Josh Mabin: His Coach's Take

Josh Mabin is one of the most imposing high school linebackers that David Smith has ever coached, and that includes during his time as a college coach. The 6-2, 235-pound Mabin is an imposing figure on the football field. With National Signing Day set for Wednesday, we visited with Klein Oak High School head coach David Smith about Mabin and his future with the Cowboys.

What are Josh's strengths as a football player?
Smith: Power. Strong, Physical.

What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Smith: It's the same for all the kids, just the speed and the man-up mentality that you have to bring it every single day. There's no getting around it. In high school, he's bigger, faster and stronger (than most everyone), and he can kinda go three-quarters (speed) and be OK, and it's that way for anybody (who is really good), not just him. That's just a total and different level, and you never know until they go through it, how's it's going to affect them or whether they're going to be ready for it.

Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Smith: He's got a chance because he's so physical and so strong. I mean he's a grown man. He's about 235 (pounds), and there's not any fat on him.

What do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Smith: LSU was really on his radar because he has family in Louisiana. I think coach (Glenn) Spencer did a fantastic job with him. Coach Spencer is a good recruiter. I think Spencer probably won him over. And, of course with them winning, kicking butt and taking names, that probably helped.

What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Smith: The sky is the limit. He's not coming there just sneaking in. He's going to come in and people are going to try him real quick because there won't be any linebackers looking more impressive than him that are on campus right now. I'm not just saying that. I worked at (the University of) Oklahoma (for three years under Barry Switzer and Gary Gibbs in true 1980s), so I know. He looks as good as anybody we had there, other than (Brian) Bosworth, but he would be the only one out of range.

Is there any one player or game of his that stands out in your mind?
Smith: His sophomore year, (we played against) Matt Davis, who was a big-time recruit (from Klein Forest) that went to Texas A&M. Josh went after him and shut him down. Matt Davis knows that to this day, and he'll tell you that number 40, that sophomore, got me.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Smith: His passion and how much losing really bothers him. Losing just kind of turns his world over.


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