STILLWATER, Okla. - The Oklahoma State football team practiced in full pads on Thursday for the first time this spring. The Cowboys were on the Boone Pickens Stadium turf for approximately two hours and 15 minutes in cloudy and warm conditions.
Earlier in the day, cornerback/return man Justin Gilbert talked about a number of topics:
On what he wants to work on during the spring:
"I want to pick up where I left off during the season - working hard and making the most of the opportunity I had the last couple years in working with and competing against Justin Blackmon every day. Now, the role is going to switch a little bit with me and the receivers, as far as them working with and competing against me. Really, we all just want to get better."
On what he learned competing against Justin Blackmon in practice every day:
"Being the player that he was, he never let that get to his head. He came out every day ready to work hard. He always practiced hard and made this team better."
On his style as a cornerback:
"I'm not sure I'd say I'm a big hitter, but I'm a pretty good tackler. I'd like to be considered as a shutdown corner."
On if he would prefer to be primarily known as a great cornerback or a great kick returner:
"I would most definitely want to be known as a great cornerback because it's my primary position. Kick returns and punt returns are something that I do to help the team, but I really want to be known for what I do as a corner."
On his physical testing marks this spring:
"The first 40 I ran this spring was a 4.38 and the second was a 4.32. I can't remember exactly my vertical, but I believe it was 35 or 36 inches."
On how he has changed and what he has learned since his freshman year:
"Just learning that you've got to buy into the system. You really can't cheat the system. You have to show up every day and work hard. When you're out there working out, you can't take it for granted. You've got to go all out because if you don't, you're just cheating yourself and the team."
On who has been his biggest influence at Oklahoma State:
"Markelle Martin. I saw his whole attitude on life change from when I was recruited until now. He matured so much and transformed into a good leader. That made an impact on me."
On who he has taken under his wing now that he is an upperclassman:
"Jonovan Griffin and Miketavius Jones are two of the corners who I find myself working with and they have the potential to be great. Miketavius watches a lot of film and does a lot of things to make himself better. Jonovan is a good player and is pretty athletic - he'll make plays for us in the future."
On being part of a defense that will be looked at to lead the team more than in past years:
"In the past, we have forced turnovers and made plays. We just have to live up to that and perform again this year."