McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Sports

February 6, 2013

Private airfare helps Oklahoma State recruit 2013 class

STILLWATER —

Only one of 23 signings by the Oklahoma State University football program on Wednesday was from Oklahoma. Coaches traveled hundreds of miles from Stillwater to recruit players. What made those recruiting trips successful was the use of private planes.

“We have a number of donors and OSU supporters that donate us private planes to allow us get to one city to another,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “Without everyone pulling in the same direction and the use of planes, it would be difficult to put together a class like this.”

The Cowboys signed 17 players from Texas, two from Georgia and one each from Missouri, Kansas and Utah.

Oklahoma State is being more cautious with its personnel flying in private planes after the November 2011 plane crash that killed then-women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and women’s assistant coach Miranda Serna. Gundy said the aircraft is thoroughly checked before use.

“There’s stipulations and things in place that we go through,” Gundy said. “We certainly make sure that we are traveling on planes that are serviced and everything.”

The Cowboys signed Darius Curry, the younger brother of freshman wide receiver C.J. Curry, from Flowery Branch, Ga. According to ESPN.com, Darius is a four-star recruit and is ranked 23rd among cornerbacks. He was team captain and MVP.

“He’s a big, physical corner who is athletic,” cornerbacks coach Jason Jones said. “He has a high football IQ — his dad was his high school defensive coordinator.”

Also from Georgia is defensive end Naim Mustafaa from College Park. Mustafaa enrolled early and will participate in spring practice. He is the son of former NFL player Najee Mustafaa, who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and the Oakland Raiders in the 1990s. His cousin, Derek Smith, played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said Mustafaa is a big-time defensive end who can rush the passer.

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