Happy to be a Cow­boy

DeQuin­ton Os­borne was once com­mit­ted to scan­dal-plagued Bay­lor, be­fore de­cid­ing to play ball at Ok­la­homa State.

The Oklahoman - - RED RIVER EXTRA - John Hel­s­ley jhel­s­ley@ok­la­homan.com

STILL­WA­TER — DeQuin­ton Os­borne chats on an­i­mat­edly, re­call­ing his cir­cuitous route to Ok­la­homa State, find­ing gain in both a failed first stop at Mis­souri and then a ca­reer restart at Kilgore Ju­nior Col­lege.

“You do a lot of grow­ing,” he said.

Yet when it comes to the stop he didn’t make, bail­ing on a com­mit­ment to scan­dal-scarred Bay­lor, Os­borne opts for the silent treat­ment.

“I re­ally don’t want to get much into it,” the Cow­boys de­fen­sive tackle said. “I’m just glad

that I’m here.”

He and ev­ery­one else as­so­ci­ated with the OSU de­fense is glad, with Os­borne start­ing and play­ing well, com­ing off a win at Texas Tech that saw him rec­og­nized as the team’s De­fen­sive Most Valu­able Player.

“DQ’s def­i­nitely been a pleaser,” said Cow­boys de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Glenn Spencer.

Os­borne’s most pleas­ing stats: a team-lead­ing three sacks and six tack­les for losses. Those are solid num­bers through five games, es­pe­cially for an in­te­rior line­man seen as too small by some, in­clud­ing un­know­ing of­fen­sive line­men.

Yet the 6-foot, 305pound Os­borne ac­tu­ally beats block­ers with his size, com­bined with a burst off the ball that leaves many of­fen­sive line­men won­der­ing where he went.

“My height, it helps me,” said Os­borne, who may be listed at 6-foot, but ap­pears to stand closer to 5-10. “I feel like it’s some­thing that helps me get un­der peo­ple and I use it to my ad­van­tage.

“I’m sure guys watch film and they ex­pect a lot

of my ten­den­cies. But in per­son, you’ve still got to stop it. So I try to use it to the best of my abil­ity.”

Os­borne will never be called a pro­to­type de­fen­sive tackle. Still, he’s got skills.

“First, he’s got lever­age,” said Dar­rion Daniels, who starts along­side Os­borne at the other tackle spot. “Peo­ple look at his height and think, ‘This dude’s short, he ain’t got it go­ing on.’ DQ, he has lever­age and he has great ball get-off. That gives him the up­per hand.

“He comes off the ball, the of­fen­sive line­men stand straight up and he’s right un­der their pads. And he has a great rip move. He’ll rip, and shoot straight into the back­field. That’s what makes him so dan­ger­ous.”

So dan­ger­ous, ac­cord­ing to Cow­boys coach Mike Gundy, that NFL scouts have taken no­tice, ask­ing about Os­borne as they pass through town to take a look at Ma­son Ru­dolph, James Wash­ing­ton and oth­ers.

“I’m just try­ing to fo­cus on my­self, con­trol­ling what I can con­trol,” Os­borne said.

Os­borne has lost con­trol be­fore, los­ing his schol­ar­ship at Mis­souri when he failed to take care of his school­work while red­shirt­ing as a fresh­man, be­com­ing aca­dem­i­cally in­el­i­gi­ble. That sent the for­mer Grand Prairie, Texas, stand­out home­ward, to Kilgore.

Af­ter two strong sea­sons there, he signed with Bay­lor in Fe­bru­ary of 2016, then sought and was granted his re­lease as the scan­dal sur­round­ing the school in­ten­si­fied.

A few months later, he was on his way to Still­wa­ter.

“We were get­ting ready for prac­tice and I was like, ‘DQ, weren’t you sup­posed to go to Bay­lor?’” Daniels said this week. “He said, ‘I signed there, but with all that stuff go­ing on, I didn’t want to be as­so­ci­ated with it.’

“That’s cool. I feel like he’s happy here.” Now that he’s here. The Bay­lor con­nec­tion, or al­most con­nec­tion, is nat­u­ral this week, with the Bears due in town Satur­day for home­com­ing. If not for the tur­moil in Waco, Os­borne might be part of the trav­el­ing party, rather than start­ing up front for the OSU de­fense.

“It’s an­other game,” he said. “An­other foot­ball game. I’m go­ing to pre­pare like we al­ways pre­pare and I feel like we’ll be good.”

[PHOTO BY SARAH PHIPPS, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

De­fen­sive tackle DeQuin­ton Os­borne, right, has be­come a force in the mid­dle for the Cow­boys.

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