OSU Represented In Super Bowl

Oklahoma State fans will have one of their own on each side when the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers tee it up Sunday in the Super Bowl. Arizona defensive end Antonio "Scoobey" Smith will be the more visible one. Donovan Woods, a former teammate, will be over on the other sideline in Steeler togs but is inactive after suffering a hamstring injury seven games into his rookie season.

Woods learned a lot, both when he was playing and during the time he has sat out.

"It has been challenging," said Woods of the season. "This league is the best of the best and I had an opportunity during the first six or eight games and actually played quite a bit on special teams.

"Then I had my hamstring injury and we had a guy come in and actually came off the practice squad and filled in for me and he did a heckuva job. That is one thing about this team and a lot of other teams, when guys get hurt other guys take advantage of that opportunity. I got bumped back down to the practice squad and how I went into the playoffs."

While Woods won't suit up and play, he does appreciate how special it is to be on a team in the Super Bowl in his first year in the NFL. It is an experience that former Cowboy Charlie Johnson enjoyed two years ago with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts won that Super Bowl two years ago over the Bears.

Woods, like Johnson, knows this is the greatest way to end your rookie season.

"It definitely is," said Woods. "We've got guys on the team that have been playing 12, some guys 15 years, and we come in this rookie class with the chance to go to the Super Bowl in our first season. We are definitely taking advantage of it and trying to experience all we can."

The entire week has been crazy, but media day at Raymond James Stadium made a pretty huge impact."I've never seen so many media people in my life," said Woods. "When you look at it on the NFL Network you only see so much. There is no way you can show it all. I have never seen that many media people in on place at one time."

Woods has used his time on the practice squad wisely. He is working on making himself even more valuable and more difficult for head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff to cut in the future. Woods is learning to play all four linebacker positions in the Steelers' 3-4 defensive alignment.

"I started out playing outside linebacker, learning that and I learned it pretty well," explained Donovan, who is now 6-2 and a very trim and fit 235 pounds. "I got the chance to play inside linebacker in the last preseason game when one of the guys got hurt and I had some success. I filled in and did a pretty good job.

"In the off season I will do double duty trying to get on the field at any one of those four spots. The inside position and setting the front of the defense and making those calls is definitely more than when you are playing on the outside. On the inside you have to direct a lot of other guys. I am going to keep working on it right into training camp next season."

Woods like the Steelers chances Sunday against the Cardinals, primarily because of that defense. He is looking forward to looking up "Scoobey" Smith before the game.

But whether it is the favored Steelers or the Super Bowl first timers from Arizona, another Oklahoma State Cowboys is going to have a Super Bowl ring. That list includes Walt Garrison, Jon Kolb, Keith Burns, Dexter Manley, John Washington, Jack Golden, Charlie Johnson, and just last season, R.W. McQuarters.

Sunday night you'll be able to add either Smith or Woods to that list, and one will also be on their way to visit Obama in the White House.

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