Imade is very well spoken and he knows his Oklahoma State football and it is for that we begged off on some intelligence on this team coming up.
You have a big supporter in your former head coach Mike Gundy. He has said he wants to see you involved in some of the broadcasting projects inside the athletic department.
Imade: Coach Gundy has been a great person in my life. He helps you on and off the field and so they are always looking for better ways to put their players in position to better their lives. He has always been one of those guys that will help you.
The last few nights I've been watching replays of games from last season. I even watched a replay of the Bedlam game. The next night I watched the no-huddle replay on Fox Sports of the Baylor win. Do you do that much?
Imade: It is funny that you say that because to get ready for this, I always try to prepare myself and one of the things that I watched was the OSU-Baylor College Game Day and then I watched the game a little bit and I was so proud of the way that ended.
On the other hand, the Bedlam game, it might take me a good five years before I can watch that. A funny story is that the holder that actually threw the touchdown pass was my senior high school quarterback. To this day I can not bring myself to talk to him. That game is one of the toughest things I have had to swallow in football.
How is it going to feel to be a watcher and supporter and no longer be a football player?
Imade: Yeah, I mean when you are a football player all your life and you are getting ready for your senior season and you realize that it may be the last season that you play or put on the pads. Last night I was watching the ESPY Awards and they were showing all these football highlights and I was thinking that I'm not going to play football anymore. It just hit me all at once, I am not going to be playing football this season. The workouts are even fun with everybody out there pushing to get better and struggling together, so you miss that. It is not the same thing as missing the games, the practices, and putting on the pads. It all hasn't hit me, but it's hit me. Hopefully, I can do some broadcasting and get some closure that way.
How much of a difference did Glenn Spencer make in the defense and can he help these young defenders come around this season, especially that opener against defending national champion Florida State?
Imade: He changed the defense a lot, the defensive intensity went up. Glenn, I mean Coach Spencer.
Hey, you can call him Glenn now, you can call him Glenn.
Imade: I try to catch myself, that is weird still. His personality is really intense, but he is a defensive mastermind and the things that he draws up in his head and then when it works that is when you see the joy and excitement come out of him. Putting guys in the right position to make plays is what he puts pressure on himself to do.
People like to think we are going to have a young defense and be in trouble. The coaching staff has done a great job recruiting and each freshmen class that comes in has been better than the previous. There will be good football players out there with players like Tre (Flowers) and Jordan (Sterns). Jordan really impressed me last season with the way he knew what was going on with defense and on special teams. He is a good athlete out there and they are under looking Larry Stephens, who is coming back from injury and has played in that defense for four seasons. This will be his fifth year and that will add more experience. Deric (Robertson) is my little brother out there. We were locker mates next to each other. He is a smart player as well.
A lot of leadership in you class last season. Can this group take what they saw from you guys as leaders and apply it and have the kind of leadership that is needed to steer this team correctly from a player standpoint.
Imade: Me, personally, I always think to have great leaders you have to have great followers. With those guys being great followers then they can turn into great leaders. We had a cast that did a nice job of following. They knew we had the best intentions and they followed because of that.
They will be great leaders as well because they knew how to follow. James Castleman, Ryan Simmons are all going to be good leaders on the defense, Kevin Peterson too. I would watch out for Miketavius Jones. He is an older player and I know he is really into it and I can tell he will step it up. He could really helps some of those younger players. I looked to him and he is going to have a great impact on the defense and the special teams. I guarantee that guy is a war daddy. He will be good on defense and on special teams.