By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Isaiah Anderson still has hopes of making a living playing football at the next level.
But until he finds himself getting paid to play on the gridiron, he’ll continue competing as a Cowboy as a member of the Oklahoma State men’s track and field team.
“One of the track athletes or coaches came and asked coach (Rob) Glass if we had any sprinters who wanted to run and my name was brought up,” Anderson said. “So I went up there and talked to Dave (Smith, OSU track and field coach) and they got me practicing the next week.
“Running track is my first love, so any time you can get back to doing something you love, it jump at it.”
With his college football career capped by an impressive performance at the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue, hauling in five catches for a game-high 78 yards and a touchdown, Anderson was approached to run for the track and field.
It’s not the first time for Anderson, however. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native ran track for the Cowboys his first year on campus in the spring of 2009, when he redshirted for the football team, and was clocked at 4.39 in the 40.
“That was fun. They knew I came in as a sprinter from high school, so I went out there and ran the 60 and placed fourth overall in my first track meet,” said Anderson, who was a state track qualifier in the 100 meters in high school. “But at that time coach (Mike) Gundy wanted me, and other guys who went out to run, to focus more on football since that was what we were here for.”
Over the weekend Anderson competed at the Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa. However, in his first track competition since his freshman year Anderson — who ran the 400-meter dash and was part of OSU’s 1,600-meter relay team — was disqualified from his individual race and the relay team did not race.
“I had only had a couple days of practice, so trying to go out there and run it takes time to put together a good race,” Anderson said. “I kind of new that coming into it, but now I’m excited to get back out there again and get a feel for it and try to help the team out.”
Anderson was actually a three-sport athlete for Wichita Falls High School, playing basketball along with football and running track. But he has no plans of joining Travis Ford’s 15th-ranked OSU men’s basketball team any time soon.
“I left basketball back in high school. That was the only sport I didn’t want to continue in,” Anderson said. “It’s always fun to go to the recreation center and play a pickup game or two. But as for basketball, I’ll just keep as something to do in free time.”
For now, he’ll just continue working with the track team and take part in Oklahoma State’s football pro day in mid-March — with the aspirations of impressing an NFL team into drafting or signing him.
“I’m doing dual training right now — doing my football workouts first and then running in the afternoon,” Anderson said. “I’m still planning on competing out there and showing off what I can do at our pro day on March 12. If it doesn’t work out, then I’ll just continue running track; and if it does work out, that’s the route I’ll end up taking.”