Heart of Dallas Bowl Notebook

The Oklahoma State Cowboys opened practice on Friday at Highlander Stadium on the campus of Highland Park High School, and a mixture of recruiting prospects, parents, coaches, a pair of huge 2013 commitments, and fans showed up. The practice was open from around 11:50 a.m. through 1 p.m.

All attending had to register before coming into the stadium, and recruiting prospects and parents were briefed that OSU's coaches cound not speak with them as this is an NCAA dead period for recruiting. It is weird to see prospects and coaches familiar with each other just nodding at each other. Standing side by side up in the stands were Jesse Robinson (6-6, 280) from Hurst L.D. Bell High School and Zach Crabtree (6-7, 285) out of Mansfield High School. The pair could have blocked out the sun, if the sun had been out.

Both are pledges in the 2013 Oklahoma State recruiting class and both are very impressive looking, especially next to each other. Robinson was at the practice with his parents and Crabtree was there on his own, but the two seemed to enjoy talking with other as they watched practice.

There were other recruiting prospects in attendance, most out of the class of 2014. Some of those included:
Tristan Brown, DL/LS, Denton Ryan High School
Brooks Burgin, QB, Highland Park High School
Chris Henry, QB, Dallas Carter High School
Jordan Ingram, WR, Dallas Carter High School
Austin Parker, WR/S, Grapevine High School (son of former OSU WR Brent Parker)
Kameron Reagor, FB/LB, Dallas Carter High School

The anticpation is that Dallas Carter 4-star linebacker Cameron Hampton will attend Saturday's practice, which will have the same open hour.

Graham Keeps Bowl Run Around Tradition Going
Last year, current starting center Evan Epstein and now Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon had a flight canceled and had to start their trip to the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona by flying first to North Carolina. The long way to the Fiesta ended up getting the duo to Arizona about 15 minutes before the bus left for the first practice.

This year, Cowboys offensive lineman Parker Graham had a strange trip in the bowl version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. For Graham it was a little of everything, but the cab ride at the end was the most interesting.

"It's a long story," started Graham, a starting left offensive tackle from Webb City, Mo. "I got up in the morning about five to catch my flight and in Joplin the plane is delayed an hour and then we get on the plane it is delayed another 45 minutes because of the ice.

"Then I arrive in Dallas and the cab driver asks me, 'where do you need to go?' I told him that I need to go to the downtown Omni Hotel in Dallas on Lamar Street. I told him the whole spiel. Then these two other people we pick up are going to Fort Worth. I think he just got confused, and I'm texting Epstein that I think I'm going the wrong way and which way is it to Dallas? He text back, where are you? I text I was in Bedford and I guess that is on the way to Fort Worth."

"I feel bad for him because he text me and he was in Bedford," said Epstein. "I told him I thought the guy was driving him to Fort Worth. I feel bad for him on that one, but remember last year that Blackmon and I flew to North Carolina before we flew to Phoenix. It's kind of like a bowl-site ritual and each year somebody has to go through it."

"I said to the cab driver, why are you taking me to Fort Worth?" picked up Graham. "He got all upset and flipped out and pulled the car over and was telling me I still had to pay him. He was cussing at me in French, but I took two years of French, so I undertood what he was saying and I told him that he didn't have to cuss me in French, he could cuss me in English.

"He was mad, but he never challenged me. He wasn't a very big guy. I told him I wasn't paying him anything and he took me back to DFW. I ended up getting another shuttle and it ended up being a six-hour ordeal to get to the hotel. I might as well have drove. I got there 15 minutes before the first meeting. I grabbed a plate of food and ate it during the meeting."

Just another bowl case of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

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