Jack Kurzu: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed 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 Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day (Mo.) School coach Joshua Smith about Jack Kurzu, a three-star, 300-pound offensive lineman, who should fit in well in coach Joe Wickline's blocking schemes.

What are Jack's strengths as a football player?
Smith: Just the ability that he brings to the field. Obviously, his size is an immediate strength. He's about 6-5, 300 pounds, and he's got good feet for an offensive lineman. He really cares about the offensive line position. He takes everything seriously. He works every day to get better. His physical size combined with his desire to play the game at a high level, that's what he brought to the table for us.

What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Smith: Obviously, in the Big 12 he's going to see good defensive linemen every day in practice and in games. So the quality of daily competition and game competition is going to go up. The speed of the game will be faster. But I think that's a challenge he's looking forward to.

Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Smith: I think just based on what I've seen, because he has the frame and the feet and the desire, I think if there's an opportunity, he could very well jump right into it. Size-wise, he's ready to go. You don't know what's going to happen, but he's at a place both physically and mentally where he's ready to compete.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Smith: He really enjoyed the visit. I think he appreciates (Mike) Gundy's passion for the game. I don't want to speak too much for Jack, but he came back from Oklahoma State excited about the campus and the program. Obviously, he let the process work its way through. You could kind of tell just talking to him he was excited about the potential of being at OSU.

What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Smith: I think the sky is the limit for Jack. I think he's got unlimited potential with the offensive line. I don't want to measure his success or failure based on playing time, but I think he's going to compete and try to get on the football field as fast as he can for OSU. He's just going to go there and grind. That's what you want in your offensive lineman. You want someone who is going to take care of business in the weight room, get after it on the field and be a good student. He's going to soak up everything he can during his OSU experience.

What will you remember the most about coaching Jack?
Smith: At our level, we don't see many guys the size of Jack Kurzu. He's as big as anybody we've coached. But he didn't just rely on his size. He's a student of the game. He was the first one in, last one out during film. He has a passion and enthusiasm to be an offensive lineman, and that's important. It's not easy when you're not the guy scoring touchdowns. But he enjoys the game of football. It's not a job for him, it's a passion.

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