Oklahoma State safety Daytawion Lowe returns this season as the veteran presence in the Cowboys' secondary.
Lowe, who was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list recently, had a big junior season for OSU, recording 75 tackles and grabbing two interceptions.
He could, though, benefit this season from the more aggressive style defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is utilizing.
Lowe is firmly planted as the starting free safety, but the battle for strong safety between Shamiel Gary and Lyndell Johnson has picked up steam in the offseason.
He recently sat down with The Oklahoman to discuss his leadership role, the new defensive approach, the safety battle and his alma mater Carl Albert.
Q: You've stepped into a leadership role this season. How are you handling that?
A: “Really, I'm just trying to be a leader in all phases of the game. I'm trying to help the younger guys get better and when I see something that I know is not right, I'm going to let them know. So it's really just speaking up, being more effective.”
How is the change in defensive coordinators going?
“It's going great. I think with Coach Spencer already being around, we know him and expect him so it's easy to embrace him.”
You guys have talked about playing a more aggressive style. How does that play into your abilities?
“I love to be aggressive, so I can match it. I love it. I think it's going to make the defense better this year. We're going to challenge more, and we've got the athletes to challenge more.”
At times it seemed like you guys were one play away last season. How have you guys worked to make that one play?
“I'd say playing more aggressive and not playing tentative and playing for the guy next to you. You're going to go make that play for the guy next to you. I think that'll help us out a lot.”
How's the safety battle shaping up?
“Safety battle, it's a battle every day. We've got so many safeties that can play. We've got four or five seniors. It's their last year, so everybody wants to see the field. It's a battle every day, so we always come prepared.”
Did you follow Carl Albert much last season?
“I always follow Carl Albert. I know they started off rough, but they finished it off.”
How impressed were you with Carl Albert's run?
“I know Coach (Gary) Rose, he knows what he's doing out there. I've been there for numerous years, so I know when the playoffs hit Carl Albert is a different team. That's just how it goes. I was rooting for them the whole way.”