Happy to be a Cowboy
DeQuinton Osborne was once committed to scandal-plagued Baylor, before deciding to play ball at Oklahoma State.
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.”
Defensive tackle DeQuinton Osborne, right, has become a force in the middle for the Cowboys.