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August 2, 2013

One day down, 29 to go

Oklahoma State kicked off their 2013 fall camp in surprisingly mild weather conditions, with an early morning start and overcast conditions.

"It was actually pretty lovely," senior running back Jeremy Smith said. "We all came out here and did what we had to do. I thought we had great enthusiasm. We were moving around. I think the freshmen will get the hang of it quickly. Overall, it was a good day."

The Cowboys were in the NCAA-mandated acclimation period with no pads. While the weather was nice, head coach Mike Gundy anticipates things heating up over the next week.

"It was really nice this morning, but I think we're going to get some heat the next five or six days," Gundy said. "The players had a lot of enthusiasm like you expect on the first day."

For the first day in nearly a month's worth of preparation for the season opener against Mississippi State in Houston, Gundy felt like his squad got off to a proper start.

"Today I really look at all the little things, like making sure guys are hustling, taking care of their helmets and paying attention," he said. "Just the fundamental parts of practice because we don't have any shoulder pads. I do watch movement. I was really excited to watch our D-line and some of the new guys. They moved around well. And you always like to watch the freshmen no matter what position they are. It's just difficult to see O-line and D-line because we don't have pads on. You get to see receivers that can move well and catch, and safeties and corners that back pedal."

Asked about highlights of the workout, receiver Josh Stewart tabbed his teammates on the other side of the ball as what stood out to him.

"Defense was really swarming and knocking balls down," Stewart said. "That's good for us when the defense is doing what they do because we're getting better. We're not in pads but everyone is moving around, and that gives us a good look. We're excited for our defense."

The workout took place on the grass practice fields east of Gallagher-Iba Arena. The new practice fields adjacent to the Sherman E. Smith Athletic Training indoor facility won't be ready for us for a couple of more weeks. The indoor facility is ready for use, and Gundy outlined when and why the Cowboys would first make use of it.

"Since we are playing inside the first two games we'll go in there if we get any rain or lightning," Gundy said. "If we were playing outdoors then we would practice in the rain. There isn't a reason to practice in the rain because the first two games will have a cover, and we won't be playing in the rain."

Count Stewart as one guy who is looking forward to the team's first trip inside the state-of-the-art practice facility.

"We got a look at it during the summer, and I was in awe," Stewart said. "Especially about being the first group of guys to use it. It's just a cool feeling knowing that it will be up for years and years after we're gone for the next teams to use."

The Cowboys are set for a busy day on Saturday, starting off with another early-morning practice. They'll move on to OSU's Fan Appreciation Day, which is immediately followed by Media Day. Stay tuned to OState Illustrated for all of your Cowboy news over the weekend.

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