Dupree may play early as defense needs help

By Mike Baldwin Published: January 30, 2008
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DALLAS — Oklahoma State is expected to redshirt most of the incoming freshmen from its 2008 class.

One exception might be Dallas Skyline linebacker Alfred Dupree, a former basketball player who has developed into a sideline-to-sideline wrecking crew.

Eight junior college transfers are projected to make the biggest immediate impact. But Dupree is one of the few high school players who could play right away.

One of the highest rated players in this class, Dupree has a chance to avoid redshirting simply because the Cowboys need immediate help at linebacker.

"I want to come in and play right away even if I don't start,” Dupree said. "I'll even play on special teams. I don't care just so long as I'm on the field.”

Dupree didn't play football his freshman year. He concentrated on basketball. When Reginald Samples took the Skyline job, a year after leading Dallas Lincoln to the state finals, football coaches convinced Dupree his future was on the gridiron.

According to assistant coach Derick Roberson, who oversees Skyline's recruiting and coaches running backs, Dupree has the potential to be a star. Roberson said it's simply a matter of how soon and at what position.

"Even though he's 6-3, they had to play him in the post in basketball,” Roberson said. "He wasn't a guard. But he was physical. He could jump out of the gym. He could block shots and rebound well.

"Football allowed him to be real physical all the time and not worry about getting five fouls. He could hit somebody, get up and hit them again the next play.”

Roberson said Dupree, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has the ideal size and speed to play linebacker. But Roberson predicts Dupree might outgrow the position.

"He's going to get bigger,” Roberson said. "He has the frame. He has broad shoulders and long arms. With three square (meals) a day and a good weight program, I think he can easily get up to 250, possibly more.

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