April 10, 2013
STILLWATER - Several members of the Oklahoma State football team met with the media Wednesday in Boone Pickens Stadium. Their comments:
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On his first spring as defensive coordinator:
"It's going really well. Every day is a challenge. We're just trying to stay a step ahead, project what we need to work on and get corrections made. The spring is a good time to experiment with some things and see what some kids can handle. We've had 10 practices and most of them have been installations. Maybe a guy will start off slow, but will eventually be able to play more aggressive because we've sorted out assignment issues and things like that."
On how the defense is adjusting to his more aggressive strategy:
"We've been more aggressive from day one. That was the attitude in the first meeting we had, and it's carried through. Expectations are high to challenge a lot of different situations and approach them with a more aggressive mentality, and that's what we've gotten out of them. We have a long way to go, but mentally they're catching on to what we want."
On Justin Gilbert's spring so far:
"Every time you look at him, he'll pierce right through you. He's got a great look. He's playing with a chip on his shoulder and it's awesome to see. It starts with him. He's got the talent to do a lot of things. What we want to get out of him is to maximize himself in every game and every practice. He's accepted that, and he's been really impressive this spring."
Safeties Coach Tim Duffie
On the transition to OSU:
"The thing that's been really good for me is being around people who understand the transition and the swing of things because obviously we do things around here fast, so it's finally starting to slow down for me."
On what attracted him to OSU:
"The winning speaks for itself. What Coach Gundy has done here in his short period of time and he's the all-time winningest coach here, so it speaks for itself. The close proximity to home, the recruiting base is intriguing. I think this program is definitely on the rise. We don't feel like it's peaked until we can say that we are national contenders and I think that we are on our way."
On recruiting strengths:
"The facilities here speak for themselves. All we have to do here is get them on campus and it sells. It won't be hard to do with the wins - kids want to be a part that - and if you can get them here, then it will sell itself."
On what he brings to the program:
"I think the biggest thing for me is that I don't need attention. I just want to work and be a part of a winning tradition. I don't need any recognition, I just want to coach, have fun and help kids reach their goals."
On the atmosphere:
"Obviously, I'm running a little bit. But when you have five seniors in the room with you, it's easy. Like I said before, there are good people here, Glenn Spencer, Van Malone and Joe Bob Clements, even our support staff has been phenomenal. So it has been easy for me and as long as I'm coaching ball around those people then I can roll with it."
On Daytawion Lowe:
"I'd say he's smart. He's a great player. The good thing about him is that he wants to get better. He's a really good player but he wants to be great and I think he's well on his way to doing so."
Receiver Josh Stewart
On what the receivers have been doing this spring:
"We're just working on more play-making and coming together as a team and really working together. We're also working on not giving the defense time to set up and we're working on running the ball and throwing the ball with a fast-paced offense. Focus is what it's all about and that's what we're trying to do."
On how the offense can improve:
"We just have to think fast with everything you do and just focus. You can't be worrying about too many things and you just have to worry about what you have to do and you expect the other players on the offense to think the same as you do. You can't worry about what they are doing. You just have to do your part and everything will come together."
On Clint Chelf being the number one quarterback:
"He's very consistent. All of our quarterbacks are good, and if Chelf isn't messing up then why change it? He's been doing well and that's what Coach Gundy likes, so that's what we're rolling with."
On his role as an upperclassman:
"I'm ready to do whatever my team needs me to do. I'm going to play my role and when my name is called I'm going to try and make a play."
Cornerback Justin Gilbert
On his decision to return for another season:
"I've enjoyed college ever since I've been here and you only get to go to college once so I'm going to take advantage of it while I can. There are also areas of my game that I need to improve on, so I'm focusing on that right now. Everyone that I've talked to has told me that I made the right decision."
On what factored into his decision to stay:
"I reflected on the season and that's what I really focused on. I didn't really have the season that I wanted, so I'm back to fix the mistakes that I made last season and play more aggressively and try and focus on those things. It's been motivating so far. The other day at practice I didn't take any plays off and I just keep going out with that mentality."
Defensive Tackle Calvin Barnett
On being a leader:
"It's a little different. When I first got here, I had to learn everything and I couldn't be as vocal. This year, I know what to expect and I know what's going on, so I can help people, like all the freshmen that weren't here last spring, I can help them. It's a little different now that I know what to expect. I just try to do my job. If I can't do my job then I can' t try to be a leader anyway, so I try to practice hard, run hard and be accountable for the things I do on the field, so that plays a role in trying to be a leader."
On what he's been working on this spring:
"My technique and having better condition will help me in the longer stretch of the games and late in the games. I run hard, eat a little better, just the small things that I need to change that as young people we don't realize that we need to do.'
On last season:
"Last year, at least in the beginning, was a little up and down, getting the three personal-foul calls had people look at me in a different way. Then it went from there to making a few plays here and there. As a whole, I think it went well, I think I have more in me that I plan on doing this season."
On balancing aggressiveness:
"Just playing between the whistle. Knowing when it's time to hit someone or just come off the ball. I had to learn that when I got here, I can't just go around hitting people, I have to be a little more controlled with it and it was just a learning experience."
Linebacker Caleb Lavey
On the progress of spring practice:
"It's been really good because of the level of competition we have now. Like Coach Spencer always says, competition is the driving force behind getting better. I've got Demarcus Sherod behind me, and he's pushing me to get better. Joe Mitchell and Seth Jacobs are pushing Shaun Lewis to get better. Coach can put anyone in at any time and he trusts them to make plays, and at the same time the level of competition is making all of us better."
On his role as a senior:
"I've been around long enough to where I know what's going on. I know the attitude that needs to go on in practices and I'm a lot more comfortable with the defense. Being older now, you get a little bit more say in the locker room, and you get a little more leadership out there on the field. It's come a long ways, but I'm not completely comfortable because we have one more season. I don't want to get too relaxed because we want to win some games."
Offensive Lineman Brandon Webb
On the level of competition this spring:
"We might have a couple spots to fight for, but ultimately we're coming for the same goal - to create the best unit we can. It's moving along pretty well, and we're making strides as a unit."
On his probable starting spot:
"I don't think I'll get too comfortable, but it's definitely better to know that you've played and that you know exactly what to do. It's all about making yourself better as a person to make the best team."
On the camaraderie of the linemen:
"We try and keep it like a brotherhood. We all hang out together, try and invite everybody over. In that corner of the locker room, no one really comes over there because no one wants to mess with the O-line. If they don't come with enough people, it's not going to work out well for them. We have play fights all the time, but no one ever wants to play with us."
Offensive Lineman Jake Jenkins
On the team's coaching and personnel changes:
"We've all just been learning and getting used to things with a new offensive coordinator. We will always have Coach Wickline to answer to, but Coach Yurcich is a good guy. He's a really fun person."
On being the top guy on the line this year:
"I came in playing with Parker Graham and Brandon Webb, so it's not really that different of a feeling. I haven't really changed my mindset or anything that much, but I guess we'll find out when we play that first game."
On learning from older players his entire career:
"You always watch and learn from the previous guys. You pick up on things they do and how they do them. They show you things too, so you just kind of learn from them. It's kind of like learning from an older mentor, where you just watch and pick up things along the way."