Cowboys Football Notebook

Even though he is a senior, actually a super senior in graduate school and has started all or part of three seasons in the Big 12, Oklahoma State cornerback Tyler Patmon can't comment on how he is adjusting because of Mike Gundy's rule prohibiting first-year players from talking to the media.

He had three picks last season to lead Kansas, and he has six as a collegian. We know he has at least one so far in practice as a Cowboy.

"Because of the fact that he's played in Big 12 games, he's seen Oklahoma State, he's seen this offense, he's seen college football plays," said cornerbacks coach Van Malone on Patmon.

"He comes in very different than a high school guy. He comes in with a great amount of awareness in terms of splits of receivers and in terms of why do we make this call. At Kansas, he did some of the things that we do here.

"The terminology is different. Some of the techniques may slightly be different and the words are in different form, but once he overcomes that he'll fall right in line with our older guys who have been around here for a while."

Lavini, Robinson Will Go In Pads Tuesday
We were mistaken regarding freshman defensive end Vili Levini and freshman offensive tackle Jesse Robinson as they did not just miss one day but two days of practice. So while the team is in full pads for the first time Tuesday those two young players will be in helmets and shoulder pads for the first time. The two were still in just helmets on Monday.

Both Levini and Robinson are from L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, Texas. They missed the two practices to attend the funerals for Texas A&M defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu and Utah offensive lineman Gaius Vaenuku. The two young men were killed in an automobile accident near Cuba, N.M. They were with others returning from a trip to Utah.

Both Manukainiu and Vaenuku attended Euless Trinity High School, the rival school for L.D. Bell, and all of those players, especially those of Samoan and/or Tongan heritage, are close. The victims were expelled from the car as control was lost and it rolled over multiple times. It is a terribly sad story that has a had a huge impact in the community of Hurst-Euless-Bedford in the Metroplex.

Another Ballhawking Playmaker for Cowboys
That would be linebacker Ryan Simmons as the 6-0, 242-pound Simmons moves around really well and is reportedly showing he can make plays sideline to sideline.

Many Oklahoma State fans have been looking forward to Simmons getting more playing time and all indications are they had every right to. Simmons had 23 tackles, 21 of those unassisted, and a forced fumble last season.

You can tell the sophomore linebacker is fired up. "I have very high expectations for the defense," said Simmons. "We're a very good defense. We won't know how good we'll be until we actually get in the game, but we've been practicing good. In my eyes, we'll have a great defense."

If they do, expect Simmons to be a serious contributor.

What To Look For From The Young Corners?
The Cowboys were forced last season to use two young cornerbacks in Kevin Peterson and Ashton Lampkin. Now both are pretty solid, if not becoming salty veterans of the play out on the island that corners often have to live with.

This fall camp the Cowboys have Jerel Morrow, Darius Curry and Taylor Lewis as freshmen corners working with cornerbacks coach and former NFL defensive back Van Malone. The question begs how do you get the young 'uns adjusted?

"The first thing is the speed of the game. In recruiting, they always hear, ‘You're so good, you can come in and start,' but then they recognize," said Malone. "These guys, the Darius Currys, the Taylor Lewises, they recognize, wow, the calls came in fast, I've got to digest it, I've got to see what formation the offense is in, and then I've got to apply all those rules that I got in the meeting. The speed of it moves a lot faster for these guys.

"They're learning, but they're expected to do it while they learn," Malone continued. "There are not many college programs where they have freshmen come in and they automatically know they're going to redshirt. At this point, it's free game, so those guys have high expectations.

"When they go onto the field, we as coaches try to keep the scheme simple for them. But when you play against the Oklahoma State offense every day, it may be simple, but it's moving fast. Your reaction, your knowledge of the defensive schemes, your technique, all of that has to be on target."


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