Tommie Saunders: 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 Madison High School head coach Jim Streety about Tommie Saunders, a 6-1, 195-pound defensive back from San Antonio, Texas.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Jim Streety: I think Tommie has a real nose for the football. He really does. He's the kind of guy that is going to always be really close to the ball. He's really an aggressive guy.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Jim Streety: Tommie has been good enough to rely on his natural instincts and his size and his athleticism, a lot like Kris (Catlin). If he's going to progress he's going to have to improve on the little things, like technique and those sort of things, much like Kris. They are a lot alike in that regard. They are really athletic, and of course Tommie was a three-year player also.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Jim Streety: Probably in a game this year in a short-yardage situation. Of course he's playing safety. I believe this was a zone read (play), quarterback keep play off the zone read/ Tommie was the guy responsible for the quarterback, and he tackled him for a one-yard loss on the zone read, and knocked his helmet off. He's a big hitter now. He's a big-time hitter.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Jim Streety: Tommie loves football. This guy loves the game of football.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Jim Streety: I think Tommie was probably influenced by Kris (Catlin) some because I don't think he was really thinking Oklahoma State. I think he was thinking of something a little closer to home. But I know he was very, very impressed with their facilities. Again, credit to Coach Spencer and Coach Gundy for a good job in recruiting those guys.

What type of impact to you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Jim Streety: In my mind a redshirt year would be a good thing for those guys. He's going to be good enough to play, and be an impact player.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Jim Streety: I would think he would be a guy that has a chance to start for two or three years and be a really top-level player.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Jim Streety: I will remember how much he loved the game. A lot of top kids nowadays get distracted by a lot of things in this world, and I'm not saying that Tommie doesn't. But I'm saying when it came time to play football, Tommie was all about football.

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