by Gina Mizell Published: June 9, 2012

Do you think that's helped prepare you for the ups and downs of being in the spotlight as a college quarterback?

Absolutely. You have to take everything in stride. You can't overact at anything, otherwise you're living on a roller coaster. As a quarterback, you get all the praise and all of the blame. It can be a sack and it's not your fault, but it really is, because you have to shift the protections and if a guy gets beat, then you should have gotten rid of the ball. Really, emotionally, it's the quarterback's burden, and that's why I love it, because you have so much responsibility. That's why I play quarterback — because I want to have the ball in my hands every single play.

What's the last year been like for you? Your family has gone through a lot of transition with moving from Jacksonville to Denver.

This move was pretty hard. My dad got hired on a Friday, came home on Saturday and said we're moving on Sunday. Usually you would have a day or two to say your goodbyes. I had the opportunity to stay in Jacksonville, but I wanted to stay with my dad, so I moved up to Denver. I've taken a few trips back to Florida to see my friends, and they've been great, everybody's been welcoming. But it was a pretty tough year.

Your dad's a defensive guy. How'd you become a quarterback, anyway?

I've always been able to throw it better than average. I don't know. I was playing flag football and they we're like, “Try out for quarterback” and I was like, “OK” and I loved it. I got to touch the ball every play and throw bombs. Then in middle school — this was another underlying motivator — the coach gave me one chance to take a snap and I fumbled it, and he said, “You're not playing quarterback.” So I played defensive tackle. Freshman year (of high school), I played outside linebacker but I was the backup quarterback. Then sophomore year, I was like, “OK I really want to pursue this, I'm going to make varsity.” I made varsity, I was the backup quarterback, but I was stuck in a Wing-T system and didn't think I could really thrive, so I transferred to a spread system.

You recently became an Elite 11 finalist. What does that mean to you?

I chose the Columbus (regional) because I wanted to see where I stacked up against the best of the best. I thought that I was just as good, if not better, than all of them. Shane Morris has probably the strongest arm I've ever seen in a high schooler. Malik Zaire is incredible, Ryan Burns, those guys are great. I got the invite about a week after the Columbus Regional and I headed out to Oakland because I knew Max Browne, Cooper Bateman, all those guys were going to be out there. I thought I stacked up with those guys, too. I was like “OK I can do this.” It was a great confidence-booster, because I knew I could do it, but I wanted to know I could do it.

You were in Stillwater for last season's Bedlam win. What was that experience like?

I got there and I didn't really know what to expect. I had heard about T. Boone Pickens and how he's a phenomenal donator and alum. I saw the facilities and I was blown away. I've never seen facilities like those anywhere — NFL or college. I knew Coach Monken, obviously, and he was so welcoming. I got to see Travis, his son, and meet Coach Gundy. The atmosphere is what really sold me. I loved the feel of Stillwater. It's a smaller feel, but it's still a college town and you get that southern hospitality that I love. With that being said, the game itself, with them beating Oklahoma the way they did, it really sold me.

Did you rush the field?

Absolutely. I went down. I was like, “(The drop) isn't that bad” and my dad was like, “Take the stairs,” and I was, “OK, OK.”

How do you plan to approach the recruiting process between now and Signing Day, now that you've made your decision to commit to OSU?

A few schools have come in. I'm solid to Oklahoma State. I'm not changing my mind. There's nothing to make me change my mind that another school could say, because I know (OSU's) coaches, I know their intent, I know that they're honest. Oklahoma State is for me.

by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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