Tulsa Tandem Watch UCLA

The day after they defeated the top-ranked team in the state of Oklahoma, Tulsa defensive linemen Jared Naylor and Blake Smith enjoyed watching the UCLA-Oklahoma State game, be it in a different manner...

Defensive tackle Jared "the Bear" Naylor, 6-3, 270, 4.9, and defensive end Blake Smith, 6-3, 245, 4.7, Tulsa (Okla.) Union, were two of the main reasons that Union, the No.2-rated school in the state before last Friday, defeated Jenks, the No.1-rated school in the state, with relative ease 33-12.

The plan for the day after the game, last Saturday, was to make the 50-mile drive to Stillwater, Okla., for the UCLA-Oklahoma State game. One made it and one didn't. Both players were to be guests of Oklahoma State and, therefore, could only visit the Oklahoma State locker room following the game.

"I hurt my ankle on Friday," Smith said. "I had to go to the doctor on Saturday, so I couldn't make it to the game. I was supposed to go though." Despite the bad ankle, Smith had seven tackles, two sacks, a tipped pass and a fumble recovery. "We dominated that game. It was awesome. On Saturday I did get to watch the UCLA game on TV, and I thought it was a real exciting game." In two games this season Smith has 15 tackles and five sacks.

Another reason UCLA might like to bring Smith into Westwood is because Smith isn't the only member of his family on the team. "My brother (half-brother, junior Nathan Peterson, 6-3, 240) plays on the defensive line next to me, and he is only one sack behind me." Peterson has 15 tackles and four sacks on the season.

Naylor, unlike Smith, survived the Jenks game unhurt. "I woke up early Saturday, and drove just over an hour to OSU for the UCLA game, and it was pretty cool," Naylor said. "I really enjoyed it because I like both teams."

Naylor had a solid game against Jenks. "I had eight tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery." On the season Naylor has 16 tackles and two sacks.

The Union defensive front is considered the strength of the team. Union head coach Bill Blankenship said of his defensive line, "That's just the best thing we've got going for us. They're pretty strong."

As far as recruiting goes, Smith said everything is about the same. "I have no new offers, but they have all been calling. I'm hearing from Arkansas, SMU, Missouri, LSU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Coach Johnson from UCLA called last night, and they seem like they are still really interested in me. I'm going to be out there the end of December or the beginning of January (for an official visit)," Smith said.

Naylor said he's also going to trip to UCLA officially, but isn't sure when. "I think my mom made a decision on when I am going to go down to UCLA, but I am not sure of the date. That is the only trip I know I am going to take so far," Naylor said.

As reported in an earlier story, Naylor has been to California and likes it quite a bit. His mother has a sister who lives with her family in Southern California.

The schedule doesn't get any easier for the new No.1 team in the state. Both players say they are trying to keep their minds focused on the next Union opponent. "Next game is against Owasso. They are ranked 4th in the state, so they are pretty good. We definitely have all our tough games at the start of the season," said Naylor. "The Owasso quarterback is really good. He's thrown for something like 700 yards in two games. He is about 600 yards shy of the state passing record," Smith said.

Both players are fully qualified.


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