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October 10, 2012

Staley has found his role and loves it

If you're in his sights, forget about it. Kye Staley will run you over.

Fifteen or twenty carries a game? Please. The fullback's career-high touches in a game is two, which came against Louisiana earlier this season.

He doesn't get the glory like running backs Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith, but he's a huge part of the glory they achieve, and they'll both tell you that rather quickly.

That glory comes because he doesn't just block for them, he completely clears the way for them.

"He's an exciting player," lineman Jonathan Rush said. "You're watching film and see him blowing up two guys at one time. It kind of makes me feel bad because I'm a lot bigger than him and I'm not doing that, but it's really fun to see."

Staley has been a major part of what Oklahoma State has done on offense this year, although none of it will probably ever show up in the stat box. The senior has led Randle and Smith down the field and protected quarterbacks J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt on pass plays, almost every time delivering game-changing, punishing hits on defenders.

"I embrace my role," Staley said. "I love blocking for those guys and getting a chance here and there. Joe and Jeremy are great runners, so when I get the ball I just try to do whatever I can. When I don't have the ball, I might as well clear the way so they have plenty of room."

Staley's biggest performance of the season so far came against Texas, where he registered nine knockdown blocks against the Longhorn defense.

The Cowboys found themselves in a dogfight, and Staley's intensity began boiling over as he demolished every defender he targeted.

"It's pretty nice running behind him," Smith said. "I think he got all of the Texas linebackers by the time the game was over. When we watched film we were all just laughing the whole time. It was pretty awesome."

No play was bigger than Staley lead-blocking for Randle as the fourth-quarter wound down.

With 4:54 left in the game, Walsh gave the ball off to the running back for a zone off the left side with Staley leading the way. The outside linebacker jumped into the hole Randle was supposed to run through, and the senior completely ran him over as Randle bounced it outside.

But Staley wasn't done yet.

He continued to race up the field as Randle folded another defender onto his back, and finished the play by knocking a safety off of his feet as Randle was eventually brought down.

"It was a really good game," Staley said. "When it comes to Texas, a lot of emotions come out. It got me hyped up and I just went all out."

His effort was noticed by all who saw what he was doing.

For the senior, one of his goals was to help the offense move the ball by clearing the defenders out of the way.

His other was simple-Make sure Texas knew who Oklahoma State was.

"They were Texas, we were supposed to be intimidated," he said with a smile. "We weren't. They thought that just because they had the Longhorn on their helmet and Texas on their chest that they should get respect, but we taught them you have to come in here and earn it."

"They got the win, so I guess they earned it, but we gave them trouble trying to get there."


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