Insight Bowl: OSU Receivers Meet Superstar

"So you are the big guy with the big hands," said the smiling visitor to Oklahoma State wide receiver Adarius Bowman, who just smiled. "Who is your best technique wide receiver?" asked the famous visitor of Cowboys wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer. "It would be A.D.," answered Brewer.

"Hey, this guy can really use his hands. I like that," said the visitor as OSU freshman wide receiver Damian Davis quickly pushed Bowman's hands off of him in front of the former NFL standout.

All of this took place right after the Cowboys wrapped up their hour and a half workout as former Green Bay Packers All-Pro Sterling Sharpe first watched the Cowboy wide receivers practice and then took time to compare notes and encourage them after the practice.

Bowman, Davis, Dez Bryant, and OSU receivers coach Brewer were all eyes and ears as the group conversed with the normally talkative Bowman and Brewer letting Sharpe do most of the talking while they listened. Sharpe will do color analysis of the game for the NFL Network television broadcast of Monday's Insight Bowl against Indiana.

Sharpe attended Saturday's practice to get notes and information on the Cowboys, including a brief conversation with tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Everybody was having fun with the scene.

"It's a great experience that too many players can't say they did," said Bowman of the chance to discuss the finer points of playing receiver with Sharpe. "He gave me some great advice, and some that Brew (Gunter Brewer) already told me. But it's good coming from a guy that has already done it in the league. He started out as a big physical wide receiver. He became a tight end, but he was a big wide receiver to begin with. It was great meeting him."

Sharpe said he has seen plenty of Bowman and said he has all the tools to make it in the NFL.

"That's just what those tools do is give you a chance," said Sharpe. "He'll get his chance, but he'll have to deliver when he gets to camp. You don't make it based on potential in the NFL. You make it based on what you show them in camp and in preseason. Bowman has a chance. That tight end (Pettigrew) will have a chance. He is a big guy that can really run and can do it all. I saw that Superman move this season and I liked it."

OSU head coach Mike Gundy said, "That's a once in a lifetime deal to meet an All-Pro at your position, a great receiver, and a couple of young guys of ours and Adarius get to hear from a guy that has been setting and breaking records and they get to talk technique with a player like that about catching the ball and things like that, some of those fundamental things and how you run this route and how you catch the fade. It reinforces a lot of those things that you coach them up on."

"I'm glad you're calling the game," Gundy said to Sharpe later after the Cowboy receivers had gone over to work with the area Boys Club youth there for the Insight Bowl Youth Gridiron Day activities.

"You guys look good, you've improved since the last time I saw you," replied Sharpe.

"We're coming along," said Gundy.

Gundy later said it won't hurt the OSU passing game at all that Sharpe will be in the booth broadcasting the game. He knows what meeting a player of that stature does and the effect it can have on his players.

"Those guys are guys they see on TV, and when they play PlayStation those are the guys they play on their games and it's a big deal to them," said Gundy. "Everybody has role models and players at our level look at those guys because they are where they want to be. It is neat that he is calling the game and those guys get to meet him."

There's no doubt Bowman and Pettigrew will especially be looking to impress Sharpe, the entire audience, and NFL scouts, of which several will be on hand. Remember that potential gives you a chance, but it is what they see you do on the field that helps you make it. Gundy believes that a healthy Bowman will have a big influence on the game with Indiana.

"I think he is ready to play," said Gundy of Bowman. "He likes this football team and this football team likes him. When he wasn't out there they didn't feel the same, so with him back out there I think he'll play hard and they will play hard."

The Cowboys also had better be on guard defensively because All-Big 10 wide receiver James Hardy of Indiana is 6-foot-7 and finished second in the country with 16 touchdown receptions. No doubt Hardy, just a junior, would also like to impress Sharpe and anybody else watching.

"Our guys will have to do a good job of understanding where he is on the field because as soon as you put enough guys in the box to stop the run then they are going to look for him and throw the ball out to him to make plays," explained Gundy.

Could it be that the best wide receiver on New Year's Eve in the desert leads his team to the win in the 2007 Insight Bowl?

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