Ashaad Mabry: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with MacArthur High School head coach Van Fuschak about Ashaad Mabry, a 6-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from San Antonio, Texas.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Van Fuschak: I think one is his strength. The kid benches like 405 (pounds). I'm not sure what he squats. He runs about a 5.1. For a high school, his size. Him being 6-3 and I think he played at 290, even though I think he's a little over 300 right now, being that big he was able to control three in the middle for us.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Van Fuschak: I think kids his size, it's just like the tight end that we have going to Texas Tech, he's a big kid and everybody that Oklahoma State is going to have on the o-line and d-line, and everybody that they play, are going to be his size. We didn't have anybody as big as him on campus. So when he went one-on-one against people there wasn't a lot of challenge for him. Once he gets up there everybody is his size or bigger, so I think that's going to be the biggest deal. We go against our JV guys, and most of those guys aren't very good. It's really easy to whip one of those guys and look good in practice. But up there, whether it's scout team or guys on non-scholarship, they're going to be bigger guys. That's going to be his big challenge. He was always pretty good for us but up there he's good enough to play but he's going to have to prove himself, and he's going to have to fit in. There are other guys who are going to want his slot; here we couldn't pull him out because we didn't have anybody else.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Van Fuschak: There were several. I can't remember one specific one. When we put him in the middle, people wouldn't run anything between the guards. He's 300 pounds and he's going to take up both A gaps. Every game was like that.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Van Fuschak: Nothing really bothers him. In a game if you make a mistake and you start letting it bother you, it affects your next play. He's not like that. He can screw up but the next play is a different play. I think how he worked in the offseason was important. He made himself into the player he is because of how he worked and it paid off because he's getting to play at the next level. I think his leadership in practice (is another other). With him being the best defensive player it was important that he showed that in words and in how he played and in how he practiced because everybody was going to look at him.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Van Fuschak: Baylor had offered him originally but as soon as he went up there he liked Oklahoma State. I guess he liked the campus and I think he liked the athletic facilities. Baylor offered him and he accepted that first, but Oklahoma State had not offered him yet and that was the original place that he wanted to go. Once they offered him, he took it.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Van Fuschak: I think he's good enough to play in the NFL. He's got the tools. He's just got to get the drive and maintain his grades. I hope he gets his college degree, bottom line. Whether he plays pro or not, doesn't matter to me.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Van Fuschak: Having him around just made practices and offseason better just because of his demeanor and attitude. He was always happy. When you get kids like that who can work and be in there with the rest of the kids and you're having fun while you're doing it, that's very important. I don't want to see a scowl on a kid's face because he's having to work hard and it's hot outside. If the kid wants to play it needs to be fun for them, and it seems like it was always fun for that kid.


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