MORGANTOWN \u2014 Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder had a few choice words for head coach Mike Gundy\u2019s ability to recruit to OSU.\r\n\r\n\u201cI would approach recruiting a little differently than he does,\u201d Holder said. \u201cI\u2019d want to finish higher in those recruiting rankings than we consistently do. I think that ultimately puts a ceiling on what you\u2019re able to achieve.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhile Holder\u2019s comments are likely in direct relation to the Cowboys\u2019 struggles to keep up with Bedlam rival Oklahoma on the field, Gundy built the Oklahoma State program to a point where, regardless of who it loses, there is plenty in reserve to take over.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s definitely the case headed into this season: Quarterback Mason Rudolph, gone; wide receiver James Washington, gone; wide receiver Marcell Ateman, gone.\r\n\r\nRudolph threw for 4,904 yards and 37 touchdowns a year ago, while 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns went to Biletnikoff winner Washington.\r\n\r\nAteman hauled in passes good for 1,156 yards and eight scores.\r\n\r\nThe Cowboys lost a huge junk of their offensive production from last year, a season in which they finished 10-3 but below expectations. The Cowboys were expected to compete for a Big 12 title but failed to reach the conference championship game.\r\n\r\n<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-16076" src="http:\/\/www.dominionpost.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2018\/07\/OSU-graphic-1024x367.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="367" \/>\r\n\r\nThis season, with all of the offseason losses, OSU is flying under the radar. The Cowboys were picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 preseason media rankings, but there is still plenty of offensive fire power that could put them in position to surprise, led by running back Justice Hill.\r\n\r\n\u201cHis leg strength, his power, his experience playing in games, his understanding of our offense, his pass protection, all of that got considerably better,\u201d Gundy said of Hill\u2019s performance last season. \u201cThis year could really be a good year if you\u2019re as talented as he is and you can relax and play.\u201d\r\n\r\nHill ran for 1,467 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore, and Gundy expects those numbers to increase this year. Though he will be the featured offensive threat, Hill likes that the Cowboys aren\u2019t getting as much preseason hype as they have in the past.\r\n\r\n\u201cI like it way better,\u201d he said. \u201cWhen you\u2019re at the top, you can get a sense of complacency sometimes. When you\u2019re at the bottom, you\u2019ve always got that underdog mentality \u2014 you\u2019re hungry to go prove everybody wrong.\u201d\r\n\r\nHill will run behind an offensive line that returns four starters, a group that Gundy believes will be even better than it was last season.\r\n\r\nAnother key returnee on offense is receiver Jalen McCleskey, who had 645 yards and five touchdowns last year.\r\n\r\nBut the biggest question is, who will replace Rudolph? Unlike at other schools in the Big 12 replacing quarterbacks, Gundy made it clear who is starter is, confirmed last week at media days.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen we came out of spring, we felt very comfortable with Taylor (Cornelius),\u201d Gundy said, \u201cCertainly, going into August, he\u2019s our guy.\u201d\r\n\r\nCornelius, a former walk-on from Bushland, Texas, beat out Hawaii grad transfer Dru Brown in the spring.