Ryan McBean Hoping to Feast on Chicken, QBs

One of the more popular interviews and even more popular photo subjects on Media Day Saturday was newcomer defensive tackle Ryan McBean. Why, on the photo side photographers always like big guys with big guns (biceps) and McBean fits the profile. He was sensational in spring moving in as 6-5, 275-pound underweight defensive tackle from Hinds Community College in Mississippi, and originally from Euless Trinity High School in Texas.

He made plays all spring, then gained weight -- good weight, all the way to 295 pounds -- this summer in strength and conditioning coordinator Rob Glass' program. Bring on the photographers.

"People really come to me. I didn't see myself getting bigger, until people came to me and said you're huge," said McBean of the reaction he's been getting this summer. "I would say somebody else was bigger than me and then people would say, ‘no, they aren't, you're way bigger.' After that I looked in the mirror and said all that work we've been doing down in the weight room is really paying off."

McBean had come to Oklahoma State thinking that if the Cowboys got a few more defensive tackles then he might move out to defensive end. With the new bigger muscles that would appear to be a long gone prospect.

"I don't think so. I still have that speed and I still have that movement," laughed the New York-born, Texas-bred, Jamaican product. "It ain't gone, it's still there."

Playing both tackle and end at Hinds, he was an all-conference performer and honorable mention All-American. Last season he had 58 tackles and seven sacks, and if McBean plays as well as many hope and predict this year then he could see defensive end again in the NFL. It is what he wants to do in the future. A good swap -- sacks, quarterback hurries, and plays made in return for the expertise and exposure to go to the NFL.

"When I talked to the coach before I came here that was the first question that I asked. I need to be ready, I need to get to a point where I can provide for myself and for my family and they said they could do that," said McBean in his Jamaican accent. "They told me that I would come here and provide for them and they would provide for me, and that's the way it's been."

For McBean to look good then the rest of the defensive line, tackles and ends, need to be good as well. The Cowboys are well stocked at defensive end with the likes of Nathan Peterson, Marque Fountain, Victor DeGrate and Jerry Don Bray. Tackle is another story with development, talent and depth, needed. McBean says it is going well.

"That's how it is," he said in a positive tone. "We've got the rotation so that if I'm not in and XLK isn't making the tackle then somebody else is. We've built that confidence with each other so that we know everybody is going to the line and giving 100 percent and if somebody else doesn't make the tackle I'll make it, and if I'm not somebody else will make the tackle. We all agreed, no matter what string, we're all going out there to give 100 percent."

McBean is the best of the tackles, significantly better, but one muscle that he hasn't flexed much yet is his mouth. He's led by example, but says that is only because he believes in a system of honor, our words. As good as he has been in practice, and as much hype as he has received, the right to talk is not his yet.

"I come in here humble," reminded McBean of his arrival. "I haven't played a game here yet. I haven't told other guys what to do, that they have to do this or do that. I haven't won that respect yet to tell another guy what to do. I haven't played here and I haven't won here. Whenever a guy isn't doing what he's supposed to I let a coach or another player handle it. Until I provide for the team I won't do that, but once I do I will do some of that if it is needed. I expect everybody on our d-line to all be leaders. I will push other guys and I want other guys to push me."

Like all the other players, McBean says they are being fed like kings. The food is good, but McBean came in with a favorite dish from home. He's made friends with the chef in hopes that his teammates will enjoy his favorite. He's working to make sure they get the chance.

"Believe it or not, I told the chef that I'm going to call my mother and have her send her recipe for jerk chicken," said McBean. "He said whenever I get the recipe then tell him and the jerk chicken will be on the menu. Guys really haven't had jerk chicken. Jerk chicken is good, along with curry gold and we need to get these guys on the Jamaican way. Some guys have had jerk chicken and curry gold and they say that is a meal to eat."

Cowboy fans are hoping that jerk quarterback becomes McBean's favorite dish on Saturday's this fall.

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