"He's mature for his age. I forget he's still supposed to be in high school," Jones said during spring football. "He's very smart. You go over one thing with him, and he gets it."
Hedgepeth — who also excels in the classroom, having never gotten a B in high school — has been smart and savvy since starring at Derby.
"He's a smart football player," Clark said. "Some guys are very intelligent on the field, but they really can't process football as quick ... Devin has a high football I.Q."
Hedgepeth might be the Cowboys' most overlooked newcomer. He has combined maturity, intelligence and physical ability to become OSU's most consistent and productive freshman this season.
"He doesn't let other things distract him that most college kids would let distract them," Clark said. "Devin's mind is on football and his studies. With his mind in the right place, he allows himself to step up as a freshman."
Early in his college football career, Hedgepeth is already showing signs of being the complete package, on and off the field. So much so, Clark, who coached Hedgepeth throughout his four-year career at Derby High, gives the Cowboys cornerback the biggest compliment an elder can give.
"He's a kid who has his priorities in line," Clark said "My younger son is 4 years old, and he idolizes Devin. He couldn't have picked a better idol because Devin does everything right on the field, and he does everything right off the field."
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What they're saying about Devin Hedgepeth Brandon Clark, Derby (Kan.) High School head coach: â€œKnowing the type of person he is and how smart he is, I knew if he set his mind to it he would be able to do whatever he wanted to.â€ Jason Jones, Oklahoma State cornerbacks coach: â€œIn spring ball you are allowed to teach, and he got the basics of the defense down. Once we got in fall camp, he just kept getting better. He stepped up and played and made some key plays for us.â€ Bill Young, OSU defensive coordinator on the forced fumble against Troy: â€œHe laid out and sacrificed his body to make a play.â€ Markelle Martin, OSU safety: â€œHe's been progressing pretty good. He's a young guy, very quiet, but he stood his ground and made some plays.â€ Jones on Hedgepeth's willingness to hit: â€œEven in high school he was a physical guy. Even this spring he would come down and tackle. He got toss around a lot but he continued to fight.â€