Can Oklahoma State avoid too many growing pains at safety?

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Feb 27, 2018
The latest in Mark Cooper's pre-Big 12 media days (OSU's day next week is Tuesday) series on Oklahoma State football is about the safety position. Here's links to the previous entries:

No. 10: How will the tight end fit into Oklahoma State's offense?
No. 9: Can continuity be the answer on special teams?
No. 8: Can Oklahoma State's young corners make the second-year leap?
No. 7: Which new leaders emerge on defense?
No. 6: Who fortifies the tackle positions?
No. 5: What’s the ceiling for Justice Hill?
No. 4: Will the changing of the guard at receiver be seamless?

Excerpts from today's entry:

The Cowboys were blessed by the productivity and experience of Jordan Sterns and Tre Flowers for multiple seasons at safety. Last year, Ramon Richards moved from corner to safety to join Flowers, again providing stability in the back of the defense.
Both players are now trying to make NFL teams.

There are now three safety positions to account for in Jim Knowles’ 4-2-5 formation. And no returning starters.

Kenneth Edison-McGruder, Thabo Mwaniki and Malcolm Rodriguez lead a group attempting to bridge the experience gap without too many growing pains.

A 6-foot, 220-pound senior, Edison-McGruder is the one player with multi-year experience. The Houston native started five games in 2017 and four in 2016. He’s bounced from safety to linebacker -- and now back to safety for his final season.

The Cowboys need him to both stay healthy and productive. He had 21 tackles last season, but only four over his final seven games. He had 40 tackles as a sophomore, when he started three of OSU’s final four games and appeared to be on an upward trajectory.

Once again, OSU's day with the media in Frisco, Texas will be next week Tuesday. The schedule is:

July 16: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas Tech

July 17: Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Texas