One-one-One with Dan Cody

Sophomore defensive end Dan Cody talks about coming back in 2002

Going into his sophomore season last year Dan Cody was on top of the world. He was the starting defensive end for the defending national champions. However, after struggling in the opening game against North Carolina, Cody surprised the Sooner coaching staff by leaving the team for personal reasons.

Later it was learned that Cody was suffering from chemical depression. This shocked many who knew Cody, because of his always pleasant personality and sunny disposition.

Cody was kept on scholarship by Head Coach Bob Stoops and Cody continued in school, despite not working out with the team. Cody worked on his own within the OU facilities and eventually met with the Sooner coaches about returning to the team. This past spring Cody returned and made a favorable impression at defensive end and as a deep snapper, before missing the final week-and-a-half with an injury. The injury didn't keep Cody from earning a spot in the Sooner defensive end rotation.

Cody is currently going through the Sooners offseason program and again seems fired up about football. I had a chance to catch up with Cody right before Jerry Schmidt was ready to send him through another torturous workout.

JH: You sat out most of last year and didn't take part in team drills, is it hard to get back into the grove of this offseason program?

DC: Getting back into the weight-room was good for me. During the course of the spring I had lost a little bit of weight and got down to around 260 pounds and I have been trying to maintain it around there. My main goal now after having surgery on my knee is to get my speed back, keep my weight up and keep my strength going more than anything.

JH: Is the knee that cost a week or more of your spring?

DC: I had pulled my groin in the spring and while I was sitting out they looked at my knee. I had a real small MCL tear, nothing real serious, but they just wanted to go in and scope it out. It was right at the end of spring ball and right before summer workouts and this would allow me to get to full strength during the summer.

JH: You had to feel unlucky when you had to miss the second half of spring?

DC: The same thing happened to me last spring as well when I broke my foot. I think it was like the seventh practice and that was just about the same time this spring. It was disappointing, because I was really trying to get back and establish myself again on the field. I did some good things, but made a few mistakes on the way. It is something that I can definitely feel comfortable about going into next season.

JH: Have you been deep-snapping all of your life?

DC: I snapped at Ada both my junior and senior years. did more of it my senior year and I guess after Ben Panter graduated somebody told coach that I had snapped before. He asked me if I wanted to snap and I said I would try it. They haven't named me the starter yet, but I am definitely a contender for it.

JH: Everybody is pulling for you to make a full recovery from your medical situation from last year, but is everything behind you and are you fully ready to go?

DC: Absolutely, and right now I feel really good. Understand, I really don't want to get into what went on with me last season. I am putting that behind me and I hope everybody understands that. I want this to be a good year for the team, because I am not looking at this season so much from a personal standpoint. I have my home back here and I am feeling comfortable with how things are going within the team.

JH: How was playing defensive end for you once again? Dd you have to adjust to the position again?

DC: I came here as a tight end and the only time I played tight end was my senior year in high school and I felt comfortable there. Here, the coaches just put me on the defensive side of the ball and I had a lot of things I had to learn, especially to become a Division-1 defensive end. Hopefully, you can teach yourself to be real disciplined, but it's the physical part where there are so many different fundamental things that you have to remember. When I got to college the way OU plays defensive end was just my style. They are very aggressive and they let you run around the end.

JH: How good do you feel the defense will be this season?

DC: I think we are going to be very good. I know we lost Rocky (Calmus) and Roy (Williams), but we have so many other good players, who can pick up the slack. I can't see anybody having a better defensive line than us and our secondary is rated the best in the country, even without Roy (Williams). After watching Lance (Mitchell) and Pasha (Jackson) in the spring I am not worried about the linebackers either.

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