Price, Sexton Give Houston A Good Name

Ricky Price and Andre Sexton were difference makers while playing at Cypress Falls High School in Houston two years ago. Price played on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and defensive back, while Sexton was a dominant player in the secondary as the Golden Eagles advanced to the Class 5A playoff quarterfinals. The two showed why OSU coaches recruited them on Saturday night.

Both Price and Sexton expected more of the same when they arrived in Stillwater a year ago. But the pair of Cy Falls standouts didn't enjoy the success they expected in 2005. Even though Price started eight games and finished the season with 16 catches as a freshman he expected more from himself. Sexton didn't even make it on the field after breaking an arm in the preseason.

But judging from Saturday night's scrimmage – the first of the fall for the Cowboys – Oklahoma State fans are going to see a lot of number 6 (Price) and number 20 (Sexton) this season. Price had two catches for a team-high 85 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown reception from Bobby Reid, during the scrimmage, and Sexton made his presence known from his starting free safety spot.

"There were some young guys who showed up and made some plays," head coach Mike Gundy said. "We need some of those guys to make plays. Ricky is a sophomore who played as a true freshman and kind of found his way into college football. At the end of the season (last year) he made some plays for us. He will be an experienced player that makes us feel a little bit better."

The 6-1, 190-pound receiver scored the scrimmage's first touchdown when he ran a slant route and Reid hit him perfectly as he raced 40 yards for the score. "It felt good. I haven't been in the end zone since high school," said Price, who showed the Cowboy coaching staff what he could do when he was named the MVP in Max Emfinger's High School All-American game following his senior season with 11 catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

"I feel more comfortable than I did last year. I feel like now I'm reacting more than thinking all the time, so I'm able to relieve the stress of mind and just go out and play," Price said. "Coach (Gunter) Brewer has been on me and been on me and been on me, and he's made me a much better player. I love his coaching style. He gets on you but at the same time he's teaching you. He's a great coach."

But the question for Price, who has been battling junior college transfer Anthony Parks for time at the third wide receiver spot, is how many passes will be thrown his way with D'Juan Woods and Adarius Bowman also on the field.

"Everyone knows that D'Juan is a great receiver, and Adarius is a great receiver, they're the top two receivers to go to, and then it's me," he says. "Most of the time they're going to be guarding D'Juan and they're going to be guarding AD (Bowman) so it's a chance for me.

Reid says he's seen the improvement in Price. "I'm so proud of him. He started a couple games last year, and then in the spring battled with Anthony, those guys have been going back and forth giving (each other) good competition. Today a couple guys were out ... I really didn't have to tell him anything, just give him that eye – it's time for you to step up and that's what he did."

Reid says Price is a much better receiver than he was a year ago as a freshman. "I see it in him. When we're running routes, and the defense will give us something presnap and then after the snap of the ball they give us something else, he knows what to do now and I have confidence in him," said OSU's starting quarterback, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns in the scrimmage.

Sexton, who redshirted last season after suffering the broken arm, would have been a big help in the Cowboy secondary a year ago. It didn't take Sexton long to move into the starting lineup this past spring. He's just glad to be playing again after spending all of last year watching from the sidelines.

"It's great a feeling. I don't know how to describe it because playing football is what I love to do and sitting out the whole season hurt a lot. To get back out there running around just feels good," Sexton said Saturday night after the scrimmage.

The 6-1, 205-pound Sexton teams with Donovan Woods (6-2, 220) to give the Cowboys a couple of safeties who aren't afraid to hit. "I got a couple big hits out there at first, but as I got tired I missed a couple tackles. I need to work on my conditioning a little bit more," said Sexton, who was credited with five tackles, including two for losses totaling minus-5 yards.

If Sexton just puts up half the numbers he did as a senior at Cypress Falls High School then the Cowboy coaching staff will be happy. That's because his numbers that earned him the Houston Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year honor were astounding – 126 tackles, three interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, three blocked punts, two blocked field goals, and two special team touchdowns.

"I felt a lot more comfortable than I was in the spring because we've been together longer, we're moving around more, showing different blitzes, coming from different angles, confusing the offense," Sexton said.

Sexton sums it up for himself and Price when he says, "We're just out there trying to bring Houston a good name, and help the OSU football team however we can."

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