Cowboys Get Really Good Athlete In Antoine

Recruiting was heading into the holiday and bowl season dead period, a longer time frame than ever this go-round with the new rules, and Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer was still concerned about all the linebackers he was losing, including the top two players at the star position, Shaun Lewis and Joe Mitchell.

It wasn't enough to bring in talented high school prospects. Spencer needed a junior college player who would bring some age and maturity, both mentally and physically, to the position. Spencer was looking for some football athleticism.

"What you see when you first see him on film is how quick he gets to the point of attack," Spencer said of D'Nerius Antoine. "He has collision speed, and probably more than any other junior college defensive back or outside linebacker I had seen all year. We're excited about his athleticism, and he returns punts too."

In fact, Antoine also played some basketball at Trinity Valley, averaging 2.0 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. "I played for a while, but not anymore," Antoine said.

Last season, he helped the Cardinals to a 10-2 record and a 6-1 finish in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference. He had 69 total tackles (56 unassisted),with five tackles for losses, three fumbles caused, two fumbles recovered, two interceptions, and eight passes broken up. The Cardinals also won their bowl game over Mesa (Ariz.) Community College.

"They are talking to me about playing the star linebacker position," he said. "They made me feel like family. They made me feel like they wanted me to be there. It's a whole lot different at a four-year school. They showed me all the academic stuff and let me know they want me to be there [at] Oklahoma State. I really liked the visit. I don't even know how to explain it with words." recruiting analyst Mike Coppage saw Antoine in high school in New Iberia, La.. Coppage predicted that Antoine, who played quarterback in an I-option offense at Westgate High School - along with safety - is really going to be successful in that hybrid linebacker/safety position.

"I remember him, and in high school he was a really explosive and athletic player," Coppage said. "I think people may have lost him, but Oklahoma State is getting a tremendous athlete in Antoine."

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