Oklahoma State Cowboys

Mike Gundy on Caleb Etienne Transferring: ‘Felt Like He Got Beat Out, So He Left’

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma State

On Monday, former Oklahoma State offensive lineman Caleb Etienne announced that he was transferring to BYU just days after entering the transfer portal.

Etienne started all 13 games for the Cowboys last season, and at 6-8, 310-pounds, he has the size but also the athleticism to be a difference-maker for the Cougars this season.

Losing a player of Etienne’s caliber isn’t easy for any coach to deal with, and especially not for a guy like Mike Gundy, who has seen several key contributors from last season hit the portal.


During an interview this week, Gundy addressed the situation with Caleb Etienne and seemed to have a slight hint of disdain for the portal and its effect on his football team.

“Caleb (Etienne) felt like he got beat out, so he left,” Gundy told media. “But that’s his choice. I think everyone is coming around to realizing that the portal is there for a variety of reasons. Players can get more money in the NIL. They can a player that’s late in their career and says, ‘I want to do something different, I want to go somewhere new.’ Or, a guy says, ‘I’m not going to be a starter, I want to go be a starter.’

Gundy then circled around and shared his feelings on a portal window being open for the spring portion of the college football schedule.

“As of now we have one guy [in the portal], which would be Caleb, and he didn’t feel like he was going to start here and he was going to lose his job so he wanted to go somewhere else,” Gundy says. “I’m not a big fan of the portal in the spring because it’s extremely difficult to replace roster numbers, but I don’t make the rules and standards, I just adjust to them as they go.”

Oklahoma State will not hold a spring game due to work on Boone Pickens Stadium, but are in the heart of spring practices.

The Cowboys open up the 2023 season with a home contest against Central Arkansas on Saturday, September 2.

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