Oklahoma State AD criticizes coach Mike Gundy for lack of recruiting prowess

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has led the program to a point where it consistently finishes in the AP Top 25, routinely contends for the Big 12 title and produces NFL talent.

Apparently, that's not good enough for athletic director Mike Holder.

Holder joined the "Pistols Firing" podcast with Kyle Porter and Carson Cunningham on Monday, and said he'd like to see more from Gundy on the recruiting trail.

"You've got to give credit to Mike Gundy. He's really matured into a difference-maker as a coach," Holder said on the podcast. "I would approach recruiting a little differently than he does. I'd want to finish higher in those recruiting rankings than we consistently do. I think that ultimately puts a ceiling on what you're able to achieve."

The program finished 33rd in the 2018 247Sports recruiting rankings, behind Big 12 foes Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas. Its highest ranking since 2010 was in 2011, when the Cowboys finished ranked No. 25. 

Gundy sent a tweet Thursday afternoon that, if nothing else, was a bit cryptic.

It's not necessarily a new "problem." Gundy himself acknowledged that it's difficult to get the high school stars to consistently pay attention to the Cowboys.

"We win 10, 12 games, and we can get in on these [five-star] guys. We would get in a little bit, but we didn't finish," Gundy told ESPN in 2015. "So right, wrong or indifferent, we've gone right back to know your area, find out who's out there, this is what we're looking for to fit our system. Do they like to play football? Do they have respect for themselves, which gives them a chance to be successful? Do they fit what we're looking for? Do we believe in them? If so, we're going to go for them."

Despite that, Gundy has produced high draft picks and successful NFL stars including wide receiver Dez Bryant and defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah. In the most-recent NFL Draft, the Cowboys produced four picks: Wide receivers James Washington and Marcel Ateman, quarterback Mason Rudolph and safety Tre Flowers.

All-told, 22 players have been drafted under Gundy since he took over prior to the 2005 season, and program has finished ranked seven times including in 2011, when the Cowboys finished No. 3 in the BCS and nearly made the BCS National Championship Game.

Could recruiting put Gundy's crew over the top? Maybe. But in terms of pure development, Gundy has proved throughout his career in Stillwater that he is one of the best in the business.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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