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October 21, 2013

VIDEO: Oklahoma State's Stewart becoming special teams specialist

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State junior Josh Stewart has come a long way from his underwhelming performance as OSU’s punt return man in the 2011 Spring Game — in which he had difficulties fielding punts.

Monday, the Denton, Texas, native earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week recognition after his performance in lifting the Cowboys to a 24-10 over Texas Christian University.

Stewart recorded the longest punt return in Oklahoma State and Big 12 history with a 95-yarder early in the victory. It is the longest punt return for any player in the country this season.

“Back when I was doing it for the spring game, I had no idea they wanted me to be the starting punt returner because Charlie Moore and guys like that were going in front me,” Stewart said. “So I didn’t take it as serious as I probably should have, not knowing a couple of years later I would be our starting guy and scoring touchdowns on it. Coach (Jason) Dunn told me I could be the leading punt returner in the Big 12, and from that point on, I took it (seriously).

“Instead of being just a receiver, I realized I could also be a punt returner, too, and that could maybe help me with my draft stock some day. I just know I can be a game-changing player for the team, so when I get opportunities with space on punt return, I try to make the best of it.”

He added a 29-yard punt return later in the contest, but his 95-yarder was the one that gave the Cowboys the jolt they needed early in the game. He fielded the punt fading backwards, got a couple key blocks and weaved his way down field, eventually shaking the last would-be tackler at the 10-yard line and sprinting to the goal line.

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