were an inordinately high number of players eschewing their remaining eligibility for the NFL, you weren’t wrong.

Last year, a record 119 players — 106 who hadn’t graduated, 13 who had — declared early for the 2018 NFL draft.  Friday, the NFL announced that record has been shattered, with 135 players with collegiate eligibility remaining now included in the 2019 draft pool.

Of the 135, 32 have already graduated.

Prior to last year, the record was 98 who left for the 2014 draft.  The next three years saw 84 (2015), 96 (2016) and 95 (2017) early entrants into the drafts.

The SEC was far and away the leader among FBS conferences again this year with 36 early departures — South Carolina was the only school in the conference that didn’t lose at least one player — followed by the Big Ten with 21, the ACC with 16, the Big 12 with 14 and the Pac-12 with nine.  The Mountain West’s nine led all Group of Five conferences, while five of the early entrants came from non-FBS schools.

As far as individual schools go, five saw five or more players leave eligibility on the table: Alabama led everyone with seven, with Oklahoma and Ohio State next with six each followed by Florida and Penn State with five apiece.

For the complete list of early entrants into the 2019 NFL Draft, click HERE.

Oklahoma State’s second-leading receiver leaves for NFL

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On the same day as the deadline for declaring, one Oklahoma State football player issued his declaration.

In a Twitter posting, Tyron Johnson confirmed that he has decided to forego his senior year at OSU and make himself available for the April NFL draft. “I cannot say goodbye without first saying thank you,” the wide receiver wrote. “I am forever grateful for Oklahoma State and every member of the amazing Cowboys community.”

This past season, Johnson was second on the Cowboys in receptions (53), receiving yards (845) and receiving touchdowns (seven). The 6-1, 185-pound receiver finishes his collegiate career with 1,288 yards and 12 touchdowns on 80 receptions.

Nine of the receptions, 150 of the yards and two of the scores came as a true freshman at LSU in 2015, where he began his collegiate career as a five-star signee before he decided to transfer to OSU in August of 2016.

Big 12 Championship Game rights reportedly up for grabs after Fox turns down option

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It appears we will no longer have the opportunity to hear Gus Johnson’s voice go up an octave or two when yelling ‘Boomer Sooner’ or talking about Bevo’s sideline antics.

In a report from the SportsBusiness Journal that surfaced on Monday, it seems Fox has declined to pick up the rights to the Big 12 Football Championship Game in odd years as the conference seeks “at least” $20 million from a TV partner to air the game. SBJ goes on to note that the league has been talking to a number of media companies about the 2019, 2021 and 2023 games after Fox’s decision, which comes just two years after the network ponied up some $25 million for the 2017 game.

While it’s possible a CBS, Turner Sports or online player such as Amazon could get in the mix, the rights to the game might not get further than the worldwide leader. ESPN (and by extension ABC), has already signed up to televise the even years of the Big 12 title game through 2024 and apparently would have the first option to take the odd year rights as well.

It remains to be seen if they’ll do just that given ESPN/ABC will air numerous other conference championship games on the final weekend of the regular season and add the Pac-12 title game to the mix during odd years as well. Either way, the Big 12 has only a few places to turn to that could pony up that kind of cash for the game and the 2019 season is just around the corner when it comes to this kind of stuff, all things considered.