Q&A with Devin Hedgepeth

OSU sophomore cornerback Devin Hedgepeth had a significant impact for the Cowboys last season, finishing second among freshmen with 24 tackles. Hedgepeth is rapidly becoming a leader for OSU's talented secondary.

What did you think about the impact you were able to have as a freshman last season?

"My freshman year was a blessing, it was just awesome. It was amazing to be able to get on the field early and play on such a big stage. As far as my impact, I felt like I was ready coming in to make a contribution and the coaches trusted me to do it. It was a blessing to be out there and I had a great time."

The secondary is getting a lot of respect nationally going into this season, which hasn't been the case in recent years. What do you think about people's perceptions changing and do you think it's deserved?

"As a group, the secondary has gotten a lot more physical. Last year we made a lot of plays and forced a lot of turnovers, which I think started to turn some heads. It started getting us a little respect and that's always good; we just can't let it get to us. We have to continue to grow and not let our foot off the pedal. I think if we prepare the way we can, communicate the way we can, and play the way we can then we can be an excellent secondary."

What have you worked on improving the most in the offseason?

"My physicality, no question. Last year as a freshman I wasn't as big as I wanted to be and this year I need to work on being a little more physical with the receivers."

Obviously coming in as a freshman is tough because you have to get used to so much, how much more can you focus on prepare now having been through a full year?

"I can really feel just how much experience I've gained. You really do have to use a lot of your first year to get into the flow and get a strong grasp on the speed and everything that's going on around you. As a freshman you really just have to jump in and learn on the fly. This year I feel much more relaxed out there and there is definitely a comfort level."

How much does that added comfort level help you on the field, as far as being able to recognize plays and analyze situations without other worries or concerns getting in the way?

"That comfort level is huge, it really is. Playing corner is a lot about reactions and sometimes with being a freshman I would think things through a little too much or second-guess myself to my detriment. But now my ability to react to plays is a lot better and I'm really looking forward to getting out there."


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