Zach Crabtree: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com is interviewing the 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 the Mansfield (Texas) High School coach Jeff Hulme about Zach Crabtree, a 6-foot-7, 265-pound offensive tackle who adds some serious length to Joe Wickline's group.

What are Zach's strengths as a football player?
Jeff Hulme: As an offensive tackle, one thing everyone likes is how long he is. He's got a very long frame on him, very long arms. Which, in a pass blocking scheme, is going to serve him well. He's got very good feet and runs well for a big guy. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact he was a multi-sport kid in high school. He played football and basketball, so running up and down that basketball court has served him well.

What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Jeff Hulme: I think what most high school kids have to do is just transition to the speed of the game. A lot of times, he would go against kids that he could just overpower or overmatch. I think with the defensive ends he's going to see in the Big 12, he's got to get used to their speed and he's got to be ready for that.

Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Jeff Hulme: That's a good question. And it's hard for me to truly answer that because I don't know what OSU has coming back at tackle. I know Zach is a quick learner. I think he'll learn the playbook and learn the game at OSU very well. I do know that if they redshirt him or if he plays right away, he's going to do a great job. I've gotten to know coach Wickline very well, and I don't think he's going to put him in there if he's not ready. I think that's one thing that Zach's already started working on – getting ready with the way he's working out right now, getting stronger and gaining some weight.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Jeff Hulme: I just think it was just a comfort level that he felt there. His oldest brother is a student at Oklahoma State, although I don't think that was the main reason that he went there, but I think the coaches there did a great job of welcoming him. Coach Wickline did an exceptional job of just getting that personal relationship with Zach and his family. The bottom line, I think Zach felt more comfort there than he did anywhere else.

What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Jeff Hulme: Not to put pressure on the young man, but he's done everything I've ever asked him to do here in four years of high school. Just knowing what he wants to accomplish, I would be very surprised if he wasn't an All-Big 12 player before it's all said and done.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Jeff Hulme: He's a great kid. He was extremely fun to be around, very coachable. He worked his tail off to get better and get to his goal – to play college football. He worked to make that happen and it's been fun to help him realize that dream. Not to mention, his two brothers, both of whom I got to coach, his mom and dad, they're an all-around great family. As a high school coach, that's why I do what I do.


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