What are Michael’s strengths as a football player?
Tim Buchanan: Probably his quickness, other than his obvious strengths of his height and range. He’s got great feet and flexibility for a big kid.
What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Tim Buchanan: Strength. He’s been a basketball player all through high school, (and) had a shoulder injury and had to have surgery last spring ... so he didn’t really get the strength training like we would have liked for him to going into his senior year because of the shoulder surgery. Him adjusting to the upper body and lower body strength of the players he’s going to be going up against is what he’s going to have to get ready for (at OSU).
Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Tim Buchanan: He’s going to have to redshirt. I told Coach (Doug) Meacham that from the very beginning.
Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Tim Buchanan: He committed to (Texas) A&M when Coach (Mike) Sherman was still there, and he really, really, really liked Coach Sherman because of his background as an offensive line coach. They really clicked when they met. After Coach Sherman was fired, I talked to (Michael’s) dad and he asked if I would mind calling Oklahoma State for him. That was his second choice at that time. Really, if he would have spent more time at Oklahoma State, he would have probably picked Oklahoma State in the first place. Coach Meacham did a great job recruiting him, and the O-line coach, (Joe) Wickline ... he’s good, he’s good (laughing). He told me, ‘Coach, it’s just a big Aledo.’ The school, the coaches, the town ... it’s what he wanted in a college. I always tell ‘em, ‘Guys, take football out of the equation. If you’ve been offered by multiple schools, take football out of the equation and ask yourself, if I get hurt and can’t play football after my freshman year, where will I stay and graduate from?’ He told me, ‘Coach, if I wasn’t going to play football, I’d go to Oklahoma State.’ He said, ‘I would not go to A&M if it wasn’t football.’ That’s what made him do it.
What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Tim Buchanan: I think the kid will be just like he was in high school. I think he can be an all-conference player because he’s got such good feet and can bend. He’s over 6-5 now, and he’s got what it takes. In the middle of his junior year he started developing a little nastiness to him, and started becoming a more aggressive football player. I think if he continues to develop and develop the upper-body and lower-body strength, I really think he can be an all-conference type player.
What will you remember the most about coaching Michael?
Tim Buchanan: Just the fact that he did whatever we asked him to do. We knew that he had a shoulder injury his junior year. His doctors basically said that he wasn’t going to hurt it any worse (by playing), if you want to finish the season you can, and if you want to play basketball you can. The kid toughed it out, and even though he was in a little bit of pain he stuck it out there his junior year and showed a commitment to his team. He put his team over himself, and played through the pain. The other thing is the first play in the state championship game this year, I’ll remember we run a little quick screen and he’s got to pull to go block the cornerback. He gets out there and just pancakes the defenders and springs it for a 45-yard touchdown. That set the tone for the game right there. They were thinking all we could do was run the football and hand the football to Jonathan Gray, we throw a quick screen out there, pop it for a touchdown and that set the tone.