OSU donned full pads for the first time on Tuesday, although the Cowboys have been hitting for days in shoulder pads.
“This was our third day of full thud,” said linebacker Shaun Lewis. “We don't use our legs that much, so having (padded) pants isn't that big of a deal.”
Still, as the practices continue to intensify, coach Mike Gundy said, the coming week in the heat will be telling for his team.
“We had a good day,” Gundy said. “We've been fortunate, our players have stayed healthy. We've just got to continue to push through. These next seven or eight days are really crucial in our preparation for the first game.”
And while the Cowboys may have already been hitting, full pads do bring a different level of intensity.
“Of course it makes those drills more intense,” said defensive tackle Calvin Barnett. “We're just natural competitors — that's what we do. When you get the pads on, you get to go full speed, everything is fast and you don't hold back.”
Gundy said that the coming days will be an especially important test for newcomers bidding to earn a role.
“You really have to be in it for four or five days,” Gundy said. “They need to get fatigued. We can see who can push through it and still get quality work done when they're tired. These next seven days is when their bodies really go through a transition, with the heat and the pads. They've hit each other. They're sore.
“We have to have good quality practices, because we're only two weeks away from starting to back down and trim practice to get ready to play in a game.”