The Oklahoma State Cowboys are a high-powered offense that is annually among the leaders in college football in yards and points. To get those big plays that the Cowboys’ have come to rely on, they need consistent production in their underneath passing game in their short and intermediate routes. Sophomore Austin Hays will add that stability that will make the entire offense soar.
Hays came to Stillwater as an unheralded recruit in the 2012 class coming in as more of an afterthought on signing day. Despite being overlooked during his recruitment, Hays made an immediate impact on the Cowboys in his freshman season, far out-producing many of the more heralded signees in his class.
He started just six games on the year, but caught 29 passes for 394 yards with a pair of touchdowns and quickly made the Cowboys look that much smarter for signing him. His dependability, good hands, ball skills and competitiveness should earn him a more prominent role in the Oklahoma State offense in 2013.
He doesn’t possess the ability to break open a game like former Cowboys’ standouts like Dez Bryant or Justin Blackmon, but he offers a crucial skill set for the health of the OSU passing game. By forcing defenders to pay mind to him in the intermediate area, it opens up the home run plays for the more explosive receivers on the depth chart.
With the rotating door on the quarterback position in 2012, Oklahoma State will be thankful for any and all continuity they can get on the offensive side of the ball in 2013. Hays can provide the fans in Stillwater a steady hand to push the Cowboys’ offense to the elite of college football once again.