Lavey Named Big 12's Top Defender

STILLWATER -- Oklahoma State senior Caleb Lavey was honored Monday as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following a stout effort two days earlier in a nationally televised game with Mississippi State. For Lavey, who is not a player that speaks about himself and does a lot of self promotion, you could tell he was genuinely excited about the award.

"It was fun," he said when asked about being a hero on Saturday. "It was good to get to play a smash-mouth SEC team. It's something that I was more used to in high school.

"We usually don't see it in the Big 12, and it was a lot of fun to have something out of the ordinary for us, and the defense took advantage."

Lavey has 148 career tackles for Oklahoma State and has been the coach on the field for the Cowboys defense. This summer he told me that at least once a day he thinks about the tackle he nearly made but could not come up with on OU quarterback Blake Bell near the end of regulation in Bedlam last year.

This is a Cowboy that cares a lot about the team, his teammates, and representing Oklahoma State in the right way.

"I was glad to hear it this morning. It's pretty cool, and I'm very honored," said Lavey of the award. "At the same time, when you're playing week in and week out, you kind of have to move on from Mississippi State and look forward to UTSA."

"Good for him. If you know Caleb like I know him, he shrugs that off like any other time he hears someone talk about him," said Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, who knows his veteran linebacker well.

"That's why he's such a great leader. He realizes in two weeks they could be saying something totally different about him, and that's what I love about the kid."

Lavey added that the difference on this Oklahoma State defense is more than attitude. It is accountability and how the defensive players are all accountable to each other. It's not about talk, not about taking credit but about deflecting credit and making sure everybody gets a piece of the pie that the success is creating.

The Cowboys now have the challenge of adapting to a more multiple offense that is less power and part power and finesse in UTSA.

"The thing about the season now is that you have to know about the team in two days," added Lavey of the regular routine during the season. "I'm sure the coaches already have their game plan going, and I'm just excited to learn about UTSA."

The Cowboys go into the game in San Antonio knowing that UTSA has planned this as the program's coming out party and is expecting a huge crowd. Coming off an eight-win season a year ago and a season-opening win on the road Saturday night at New Mexico they are not going to roll over and be intimidated by the Cowboys visit to the Alamodome.

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