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Oklahoma State football: James Castleman fully recovered from surgery

by Scott Wright and John Helsley and Ryan Sharp and Jacob Unruh Published: August 3, 2013

Oklahoma State defensive tackle James Castleman says he is 100 percent healed from the foot surgery that kept him out of spring practice.

The 6-foot-2, 296-pound junior is the expected starter alongside Calvin Barnett in the middle of a defensive line being billed as one of the best in the Big 12.

Castleman underwent the surgery after last season and said the recovery process was slow, but worth it.

“It feels like I'm 100 percent right now,” he said. “Our health and conditioning coaches did a good job of getting me back, not pushing me too hard and making sure I didn't do certain things before I was healthy.

“I was just as patient as possible, trying to do what they told me to do.”

The Amarillo, Texas, native who shot to the top of the depth chart last season, finished with 30 tackles, 6.5 of them for lost yardage.


Ever since Glenn Spencer was elevated to the defensive coordinator's post, taking over for the fired Bill Young, the defensive talking point has centered on more aggressive play.

Still, the truth on just how aggressive the Cowboys will play seems to vary.

Spencer has downplayed any new approach, warning fans not to expect some shift to blitzes on every down.

Players, however, say there is a noticeable difference in approach.

“Oh, it's going to be way, way more aggressive,” said sophomore cornerback Kevin Peterson. “We're going to be batting down more balls. They're going to let us play man (coverage) more. They're going to let us play our game and do our thing.”

And it's a change that has been well-received.

“Starting from spring to now, Coach Spencer's been pushing, ‘Aggressive, aggressive, aggressive,'” said Ashton Lampkin, another sophomore corner. “And I mean, that's a DB's dream, to be aggressive.

“He's given us the option to put that in our toolbox, and we're going to take advantage of it.”


Cowboys running back Jeremy Smith was a hot topic among his fellow players, and even his head coach Saturday.

But it wasn't for anything he's done on the field.

On Friday, a member of the OSU media relations staff tweeted a picture of Smith and said “Are you kidding me with the biceps...”

The picture was from the Cowboys' practice on Friday and showed Smith cradling a football in his huge arms.

“I always tease him that if I looked like him I'd just move to LA and just walk around in swim trunks all day,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Ryan Sharp
Senior Assistant Sports Editor
Ryan Sharp is a lifelong Oklahoman but was born in Texas, something he doesn't share too often with his OU- and OSU-loyal friends. Ryan spent a good chunk of his early childhood in southeast Oklahoma, before moving to Shawnee, where he...
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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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