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OSU football journal: Defensive lineman Israel Antwine granted immediate eligibility by NCAA

Oklahoma State defensive lineman Israel Antwine (95) was ruled immediately eligible by the NCAA on Wednesday. He transferred from Colorado in January. [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN]
Oklahoma State defensive lineman Israel Antwine (95) was ruled immediately eligible by the NCAA on Wednesday. He transferred from Colorado in January. [CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN]

STILLWATER -- The good news keeps coming for the Oklahoma State defensive line.

Just days after Bowling Green graduate transfer Kyle Junior announced he would be joining the Cowboys, the NCAA passed down its decision to grant Oklahoma State defensive lineman Israel Antwine immediate eligibility after his transfer from Colorado in January.

Antwine’s father, Dwayne Antwine, told The Oklahoman Wednesday afternoon that the NCAA had notified OSU’s compliance department of the decision.

OSU coach Mike Gundy and his staff had been using Antwine in practice as if he was going to be eligible in the fall.

“He’s a young man that deserved to be eligible, in our opinion, based on the way things are handled,” Gundy said following Wednesday’s practice. “They’ve ruled in his favor and I think that’s awesome for him.”

Antwine had applied for a hardship exception after transferring following his freshman season at Colorado, when his head coach, position coach and academic advisor all left the school.

While Junior can be an immediate help at defensive end, Antwine has the ability to play both end and tackle, because of his speed and strength at 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds.

The Cowboys lost six players off the two-deep of the defensive line from the start of last season, and looked to be short on experience across the front. Junior has played three seasons at Bowling Green and Antwine started all but one game at Colorado as a true freshman last year.

Cowboys set to scrimmage Friday

Gundy expects to learn “a bunch” Friday afternoon about Spencer Sanders and Dru Brown as they compete for the Cowboys’ starting quarterback job in the fall.

The Cowboys will use most of Friday’s practice time for a scrimmage.

“They’re still babied a little bit right now, based on the way practices are set up, just for youth,” Gundy said of his quarterbacks. “They’re on their own Friday, so we’ll see what they do.

“That will be the first organized practice where we can start to see how much they actually know.”

Coaches have been wearing headsets in practice to communicate in game-like settings for the last two weeks, in part, so that Gundy could see how new offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson worked in that environment.

“I needed to see Sean operate the tempo of our offense without a script,” Gundy said. “We’ve been on the headphones the last six practices, for the majority of those practices.

“I should’ve always done it in the spring, because it’s really good for the coaches.”

Offensive, defensive lines competing hard

Gundy has been excited to see the competition level between his offensive and defensive linemen this spring.

The defensive line is made up of less experienced players competing for starting jobs, and the offensive linemen are working under new coach Charlie Dickey.

Defensive line coaches Joe Bob Clements and Greg Richmond “have been so much more aggressive this spring, because these guys are all new,” Gundy said. “And then with coach Dickey and his philosophy, there’s some serious combat going on there that’s been worth watching, and it’s been much more physical.”

Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›