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Oklahoma State Football Practice Report – August 9

Lindsay Houts Modified: April 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: August 9, 2012

STILLWATER, Okla. – Dressed in full pads and working out in hot conditions on the grass practice fields adjacent to Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Oklahoma State football team practiced Thursday for two hours. After practice, safeties coach Van Malone gave some insight into the players with whom he works the closest:

On the two-deep at safety:

“Of course, Daytawion Lowe is leading the pack. He did that throughout the spring. Behind him is Zack Craig, with Larry Stephens in the mix as well. On the other side, trying to replace Markelle Martin are Lavocheya Cooper and Shamiel Gary running neck and neck. The last couple days, Shamiel’s gotten a few more reps and has really capitalized on those opportunities. It’s like I told them in the spring – it’s a competition in the spring, it’s a competition in the fall. Even though I say right now Daytawion Lowe is out front, the minute somebody starts to produce and surpasses him, they’ll be rolling with the first team. That’s kind of the way it’s looking now. For injury and insurance purposes, we’ve moved Larry Stephens over to working with the safeties. It’s not a permanent move, but he’s done a good job of stepping up and showing some physicality and the ability to play safety.”

On what he likes about Shamiel Gary:

“He has experience, he has football savvy, he’s an aggressive player. Off the field, he studies just as much as anybody in our program and the fact that he came here with a little bit of experience, that’s exciting for us.”

On what he likes about Zack Craig:

“The thing I really like about Zack is that he has really good size. He can run. What we try to do is that we don’t try to overload him with learning different positions. You kind of have to be transitional when you’re operating, but we try to keep him in one position and as we’ve done that, he’s more aggressive. He lets his physical attributes like speed and jumping ability – he’s got to continue to work on his ball skills – but the things that he’s really good at, when he’s able to play and not do a lot of thinking, then he does a good job for us.”

On what his view of an ideal safety is:

“One of the things that we talk about within the group is that we want to be ball attackers. We want to attack the ball in the air. We talked today about your reactions. Either you’re going to have an aggressive reaction or you’re going to have a passive reaction to every play. When the point of attack comes, you’re either going to be aggressive or you’re going to be passive. There are two types of players – there’s the aggressive one and the passive one. Within his play, he’s going to operate in those ways. That’s one thing, we want to be aggressive.

“We want to be smart. We’ve got to have size, but that comes in recruiting. We want to have ball skills, because I’m always preaching turnovers, turnovers, let’s go get that football. That’s something that you’ve got to come here with, but then we continue to develop it as we go and then the mindset has to be that way – when the ball is in the air, that changes the game if I can turn it over. Daytawion Lowe is one of the more physical players on the team, so we’ve got to continue to get him to be a turnover master. A guy who creates fumbles and interceptions. If you look at the group, Shamiel is probably the best one at doing that.”

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