STILLWATER, Okla. - The Oklahoma State football team practiced Monday in Boone Pickens Stadium dressed in full pads. With only one practice remaining before Saturday's Spring Football Finale, running backs coach Jemal Singleton talked about Joseph Randle, Jeremy Smith, Herschel Sims and the Cowboy backs:
On the development of the running backs since the start of spring practice:
"We've developed a lot - more so with our younger guys. Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith, they played a lot of football in their younger years, so you'd expect them to grow, but probably not as great as a Herschel Sims. Herschel had a little bit further to go, so his growth has been more dramatic. He's picking things up and doing that. I've been happy with how our younger guys are progressing and happy with how our older guys continue to get better every day."
On something that people might not know about Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith:
"They are great teammates. There is an opportunity where one guy is the starter and the other's not, so there can be some animosity between the two, but there's not. Any time one gets success, the other is happy for him. They compete to make each other better. There's no vendetta between those two. There's no rivalry between those two - they're two brothers trying to get better and achieve some common goals."
On how that example affects Herschel Sims:
"You see role models. You see two guys that are showing him the way a little bit. If you ask Joseph or Jeremy, Kendall Hunter was that guy. He showed it with his work ethic - with how he worked and how he competed and all that. That rubbed off, and it has a tendency to do that, and I think our older guys are rubbing off on our younger guys to where they get to the point where our young guys want to fight and compete and do all those things just like those guys did before them."
On what he wanted from Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith this spring and if they have achieved that:
"One of the things I really wanted them to focus on was for both of them to run with pad level and just being real explosive after contact. Both have been good in the open field and different things like that, but I wanted them to focus on how to run and how to have their pad level and their eyes below the defender's eyes so that any time contact is made, they're pushing the pile forward so it's a gain of two or three yards after contact. In our last scrimmage, I saw a lot of that. They were running with good pad level, they were getting hit and dragging guys three and four and five yards. That was one of the main things I wanted to focus on this spring and I think they've been doing a pretty good job of accepting that and really working to do it."
On his message for the running backs going into the spring football finale:
"It's still a practice in our eyes and it's like practicing for a game because it's that game setting, so my thought is that they've got to go out and compete and try to get better. And that's part of it - get better every day. The spring game is just another opportunity for them to go out and compete. It's not about putting a show on for the fans - you put a show on for the fans by competing, running hard, making big plays and doing those types of things. That's the show part. They've just got to go out and compete and fight and make sure they finish the spring on a high note."