April 6, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. - The Oklahoma State football team practiced for two hours Friday on the grass fields adjacent to Gallagher-Iba Arena dressed in full pads. Among the players taking a leadership role during the session was the leading tackler from last year's team, Daytawion Lowe. His position coach, Van Malone talked about the play of Lowe and the safeties as a group:
On the Oklahoma State safeties:
"Shamiel Gary has done a really good job and I've been impressed with him, too. He's a guy that if we put him out there, I wouldn't be displeased. Zack Craig is coming along. Isaac Maselera got thrown into the fire as a true freshman last year. He's coming along, but is still behind these other guys as far as experience.
"They're all aggressive, which is what I like. One thing that I'm going to continue to have to harp on and push to them is turnovers. We want to create turnovers. As a defense, we had a lot of turnovers last year, but the safeties as a unit did not. We will emphasize turnovers because that's the way they happen. If you emphasize turnovers and you practice turnovers, then you will get turnovers."
On the personality of the group and how he coaches them:
"They're all guys who want to do things right and please their coaches and I see that. I will push them hard, but I will treat them like professionals. I put a lot in their lap as far as paying attention to the details. The expectation is high when it comes to footwork and technique. Sometimes you see safeties lose that good technique because they pay more attention to the big scheme. We focus on technique and doing things the right way because that could be the difference between making a play and not making a play at that position."
"I'm excited about the group and I'm excited about where we're going. We just want to make sure that we maintain good health as we keep rolling. Speaking about good health, a guy that I've heard a lot about and seen on film who will be welcomed back is Deion Imade. He's working through rehab.
"You look at the group and you see a talented group. We just have to harp turnovers, being in the right place and doing a good job of getting the defense set as far as coverage goes"
On what makes Daytawion Lowe effective:
"More than anything, he has experience. He's seen a lot of plays, he's seen a lot of formations, he's seen a lot of routes, whereas a young player just wants to make sure he's lined up the right way."
On being a defensive coach facing the explosive Big 12 offenses:
On coaching against Oklahoma State last season while at Tulsa:
"Lining up against these guys in practice every day, it's only going to make you better to face a core group of receivers and backs like we face day in and day out at spring practice."
On the personality he wants to impart on the Oklahoma State safeties:
"When you get a reputation for being a smart player and being where you're supposed to be, you're going to turn the ball over and get it to your offense. When you add on being physical, then there's not a whole lot left when you play that position. That's what I want them to be."
On his early perception of Stillwater, Oklahoma State and OSU fans: