NORMAN, Okla. — Lawrence Dampeer is going through his first year at OU after a spectacular high school in which he drew All-American honors and was ranked as one of the top six defensive tackles in the country. Dampeer, who just completed his first weekend of workouts at OU gave OUInsider.com an idea what it has been like in our two minute drill.
JH: What has been the major difference for you in your adjustment from high school to Division-1 football.
LD: "It is the same thing I went through when I was a high school freshman. When I moved up from junior high to high school I had to change levels, get used to the speed and get more intense. You also have to get used to playing against players who are better than you. In high school, I am not trying to disrespect the other players, but most of the time I was the best player on the field. I controlled most of the games. The thing here is I have to start back over. I have to get the technique down, because in high school I was more powerful and stronger than most of my opponents and I dominated underclassmen. Here I have to get my technique down because I am going up against players as big and as strong as I am. I need to listen to Coach (Jackie) Shipp, because he is an excellent teacher. I also need to play attention to Tommie, Lynn, 'KK' and Dusty and follow in their footsteps, because they are great players and they know how to get things done."
JH: What has it been like to battle 300 pound offensive linemen?
LD: "It is has been a lot different to battle somebody who is 300 pounds and can run compared to playing somebody that weighs 195 and is real weak. Here, all the players are strong and they are fast. They will also hold you on their blocks, so you have to learn to get their hands off of you. That is one thing that I have to learn and that is to get the hands down and to get them off of me. I have to learn how to knock them away instead of always bull-rushing them. I have to learn how to use my hands and that gets a little complicated. Most of the time you just have to suck it up, trust your talent and what you know and keep going."
JH: You went against Davin Joseph in the Oklahoma Drill and the inside drill. He is one of the best offensive linemen in the country, so what was that like for you?
LD: "It was kind of tough, because he is so strong and so quick on his feet. At times when it seemed that I was going to blow right past him but he was still right in front of me. He always has his hands on me pushing me and keeping me motivated. He is one of the guys, who even though he is on offense, who is helping me become a better player. He is keeping my head straight, encouraging me and telling me not to get down on myself and that I can play on this level. He and the offensive linemen tell me to keep working hard and they keep pushing me. Both the offensive and defensive linemen encourage me to hang around with the older guys and to learn from the vets. We have the number one offensive line and the number one defensive line in the nation and I am part of that defensive line. I am proud of that. When you go up against that number one offensive line you have to come out with it and bring all you can bring.
"They tell me to bring it and to learn from the best. Davin (Joseph), Jammal (Brown), Kelvin (Chaisson), 'Big Wes' (Sims) and Vince (Carter) are all telling me to come and get it and to bring it to them so that they can show me some things and so that I can learn some things. That is because they are the type of players who are the best, and you might find some weaknesses and they want to know what those are. They want to be better on Saturday during crunch-time and the only what they can get better is if I keep hammering them and that is the only way I can get better as well. I am so happy to be here, but not happy that it is so hot, but so happy to be playing with the very best players in the country in practice."
JH: You are always playing for Coach Jackie Shipp, who I think is the most underrated defensive tackle coach in the country. What has that been like for you?
LD: "He is more about technique that you think. You can blow somebody off the ball, but if you don't use the right technique he will let you know. He has put it in our minds that we have to use proper technique along with our physical talent to be the very best player that we can be. Without question, Coach Shipp is one of the very best and I have no doubt that he will one day be a head coach once we start producing more and more as a defensive line."
Two Minute Drill: Lawrence Dampeer
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