Shameil Gary adjusts to starting role

Shameil Gary transferred schools, but not mascots. "Cowboy to cowboy," Gary said. "Just different colors." Gary, a junior Oklahoma State safety, played high school football for Tulsa Washington before accepting a scholarship to play at the University of Wyoming. In two years as a UW Cowboy, he recorded 192 tackles and was a Freshman All-American.

But when Gary's grandmother got sick, he transferred to OSU to be closer to home.

"It's a lot different," Gary said. "It's bigger, not too much bigger of a city, but a bigger city compared to (Laramie, Wyo). And the weather was a little different."

Gary redshirted last season due to transfer rules. He watched as his new Cowboy team had its greatest season in program history. He also paid close attention to one player.

"It was very cool being a part of that, watching Markelle (Martin) and his leadership," Gary said.

With Martin currently playing for the NFL's Tennessee Titans, Gary has taken his starting spot at strong safety. Brodrick Brown, a senior cornerback and Gary's roommate, said that's good news for Cowboys' fans.

"(Gary) is a downhill guy, a hard hitter," Brown said. "He can cover a guy when he needs to. He just brings his athletic ability out there on the field. He's a guy that flies around and is making plays."

But Brown said there is something Gary can definitely improve on: his bowling game.

"My high is 279," Brown said. "When I went with him one time, I bowled a 264. That's just another thing to do when you want to get away and have fun, other than football … I don't want to brag too much, but if anyone wants to challenge me, I ain't gonna back down."

Gary's average? About 165.

"He's getting better," Brown said. "I taught him how to do the curveball."

But on the football field, Brown said Gary is becoming the kind of high-energy safety the Cowboys need to replace Martin. Gary has eight tackles so far this season.

"(Gary) has come a long way and he's comin' on fast," Brown said. "He's always a guy that wants to get better. He's asking me to go watch film with him and things like that … he's soft-spoken, but then again, just wants to get better."

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