Practice Report: Safeties Are Making Strides

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State was back on the practice field for the first time since Saturday on Tuesday afternoon at the Sherman Smith Training Center. The close to two-hour, 15-minute practice saw scout team players wearing the maroon colors of Central Michigan as the Cowboys evolve into their practice routine for most of the upcoming season.

There was still some individual work and still some reps for scout team designated players with the third unit. Some scout team players will possibly be involved in special teams too.

It was a good practice and one that saw the Cowboys stay healthy. Cornerback and potential All-Big 12 and All-American Kevin Peterson was back out working on rehab while his teammates practiced. Peterson looked good and is still confident he'll be back for the opener.

As for the safeties, their position coach Dan Hammerschmidt, one of the more fun coaches to watch, talked about practice and his safeties.

"After having two days off, we probably need to pick it up a little bit tomorrow," Hammerschmidt said. "There were a couple of good periods in there, but any time you take a little break, you have to snap back into it. This was our first day of scout team, so the new kids on the team got a feel for things. I think they’ll snap to it tomorrow."

Hammerschmidt talked about how the safeties and the depth chart is coming along.

"Tre Flowers is really playing well. [Jordan] Sterns is solid. He still needs to pick up his tackling," he said. "He’s a good tackler, but he needs to make every tackle.

"Jerel Morrow has really come on. Reps are going to help him. The more he plays, the better. Dylan Harding is playing well. Deric Robertson is playing well. The young kid coming on is [Kenneth] Edison-McGruder. He had a couple of really good days last week. This week’s (Thursday) scrimmage will be big for him."

Hammerschmidt also talked about his point of emphasis with his players as the opener at Central Michigan is right at two weeks away come Thursday.

"We have to be physical, especially in that first game. They’re going to come out hard if they do what they did last year," the coach nicknamed 'Hammer' said. "I’m sure they’re working on different things and they may have a few different ideas.

"In smash mouth football, if you’re a safety or a linebacker, you’ve got to be able to take on a block, come off a block and make a tackle. We’re going to make plays on balls and things like that when it’s time, but people are going to check out the run game first. That’s where it starts. Stopping the run game, being physical, knocking balls out and making tackles is where it all starts. It’ll end right there too.

"It starts with the run game and being physical, and then all comes all the fancy stuff in the back. We’re athletic in the secondary, but we’re still fairly inexperienced. We’ve got a couple of guys that have played, but we’re athletic. We’ve got talent, but we’ve just got to learn how to play and how to be physical."

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