Chris Dinkins: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Robert E. Lee High School head coach Mike Owens about Chris Dinkins, a four-star athlete from Tyler, Texas, who is capable of playing anywhere on the field.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Mike Owens: Of course, he's 6-2, 220 (pounds) with great speed. He started for us on defense for a year or two and then this year we moved him to a Wildcat quarterback and wide receiver. He's just a great athlete with a lot of power.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Mike Owens: It will probably be the (OSU) coaches trying to decide what side of the ball to put him on. He's a real physical defensive guy but then he's got great athletic ability on the other side and people can't run with him. That won't be the big challenge for him but it will be a challenge for those guys trying to figure out where they want to put him. He can play anything – tight end, wide receiver, running back. The only position that he probably couldn't play is quarterback, as far as throwing the ball.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Mike Owens: It's hard to decide because he had some great offensive plays during the year but he ran what we call a hand sweep out of the shotgun, where our quarterback handed it to him on a zone play. He completely reversed his field, and this was against John Tyler which was undefeated, and outran everybody for 68 yards and there were at least four guys that hit him to try tackling him. But the biggest play I'll remember him for was when we played Abilene and he was the safety. He comes up and undresses the running back for no gain. It was something to see. He's a great physical player but he's got enough stuff to play on offense. Usually defensive backs are back there because they can't catch the ball but he's not that guy. I can see him playing anything (at OSU), even linebacker. He'd be a great outside linebacker, especially in today's game where you need some guys who can come up and plug the line but you also have got to have some guys who can cover. You've got to find those specialty kind of guys and he's perfect for one of those spots. He can play wherever he wants to.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Mike Owens: Number one is physical. Of course, speed, and then power is the next one.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Mike Owens: I really don't know. I don't get involved with how they make decisions, any of that. I don't want them coming back three or four years later saying, ‘Coach, I wish you hadn't told me to go there.' I was sitting around in my office one day in the summer and I had three or four guys come in that were working out that were all Division I players, and everyone of them whined about where they went. I decided then that they'll never say that I told them to go to a certain school. The only thing that concerns me is that when they make a (verbal) commitment, I like for them to stay committed. In his case, he didn't (because he switched to OSU from TCU). But I don't care. I told them that there are two things that I think if decide at the last minute that it's not for you – one of them is marriage and the other one is this. I don't know what made him want to go to Oklahoma State. I never asked him.

What type of impact to you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Mike Owens: Most Division I schools have 85 pretty good players. He's been a great player for us, and he'll be a great player one day for them but I don't know if he's any better than the other 84 that they've got there. He's probably going to be better than most and not as good as some. But as he gets older he's going to be one of those guys that I talked about; that guy that's coming in won't be as good as him. I don't know how he can be more physical than he is now, I just don't know how. I do know that he'll get bigger, and he may just kill somebody (on the field with how hard he hits).

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Mike Owens: I think he'll probably start three of those four (years). I fully expect if he continues to play like he has been doing, that his best years are ahead of him. I would expect him to be in the NFL one of these days. I see him as more of a defensive guy. Now they may not but with his mentality and the way he hits people, those guys are special. So if you take one of those kind of guys and put him on offense then you've cheated your defense out of a guy who can really send a message when he tackles. But again, he's a great offensive player too. If he gets in the open … he's never been caught (from behind).

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Mike Owens: He's got a real dry sense of humor. If you don't know him, you don't know that he's pulling your leg. Guys that he's around sometimes don't get it, but I'm sitting over there laughing because I know that what he just said, he was bs-ing them. That's the best thing about him, I think. I promised him one day that I would give him this big old sombrero that some parent had given me. I said something one day about the sun, so I told Dinkins one day in front of the team that I'd gotten a new hat and didn't need to wear the sombrero any more, and now you can quit talking about it, and I'm going going to give it to you. Of course, he didn't say anything about it. But three weeks later he walks into my office, saying he wants to pick up his sombrero, and he was as serious as he could be. He's a great kid but that's the thing I'm going to remember about him is he has a real, real dry sense of humor.

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