PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — Hair tends to reveal a lot about someone's personality.
Take Levy Adcock's scraggly, dark blonde mullet, for example.
It shows that the Oklahoma State offensive tackle is a country boy who doesn't care much about what other people think. It shows he's one of the team's biggest characters. And it shows he is a bit superstitious — he kept growing the hair out as OSU kept having success the past two seasons.
Actually, the hair might not indicate that Adcock hates to run in practice. But he'll tell you that. And his Cowboy teammates. And OSU coach Mike Gundy.
“He lets everybody know how he feels,” OSU center Grant Garner said. “About anything.”
Yet the mane also represents the tough, rugged quality an offensive lineman must possess. That perfectly suits Adcock, who will help lead the No. 3 Cowboys into Monday's Fiesta Bowl against No. 4 Stanford and has become the latest OSU tackle to become an All-American.
“Traditionally, we've always had a pretty good guy (at tackle),” Adcock said. “If I'm the guy that's the pretty good guy, it's a good feeling to have.”
Adcock was always was an athlete. He played running back and quarterback in youth football — until he hit his growth spurt just before high school and was moved to offensive line. To this day, he can throw a football 65 yards and dunk a basketball.
“I hate to give him any props,” Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden joked. “But he's pretty athletic.”
Yet Adcock was an unheralded recruit out of Sequoyah High School. He played one season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and was a late addition to OSU's 2009 signing class.
His first season as a Cowboy, Adcock spent most of his time on special teams. He even occasionally lined up as the Cowboys' fourth tight end. He had to improve his mechanics as a lineman.
“When I first got here, I needed to learn to play,” he said. “Because I wasn't doing anything right.”
But Adcock got to learn from former OSU tackle and current Seattle Seahawk Russell Okung, who, Adcock said, “knew everything,” during his first season. Becoming a pupil of OSU offensive line coach extraordinaire Joe Wickline was also a huge benefit.
And with a mass exit of offensive linemen following the 2009 season, Adcock was thrust into the starting right tackle spot at the beginning of 2010. He did not allow a sack and was named to the All-Big 12 first team.
He's built on that success in his senior season, blasting opposing defensive linemen to open holes for a Cowboy running game that averages more than five yards per carry and keeping Weeden off his backside as part of a line that has allowed just 11 sacks in 12 games.
“Guys kind of see how he plays and just is able to manhandle guys,” Weeden said. “Obviously, he's physically extremely gifted.”
Said Adcock: “The stats that our running backs and Weeden throw up, we know who it's from. And we take great pride in all the rushing yards and the passing yards, for sure.”
In the process, he developed into a consensus All-American and likely an early round NFL draft pick.
“He really had a great year last year from a learning and experience standpoint,” Gundy said. “And then this year, he's just kind of polished his skills. He's got the body type — he's 6-5, 330 — so he's got everything.”
Having “everything” obviously includes the chatter. But while he'll always gripe about running and conditioning, he's also become a vocal leader for the Cowboys.
“He speaks his mind,” Weeden said. “He gets guys on the same page.”
The Fiesta Bowl will mark the end of Adcock's OSU career — and also the end of his signature ‘do. He plans to chop off the long locks sometime next week.
But he hopes his last game with the long hair is a memorable one. After all, it was his own personal symbol of the Cowboys' rise to the BCS.
“I don't want to cut anything good off,” Adcock said. “So I kept it.
“Just being a part of this whole show, it's been great. Just everything.”