Kearse Talks About OSU Commitment

You learn over the years to sometimes take things slow in covering recruiting stories especially early commitments. It is better to be accurate and a little slower than fast and wrong. Twitter blew up on a commitment for the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Wednesday night from cornerback Malik Kearse of Fort Smith (Kansas) Community College.

Having waited a long time for his recruiting to catch up where he always hoped it would be, Kearse didn't waste anytime in making a decision. He told us he was very comfortable with a quick decision to commit to the Cowboys.

"You know I felt comfortable with the way their coaches came at me," Kearse said. "You know my favorite receiver is Dez Bryant. I knew that Justin Gilbert went there and was a first-round NFL Draft pick.

"I felt I knew the history of Oklahoma State and I was very comfortable about making the decision to play there in Stillwater."

Kearse's trip to Division I football still has a season to go but it has already been a long odyssey. He is originally from a pretty good football program in South Florida in Opa-Locka, Fla., and Monsignor Pace High School.

Just exactly how does a cornerback from Florida get to Fort Scott and playing in the Jayhawk Conference? "I missed my senior year (in football) with a dislocated elbow," Kearse explained. "I dislocated it before the season and all the school that had shown interest lost interest in me. I had to recover from the injury and then start all over. Somebody I knew had somebody they knew at Fort Scott and I tried out and made the team."

Kearse did better than that as he finished the season with 37 tackles (28 unassisted) and he picked off two passes, one of those came in the end zone against Dodge City on a potential game-leading touchdown pass. He proved to be a physical tackler and had several tackles behind the line of scrimmage including a nine-yard sack against NEO A&M in the season finale. His efforts earned him Honorable Mention All-Jayhawk Conference at corner.

Watching game video, he is really good at covering deep passes and has excellent ball skills. He has good hip turn out of a backpedal and into a dead run. If there is a weakness it might be in his coverage of short routes.

"I agree, I think I do a good job of covering the deep ball," Kearse responded when asked about his strengths. "I feel like I can jump with anybody and I can run with anybody and I'm confident covering the deep passes. I know I have more to learn and I want to become the best individual that I can be on the field and off."

Now one more mystery with Kearse. His high school roster at Monsignor Pace listed him at 5'9" and then the roster his freshman season at Fort Scott also showed him at 5'9", but he is now listed at 6'1", and the video shows he is much closer to 6'1" than 5'9". So how does that kind of growth spurt happen?

"It actually happened in the summer after my 11th grade year and before my senior year (in high school)," Kearse answered. "I had a late growth spurt. It really helped because that added height really helps in covering receivers. It's funny because that summer I was at my grandma's and I was sleeping on the ground and she told me if I slept on the ground that I would grow and she was right."

Kearse becomes the second commitment in the 2016 Oklahoma State class. It makes perfect sense with three seniors on the roster for next season at corner including Kevin Peterson, Miketavious Jones, and super senior transfer Michael Hunter set to arrive from Indiana.

Oklahoma State was looking to add several corners and likely one from the junior college ranks to help mature the position in the 2016 season. The first Oklahoma State pledge in the 2016 class was Tulsa Booker T. Washington High School running back Justice Hill.


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