One-on-One With Zack Craig

Zack Craig grew up in Spring Branch, Texas just outside of San Antonio. So when he walked into the Alamodome last Saturday for Oklahoma State's game with Texas-San Antonio, he felt right at home ... in more ways than one. Craig visited with the media on Monday about returning home to play in OSU's 56-35 victory over the Roadrunners on Saturday.

The backup strong safety came off the bench to replace starter Shamiel Gary after he was injured, and the senior had his most productive day ever playing defense for the Cowboys. He led the team with seven tackles, four unassisted, and broke up two passes.

The 21-year-old who became known during fall practice more for who he has been dating – Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Jordan Daigle – than what he has done on the football field is trying to change that perception among OSU Cowboys fans.

Question: Shamiel Gary may be ready to play Saturday against Lamar, but if he's not does that change the way you prepare to make the first start of your college career?
Craig: You've always got to practice like you're going to be the starter. If you don't feel that way you'll never be prepared. I'm going to practice every day this week like I do every week and if he can't go, then I'm the starter, and I'll be ready.

How much fun was going home last weekend to play in the Alamodome?
Craig: It was great. It was one of those surreal moments. Since I'm from San Antonio, I've played probably six or seven (high school) playoff games there, (and even) in the same locker room. It was almost crazy to see yourself as a 15-year-old playing for your high school team and then four or five years later you're playing there with a D-I school in a big-time game. It was really a cool situation.

You played quite a bit after Shamiel went out with the injury.
Craig: Obviously you never want any of your teammates to get hurt, but to go in and play a lot and to make a few plays in my hometown was a very, very cool situation.

How big was your cheering section of family and friends?
Craig: At least 30. There were coaches, family friends and actual family. It was a really big deal for them. It was just another game for me but those guys who can't drive nine hours (to Stillwater) from San Antonio, it meant a lot to them. It was really, really a big deal for them.

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