STILLWATER — Philip Jurick knows what people think.
Big guy. Buzz haircut. Tattoos everywhere.
“People see me as a mean and scary guy,” the Oklahoma State senior said. “Once you get to know me, that's not it at all.”
Said sophomore teammate Brian Williams: “It's just kind of his persona. All the tattoos, big muscular guy. He looks mean. But he's really a nice guy.”
All the tattoos.
As prevalent as the body art has become in our society, that's still typically where first impressions are made. And Jurick's tattoos — covering much of his upper torso, some set off with color — are definitely an eye-grabber.
So what about the tattoos?
“I got my first one my senior year in high school,” Jurick said. “I never knew I was going to get this many. I guess you could say it's a hobby.”
That first tattoo featured a basketball on his right arm. And from there, the hobby took off, with Jurick adding images, circling both arms and extending elsewhere, even his chest, where his favorite bears his mother's name: Barbara.
“She likes it,” said Jurick, who claims a close relationship with his mom. “I kind of got it as a Mother's Day gift. I have everything else on my body, but I didn't have my mother's name.”
“I'm not sure,” he said. “Depends on what I do next year. I'm sure I'm not done, but as far as how many I'm going to get, I'm not sure I even know that.”