It’s not to say, though, that he will always be the starter, as Brailford is expected to retake his spot once he fully heals. When Brailford returns, Walterscheid will likely be used as a rotation end alongside Trey Carter.When it comes to his story, whether Walterscheid starts is irrelevant; it’s still one that deserves recognition. It’s rare that small-town football players make it to college football’s highest level, especially from a 2-A program. But Walterscheid has seized his opportunity and shown up at the highest level of college football. And, although fans didn’t know him at the start of the season, they’re all taking notice now. After sophomore defensive end Jordan Brailford was held out of the Cowboys’ season opener against Southeastern Louisiana, there weren’t very many fans in Boone Pickens Stadium who recognized his replacement.But boy, do they recognize him now.Defensive end Cole Walterscheid (pronounced walt-er-shied) has stepped up in Brailford’s absence and was a key player in the Cowboys’ 45-38 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers last Saturday.The redshirt sophomore came to Oklahoma State from Muenster, TX, a town with a population of 1,600. Walterscheid excelled as an athlete at MHS. Not only was he a Waco Tribune top-100 Texas recruit and a first-team all-district Division II football player as a senior, but he also played baseball, ran track and earned All-State honors in basketball.Walterscheid came to OSU as an undersized defensive end; Rivals lists him as only 6’6, 210 lbs as a senior, and he could “turn sideways and hide behind a pole,” according to head coach Mike Gundy. But he quickly bulked up after an offseason with strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass and headed into the 2014 season at 242 lbs. He then played scout team during his redshirt year.“He was 6’6” 205 when he got here,” Gundy said. “He’s got a big dad – tall dad. Mom’s pretty good size for a female. So we were hoping he would grow into this. But he’s got tremendous work habits, a great attitude, he loves to play football.”After missing the majority of his redshirt freshman season due to injury, Walterscheid secured the backup DE spot behind Brailford as a sophomore. But when a leg injury kept Brailford out of the season opener, Walterscheid was named the Week 1 starter and has been starting ever since.Walterscheid has already made a name for himself after being named the Cowboys’ defensive player of the game following a four-tackle-for-loss (all unassisted) and two-sack performance against Pittsburgh on Saturday.“He’s playing a big role,” said defensive tackle Vincent Taylor on Monday. “He’s gotten defensive MVP for the last two games and after this last game I shot him a text that just said ‘Keep up the good work. Your name is out there now so just keep going.’ I think he really stepped in there and did a great job. He uses his hands well and practicing with him every day I can say that he’s probably the guy with the best hands among the defensive line. If the offensive lineman shoots him, he’s able to get off a block just by using his hands.”Coach Gundy also had nothing but praise for the sophomore. “He was the player of the game for us,” Gundy said. “We just can’t find enough guys like that. There’s just not enough guys out there like that, that just love the game of football that would play for free.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.