Daytawion Lowe and Shamiel Gary used to be fierce rivals in high school, with Lowe playing for Carl Albert and Gary playing for Tulsa Washington.
“When we were both sophomores, I hit him when he came down to play at Carl Albert,” Lowe said with a smile. “And our senior year, I caught a little jail-break screen, and he hit me. So we got a little history. We talk a little noise. That’s fun. It’s all in friendly competition.”
In 2012, Lowe and Gary could be starting alongside each other at safety for Oklahoma State.
Gary is one of three Cowboys vying for the starting spot at strong safety this spring after transferring to OSU from Wyoming in 2011. He sat out and redshirted last fall to satisfy those NCAA transfer rules and will have two more years of eligibility.
Lavocheya Cooper and Zack Craig are the others in contention to start at strong safety, the position vacated by Markelle Martin. Lowe is the projected starter at free safety after leading the Cowboys with 97 tackles last season.
Gary was a Freshman All-American at Wyoming after tallying 98 tackles (2.5 for loss), three interceptions (all in one game against Weber State) and six pass break-ups. His sophomore season, he totaled 94 tackles (one for loss), one interception and five pass break-ups.
OSU coach Mike Gundy expects Gary to make an impact right away.
“He made some plays (at Wyoming),” Gundy said. “Sure did. He should contribute here. He’s done well in offseason conditioning and if he stays on track, he should get to play in the first game.
“I like his athleticism. I like what he brings to the table. He seems to be a smart football player.”
And now Lowe is being motivated by his old nemesis.
“It’s been a blessing, really,” Lowe said. “The way I see (Gary) work out there, it’s kind of driven me to work that hard. The way he’s trying to pursue and fight for a position, it’s kind of driven me to work harder.”