Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

August 10, 2012

3 p.m. Sports Minute

STILLWATER, Okla. — Ever since spring practice ended, the Oklahoma State football team had a pretty good idea who will start on defense this fall. There was just one question that lingered — who will replace all-American Markelle Martin at saftey.

Safeties coach Van Malone said the competition between Lavocheya Cooper and Shamiel Gary has heated up, but he's starting to see some separation.

"On the other side, trying to replace Markelle Martin are Lavocheya Cooper and Shamiel Gary running neck and neck," Malone said. "The last couple days, Shamiel's gotten a few more reps and has really capitalized on those opportunities. It's like I told them in the spring – it's a competition in the spring, it's a competition in the fall."

Malone said it's Gary's knowledge and his ability to attack the ball that has him leading the pack as Oklahoma State prepares for it's first game against Savanah State on Sept. 1.

“He has experience, he has football savvy, he’s an aggressive player" Malone said. "Off the field, he studies just as much as anybody in our program and the fact that he came here with a little bit of experience, that’s exciting for us."

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