Expect To See Donovan ... Soon

STILLWATER - Now that the quarterback issue is settled with head coach Mike Gundy naming redshirt freshman sensation Bobby Reid as the top signal caller several questions lie in the wait. How soon will the offense show some improvement over the anemic results in the first two games? Also, how soon will it be before former starting quarterback Donovan Woods begins his new Cowboy career as a safety on what has already been a vastly improved defense.

"We've been playing everybody ready to play," said defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. "As soon as he shows me he is ready then he will play."

Bedford said he is very excited about adding Woods to the secondary. He realizes that the defense will gain the perspective of a quarterback in reading and anticipating opposing offenses.

"There is no doubt about it. I'm excited about Donovan coming over," said Bedford showing that excitment in his mannerisms. "The plus he gives us is he can break down an offense like a quarterback would, so he knows the things that they (opposing quarterbacks) are looking at. You put that guy that is a quarterback at the post or the half field (in coverage) and he's going to make more plays for us in the long term."

You might expect that with the success the defense has had thus far that some of the Cowboy defenders would be hesitant to let anybody else in on the fun. But linebacker Jamar Ransom said that he knows the entire defense will welcome Woods, a player they have great respect for from battling in practice.

"There's always room for somebody, anybody can come over and have fun," said Ransom. "We don't close the door on anybody on defense. It's funny there are a lot of former quarterbacks on the defensive side for us. Paul Duren was a quarterback, Chase Holland played quarterback. Any knowledge that Donovan brings we greatly appreciate it and will definitely use it."

As you might imagine Woods is a little down. He won't show it because Donovan has never shown much emotion publicly, but going to defense will be a good tonic for a quarterback hangover. Bedford is a high energy coach who will welcome Woods' athletic ability and enjoy teaching him the scheme (which Bedford added that he thinks Woods will pick up quickly). The other players will welcome him with open arms. Woods is coming in humble acknowledging that he has a lot to learn and a major mental transition to bridge.

"There's definitely a little disappointment, but that's the way life is sometimes," Woods said about losing the quarterback job. "The ball doesn't always bounce your way. You can't let those kind of things keep you from living your life. If I can get that tenacity back, I used to have it and I didn't used to be soft, kind of soft now (laughter). I'll get around guys like Jamar Ransom, Victor DeGrate and they will get me right."

It's a good sign that he has kept his sense of humor. One thing that had to help was the welcome he got from the defensive players when he first joined them at Saturday's practice.

"They are happy I'm there," Woods said of his welcome. "It always makes things easier when guys accept you and I feel accepted. I feel that they expect me to help them and I want to help the team. I just want to learn what's going on."

Woods is more than happy to make his transition to defense. However, he is one of the best athletes on the team and there was already speculation during the Monday press conference that Woods could be back on offense and do the double similar to R.W. McQuarters playing corner and wide receiver. Woods knows the plays and has worked some at wide receiver. There is no rush to do that. You get the feeling that Donovan wants to make himself a fresh start on the other side of the ball.

"I think that will be up to the coaches and I'm not sure how they would go about that and whether they would allow me to do that," explained Woods. "I would definitely consider it and would probably do it, but that would be up to coach Fedora and coach Gundy."

The attitude is right on Woods part and the excitement is there with Vance Bedford and his defenders. If Woods rolls up his sleeves and gets after it in practice this week then be prepared to see No. 8 as you have never seen him before. Unless, of course, you've followed Millwood High School football.

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