OSU football: Felix Curry talks about the Cowboys’ reputation on the recruiting trail
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
For Thursday’s paper, I wrote about a trio of siblings from Georgia, the Curry brothers, who could soon become household names in Stillwater.
C.J.’s a talented freshman receiver for Oklahoma State, already with his first career catch (an 8-yarder against Savannah State). Here’s his Rivals page.
Darius is a big-bodied cornerback (6-foot-1, 190 pounds), solid in his commitment to the Cowboys and set to join his brother next season. Here’s his Rivals page.
And Justin is the starting running back for Flowery Branch High School as a sophomore, beginning to make a name for himself in the recruiting world, with Stillwater eventually being a realistic landing spot.
Their father, Felix Curry, talked at length to me about his sons, their unlikely pledge to Oklahoma State and what makes the Cowboys coaching staff so effective on the recruiting trail.
It’s was some really interesting stuff from an engaging guy, with plenty of it not making the story. So here’s some leftovers:
On the reputation of Oklahoma State in that area…
Everyone that I talked to, when people were coming around in December and January trying to get CJ to decommit or at least take an official visit. I’m talking some real nice programs, some real big programs were trying to get him to decommit. And once they saw he wasn’t wavering, they’d say, ‘Look, we had to try, but we’ve heard nothing but great things about Coach Gundy and that program.’ And everybody I’d talk to said that Oklahoma State is the up-and-coming program in college football. And kind of like any good investment, you’d like to be a part of it at its ground stages and help build it. And I know they had a real successful year last year and they can use it like a springboard.
Everyone I talked to said, ‘Look, we have nothing negative to say about Oklahoma State.’ They made that clear with CJ. Every once in a while you get people recruiting and they start talking about the downfalls of other programs, but even when they tried to get him to decommit, they’d say, ‘You know, I don’t know if I could blame you (for going to OSU).’ And they wish him the best.
On the first time Oklahoma State popped up within the family…
I remember CJ telling me, “Dad, there’s this kid at Oklahoma State that plays receiver, and he’s the real deal.” That was the first thing that we heard about Oklahoma State, it was Dez Bryant. So he kind of just kept up with them after Dez was there.
He started playing receiver and I guess you kind of find college kids to compare yourself to on the field and that was the first contact we had with Oklahoma State and that was the first interest he had with Oklahoma State. He kind of kept tabs with them and then learned the style of play and loved it being a receiver, so that kind of added to it. Then they initially started recruiting him and he met Coach Glenn Spencer.
On when he realized OSU, and not his beloved Georgia, was a possible destination for C.J…
He finally got to the point where he sat me down one night in the summer coming up to his senior year and he said, “Dad, I like Georgia and all, but for myself, I have to see Oklahoma State before I’m good with my decision.” So my wife and I talked to him and we made arrangements to get up there. And when we got up there and talked to Coach Gundy, he just fell in love with the whole atmosphere.
Later on that day, while we were in Stillwater, when he wasn’t around, I told my wife, “Baby, I believe he’s gonna come up here.’ And that night, he and I went to get something to eat and I asked him what he was thinking and he said, ‘Dad, you know how people say when you know, you know.’ He had that gut feeling.
On Mike Gundy and the rest of Oklahoma State’s coaching staff…
We were always the type of family where if a head coach is not genuine and sincere with his own family, then there’s no way he can treat our boy right. Once we learned the type of man Coach Gundy was, you hear people talk about family first. But you hear nightmares all the time of coaches getting wrapped up in work and not spending time with family. Once we saw how committed Coach Gundy was with his own family, my wife was really feeling comfortable with him dealing with her baby. We finally got a chance to sit down and when we met Coach Gundy in his office the first time, he was just laid-back, well-demeanored and one of the things that really caught my ear and I know it caught my coach’s ear, he was telling me that, ‘We owe it to the parents of a child, that the type of kids that we recruit, they need to be kids that you don’t mind your kids being around.’ He said, ‘I’m not saying everybody is perfect, but we recruit character.’ If a kid doesn’t fit the mold that we think he should fit, we won’t recruit him. You know, I listened to that and ‘Yeah, that’s good talk. But one time, Coach (Kasey) Dunn was at our school on a visit and Coach Gundy called in about a kid and you know, I’m overhearing the phone call and the first thing you hear the coach say was, ‘Yeah, Coach, he’s solid, we won’t have any personality or character issues out of him.’ And from that time on, my wife started feeling comfortable with him out there.
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