OSU Holds Fan Appreciation Day; Meets With The Media - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

OSU Holds Fan Appreciation Day; Meets With The Media

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Following two hours of signing autographs for Cowboys fans during OSU's Fan Appreciation Day, coach Mike Gundy and players met with the media for the Cowboy's official Media Day.

The 'Pokes take on Mississippi State in the season opener on August 31st in Houston.  Below are quotes from today's Media Day.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy

On offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich

“I think Mike’s doing very well. I’m comfortable with the way he has settled in. He is much different in practice now than what he was in the spring. I thought he approached it in the right manner by letting the other coach’s coach because he was new to the system. I think he is much more comfortable with our offense now and I have seen him being much more aggressive this fall.”

On receivers coach Jason Ray

“He is a young, enthusiastic coach who is new to our profession. I was attracted to him because he is from Oklahoma and played at Missouri in an offense that focuses on speed. He’s got a good temperament and a good future in our game.”

On Jeremy Smith possibly running the ball 20-25 times a game

“The backs that we have had in the past have all carried the ball that many times. A lot of that depends on the team we’re playing though. He has really developed a lot in the last few years. There was a time that he wasn’t sure college football was for him. I know for a fact that he is happy with the decision he made to stay. He has done really well for us over the years, and he is ready to take the work load this year.”

On Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lampkin

“They’ll be better than they were last year. We had to rely on them some last year, and it’s really scary to have a true freshman out there on the edge. They have both developed well, but they still have to learn to mature and play hard all the time. That is normally the last thing for a guy to learn and how to compete on every play.”

On the team’s overall athleticism

“Every year college athletes are getting better. You have to give credit to a lot of the high school programs. The athletes understand that it takes training all year long to be in the best shape possible. You’re seeing more refined athletes now more than we ever have before.”

On Jeremy Seaton earning a scholarship

“We’ve had a number of walk-ons here who have earned scholarships, and some have even gone on to play in the NFL. Jeremy has worked extremely hard and competes on Saturdays. He is in there with the ones a lot and is deserving of a scholarship. That’s one of the neatest parts of our job is to be able to tell a young man he is on scholarship now.”

On the talent of the wide receivers

“I think we have a really good group. At times it’s unfair to compare guys to (Justin) Blackmon and Dez (Bryant), who were two of the most talented guys to come through this league. I believe that we have 10-12 guys who in a few weeks could go out there with the ones and have some success. We may be as good at that position as we have ever been without there being a first-round guy.”

On the challenge of opening the season with an SEC opponent

“Obviously they’re very physical. You’re going to compete against some guys that are 300 pounds and run well. It forces us to pick the pace up a week or two earlier in preseason camp than what we would have in a normal season.”

Defensive End Calvin Barnett

On the defense as a whole

“I think the defense looks great. Everybody looks stronger and faster running to the ball. We’re young, but at the same time we have a lot of experience and leadership out there. It’s really good for us.”

On how he feels going into the season

“As a player, I feel great. I’m just looking to get better right now. I know there are things I need to improve on technique-wise, but that’s pretty much it.”

Safety Zack Craig

On the defense being more aggressive this season

“Aggressive has kind of been our key word in the offseason. We want to be intense and fly to the ball. We want to be known as a very disciplined and productive defense.”

On one thing the defense has improved on from last season

“We’re getting closer to the routes we’re covering. I think we’re putting more pressure on the quarterback, too, especially up front.”

Running back Jeremy Smith

On his approach knowing he is "the guy

“I know I have to go out with the mindset knowing I’m the guy, which means I have to work harder than any other running back out there because they believe in me and I believe in myself, too. I’ve had my opportunities, and I’m blessed to be a part of this knowing it’s my turn now.”

On changes under Coach Yurcich

“I think the offense is flowing a lot smoother. Coach Yurcich knows what to expect. He doesn’t ask a lot, he just wants you to do your job. I like the approach he has.”

Defensive End Jimmy Bean

On football season being less than a month away

“It’s very exciting. I’m ready to show what I can do on the field. I’ve waited a long time for this opportunity. I’m ready to get out there and contribute for the team.”

On individual goals he has this season

“I want to be a big-time player when we need it most, like third-and-long situations. I want to be able to get a sack or make a play in those big moments for the team.”

Defensive Tackle James Castleman

On Coach Spencer as the new defensive coordinator

“I've really enjoyed the transition to Coach Spencer as defensive coordinator. He helped out a lot last year, and I like what he’s doing this year so we’ll see what we can do.”

On having done stunts with cheerleaders in the past

“I don’t like to just sit around. I like to always be doing something. I dated a cheerleader in high school, and we did stunts all the time. I went to high school with one of the cheerleaders here so that’s how I got tight with them. None of them believed I could do anything, until I did it. Ever since then, they’ve let me help out.”

Offensive Lineman Brandon Webb

On being back in camp

“I’m really excited about it. I’m looking forward to getting better. We have a lot of talent returning, and I think we have a chance to be really good.”

On the offense possibly moving faster than last year

“I would like to say it’s true. We’re going to move as fast as possible. They’ll make us move as fast as possible. As a lineman, it isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but it helps create an advantage. It can help tire the defense out, which really helps.”

Defensive End Trace Clark

On the most exciting thing about this year's defense

“We can be more aggressive up front and go after the quarterback knowing that we have pressure coming from anywhere. Coach Spencer tweaked the defense a little bit to where we have more chances to pressure the quarterback.”

On the defensive line as a group

“We have a lot of depth. We are kind of unproven on the ends, but our interior is solid with Calvin Barnett, Anthony Rogers and James Castleman. That helps us on the end to alleviate pressure. Sometimes they have to take on double teams, which allows us to be one-on-one on the outside.”

Wide Receiver C.J Curry

On the pressure of individual expectations

“I don’t feel any pressure, I’m just anxious more than anything to get started.”

On the most exciting thing about the offense

“I really like that each play has big-play potential. Even if you mess up, you come right back to the line knowing in this offense, you will get another chance in the next three or four plays.”

On being part of a deep group of wide receivers

“I think the best part is the competition, being able to push each other and correct each other’s mistakes. The guy next to you can help you just as much as you can help him.”

On the legacy of OSU receivers as motivation to get better

“It’s very motivating. When you walk around, you see all the posters. Every time I work out, I see Dez Bryant or Justin Blackmon. I close my eyes and visualize myself being there, and that helps me work harder.”

Running back Kye Staley

On the many offensive weapons able to contribute

“I feel like, as an offense, we have more depth at every position than in the past. From the line, to the receivers, to the backs to J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf — two guys who got valuable time last year. I think we’re deep everywhere.”

On individual goals he has for the season

“I want to earn more carries and touches. I came here as a running back, and that mindset never goes away. I’m a decent athlete, and I can help the team win. That’s my goal — to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Defensive End Davidell Collins

On the defense’s main point of emphasis this summer

“We want to be relentless pursuing the ball. We want to rip and strip. We want to get where we were turnover-wise in 2011. We feel like if we can cause more than 30 turnovers, we have a better chance to win games. We want to be a sound defense.”

On the preseason No. 14 ranking:

“We don't really try to pay attention to those. My freshman year, we were unranked in the preseason and came out of nowhere. At the same time, there have been preseason top-10 teams who have fallen short of that ranking at the end of the year. I think it’s great for the fans and filling in TV time. I don’t think it reflects the type of team you are.”

Wide Receiver Tracy Moore

On coming back from last year’s injury

“It was a little rough with the way I got hurt. I had just been coming off a serious injury, and the guy just fell on my leg. It was just one of those things that happens, but now I want to come out and try to win a national championship.”

On being picked to win the Big 12 Championship

“I would rather be put at 10th in the conference and then just work our way up. It would make us feel better. It makes us sound like we’ve already done something, but we haven’t done anything.”

Cornerback Kevin Peterson

On his starting spot

“Last year, I was the third guy behind Justin Gilbert and Brodrick Brown. I was asked to go in there and give those guys a break, but now I’m the guy in the starting role. I’m trying to work on playing closer to the receiver and not being so nervous. Last year, I had some jitters going from high school to Big 12. It was a big jump.”

On what the cornerbacks are working on

“Since spring ball started, we’ve been trying to play tight to the receivers. It’s all about confidence. I know I’m just as good as the receiver going out there to be able to play with them.”

Running back Desmond Roland

On what the offense is working on

“We’re working on turnovers as well as big plays in the fourth quarter. We lost a lot of our games in the fourth quarter whether it was a turnover or we couldn’t complete a third down. We’ve been looking at big plays from our big-time players.”

On his offensive role

“I have to stay prepared and keep a positive attitude. When the coach calls my name, I need to be ready and make plays.”

Wide receiver Charlie Moore

On the season opener

“We’re excited. Getting to play in Houston at Reliant Stadium and getting to go head-to-head with an SEC team is awesome. I think it’s a good way to help prepare us Big 12 play when it comes to it.”

On Mike Yurcich

“He’s great. He’s keeping us moving fast and everything is going smoothly. He came in here and just took over. He really responds well to the players, and we respond well to him. It’s been a smooth transition for all of us.”

Linebacker Caleb Lavey

On the leadership on the defense

“Shaun Lewis and Calvin Barnett are great leaders. I try to do my best to get the guys motivated, but the good thing about our defense is that there are a lot of seniors who can lead. You also have guys like Ryan Simmons, who does a great job. Everyone plays a big enough role that they can step up and be vocal, and it would have the same effect as anyone else doing it.”

On the season opener

“I’m excited because it’s going to be a big game. A lot of the time the first game is similar to a scrimmage in that it’s not the toughest opponent. With Mississippi State, they’re a good team. It’s in Houston where we should have a lot of fans there, and it’s going to be a game that gets the nation’s attention. There’s going to be a lot of intensity and excitement around it. It should be a lot of fun.”

Linebacker Joe Mitchell

On the preseason talk

“Our drive and hunger to win is evident. We’ve sort of been put on a pedestal being picked as the top team in the Big 12 and a good national ranking. We just want to live up to that expectation.”

On the changes in the defensive staff

“It’s pretty much the same. There are a few little tweaks. Everybody is feeding off everybody. We all want to get better, and we’re excited to be here, practice and get ready for the first game.”

On the season opener

“My emotions are everywhere. It’s my senior year, and we’re starting it in my hometown. I have a lot of family and friends who will be there, and I really want to put on a show. I know the team feels the same way. It’s the Big 12 versus the SEC, and you couldn’t ask for much better.”

Defensive End Jeremiah Tshimanga

On preparing in the offseason

“I’ll talk about us as a unit instead of just myself. As a unit, we focused a lot on getting better every day as individuals and competing against each other with ladders and the drills that we do. During the offseason we took a lot of time to compete against each other.”

On expectations of team this season

“Our expectations are high always. We look forward to this season. Our main goal right now is to focus on getting better every day.”

On being worried about pressure of the rankings

“We’re not worried about that at all. Our coaches already talked to us about that. They know that’s just for the people that got us here before. We know what our coaches want out of us, and they are stressing to not worry about that and worry about getting better.”

On getting back to being the best defense for turnovers

“Coach really stresses stripping the ball, interceptions and turnovers in general. We have to start using the practice drills anymore and the fundamentals we learn in practice. Coach has done a good job to stress turnovers in practice.”

On how he feels about playing Mississippi State vs. last year’s Savannah State

“For us we treat every game like it’s a high expectation game. We are coming out there like we are playing a better team in general. Our coaches are going to give us everything we need to win.”

Safety Daytawion Lowe

On cherishing the moment of being the leader in the defensive backfield now

“I am glad to be back there with a great group of guys. I’m surrounded by so many playmakers that make my job easy.”

On the mindset and approach to the defense this year after struggling last year

“To make plays, to be more aggressive and to make plays when the ball is in the air.”

On the talent of the defensive line this year

“The sky is the limit for them this year. We have guys that are older and a lot of younger guys who can play. If they keep their head level, the sky is the limit.”

Wide Receiver Jhajuan Seales

On the upcoming season

“I feel great about it. I feel that we have a great team on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I feel we can do great.

On playing an SEC team for the first game

“I think we are prepared for it the way we are practicing and everything. I think Coach Gundy has a great structure for us to be prepared for an SEC team. I don’t think the Big 12 is any different, it’s just the way you play the game.”

On the workouts with Coach Glass

“Coming out of high school we didn’t do much weight lifting so when I came here we really got after it. Conditioning is the hardest part and getting your stamina up.”

On the competition for the receiver position

“The competition is fun. We all go out there and try to do our best. We try to teach each other how to run the plays and try to get better.”

Linebacker Shaun Lewis

On preparing in the offseason

“Physical and mental grind. Everything I need to do physically to be in shape to endure the highs and lows of the season. Mentally, I have to get my mind right to get my body places it hasn’t been.”

On expectations he has for himself this season

“Really I never make expectations like that because it is such a team sport. There are 21 other people on the field so I will just go out and do whatever my team needs me to do to win.”

On the chemistry with this year’s squad

“We’re a lot closer. Some of these guys that are leaders now have been here with me since my freshman year so it’s easy to bond with guys like that. We understand where we’ve all come from and where we are trying to go so we all have the same vision.”

On earning All Big-12 honors

“I am honored to have the award. Personally, when you know you can play better, you know your shortcomings. I am honored to have the award. It’s hard to have every play the way you wanted it when you know you could have made those plays. I know I’ll do better this year.”

On being a quiet leader

“When the guys hear ‘leadership’, I am the guy who they see it from. I am the guy that’s going to be giving it his all in the drills and the guy who is going to play when a play needs to be made. I am that type of leadership. I’m not the guy who is going to get everybody hyped up to play. I will give them the visualization of what needs to happen.”

Punter Michael Reichenstein

On the upcoming season

“I’m really excited for it. We have a lot of seniors and a lot of returning starters. We’ve gotten a lot of press and high rankings so it’s going to be a great year. I’m really excited for my senior year, and we are ready to finish it.”

Kicker Bobby Stonebraker

On what he wants to focus on this season

“I need to focus on the mental part of the game. I just need to learn to relax, and I’ve been doing better.”

On working on the mental aspect

“You just have to go out there with confidence.”

On having more attention on the kicker this year

“I think so, especially at Oklahoma State. The kickers are always great here so there’s a chance that there will be a lot of attention. I think (Quinn) Sharp had a lot to do with it because he’s such a great kicker.”

On where he feels comfortable kicking from

“Anywhere from 50 in I feel comfortable.”

On what he wants to show coaches in camp to make them feel comfortable with him

“Just being as consistent as I can to show them that I am thankful for the opportunity.”

Fullback/Tight End Jeremy Seaton

On his “welcome to college football” moment

“My first year we went into camp with pads on, and I ended up being lined up against Jamie Blatnick. Blatnick is really good, and he got the best of me so it was like, ‘Well welcome to college football.’”

On how far removed he is from being a quarterback

“I go to throw a ball, and I can’t even throw it 15 yards anymore.”

On earning his spot this season

“I feel good about it. I trained really hard this summer and possibly put myself in a position to go out and make quite a few plays but then again we will find out more August 31.”

Offensive Lineman Parker Graham

On offensive line coach Joe Wickline

“Just look at his body of work. His offensive line has been really good over the past few years. Even last year, when nobody thought we were going to do anything, we still had a great offensive line. He’s gotten all of the credit he deserves. He puts in a lot of work. He’s just a great coach to play for.”

On young guys that have stood out so far

“We have had a lot of guys come in and show a lot of flashes. Devon Davis has come in and shown a lot. He had a great summer. Jake Jenkins has done a great job, and Daniel Koenig has come a long way too so we’re going to have a really good group this year.”

Wide Receiver David Glidden

On the depth of the receiving corps

“Yesterday, we had one set of guys making plays, and today we had a whole new set of guys making plays. The depth is great, and I think that everyone is confident. In the meeting room, everybody in there has experience. Everybody is learning, but there’s still a lot of guys teaching each other.”

On entering the season picked to win the Big 12

“It’s cool. It’s an honor. I’ve been an Oklahoma State fan for a long time, and I’ve never seen that. Now being here, it’s really a credit to all of the guys that came before us. It’s really cool, but we have the same mentality as we did when we were at the bottom. We were that good the whole summer, and it’s just carrying over to right now.”

Offensive Lineman Zac Veatch

On Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh

“I have total confidence in both. Absolutely. They’ve both been good. In practice, they’ve been rotating in so we’ve gotten to work with both.”

On his expectations for this season

“Obviously, we want to win every game. Everybody wants to win a national championship, but another goal is definitely to get better every game and every practice. Just to get better as a team.”

Wide Receiver Josh Stewart

On working with Jason Ray

“He’s a new coach that came in. He’s a really cool guy. He’s a great mentor to learn from. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a really good, encouraging guy.”

On the depth of the receiving core

“It’s deep. If anybody in the starting lineup goes down, we’ve got somebody that can step in and play well. That’s not just me saying that either. That’s something really special because not a lot of teams have that. We’ve had pretty good depth that past couple of years, but not like this.”

On the competition for playing time amongst the receivers

“Nobody, not even me, or Tracy (Moore) or Charlie (Moore) can think we have our spot. That’s what happened last year. Last year, we had great players everywhere. We have to attack every day, and that’s what we’re doing. That’s what make us get better. Everybody is competing really hard. When you have something like that, it really does push you.”

Cornerback Justin Gilbert

On how he feels about the defense this year with Coach Spencer as Defensive Coordinator

“I think that Coach Spencer is different from most coordinators because he coaches all of us. He makes sure that everybody is doing everything right and that they’re where they need to be. Coach Spencer is a great guy, and everyone respects him so we’re all looking forward to this season.”

On his performance last year, and how it compared to his expectations

“I'm not going to say that I didn’t play very well, but I definitely didn’t play how I wanted to. I think I could have played better, but I’m not going to hang my head over it. I’m not going to let that hold me back. This year, I need to stay disciplined and do my job. I need to lead my teammates and let them do their jobs.”

Offensive Lineman Jake Jenkins

On how it feels entering this season picked to win the Big 12

“It’s a big goal on your back to go out and win it. We just need to do everything we can to make sure the team comes out on top, just like we were picked.”

On Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh

“It’s a great system. We worked on it in the spring. It's not really a big deal changing quarterbacks as long as it's the same two and I know who's back there. "

Wide Receiver Blake Jackson

On the depth of the wide receiver position

“It’s crazy because last year I thought that we had great depth at the position and now getting Tracy (Moore) back for another year, fortunately, and all of the new guys, it’s crazy how many good receivers we do have. It’s a plus because it pushes all of us to work hard every day.”

On going into the season picked to win the conference

“It’s honestly not a big difference for us. We know that we have to go out and work hard every week. It’s not something that we’ve looked too far into. We know there are expectations, but we know we have to work hard either way. We have to come out to play every Saturday, or we’re going to get beat.”

Safety Lyndell Johnson

On how he feels about the defense this season

“I feel like the defense is improved. Coach Spencer has been my position coach for the previous two years and whenever there was a problem with the defense, we could go to him and he would explain it so that you wouldn’t have any questions about the defense afterwards. He’ll be a great defensive coordinator. I feel like everyone feels that way.”

On going into this season picked to win the conference

“To us, there isn’t really any pressure. No matter if we’re picked first or picked last, we’re still going to have to go out there and work hard. That doesn’t really affect us. We try not to pay any attention to it.”

Linebacker Ryan Simmons

On his feelings about the defense

“I have very high expectations for the defense. We’re a very good defense. We won’t know how good we’ll be until we actually get in the game, but we’ve been practicing good. In my eyes, we’ll have a great defense.”

On going into this season picked to win the conference

“I don’t think there’s pressure. Guys are excited. We’re excited that people are seeing us as that type of team. It’s only pressure if you make it pressure. We’ll do whatever it takes to finish at the top.”

Wide Receiver Austin Hays

On working with Jason Ray

“He’s a young guy so he kind of knows a lot of the things that we go through. He’s a positive guy, but he’s always trying to push us and make us better. He loves making big plays. He gets excited and jumps around. He’s just a cool guy.”

On going into this season picked to win the conference:

“It’s really exciting. It’s an honor to be picked to win the Big 12, but at the same time, it really doesn’t mean that much to us. We still have to go out and put in the work every day. Like I said, it’s an honor, but it’s nothing more than just seeing our name at the top of a list.”

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