Up close with TU's Jared St. John
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
10/09/12 at 5:39 AM
Position: Defensive end
At Edmond Santa Fe High School, Jared St. John was a 200-pound left guard and Daeshon Bufford was a left offensive tackle. At TU, St. John is a senior defensive end and Bufford is a senior defensive tackle. A former walk-on, St. John shares the team lead in sacks (five) with linebacker DeAundre Brown.
When you and Bufford were on the offensive line in high school, could you ever have envisioned that you guys would be side-by-side on a major-college defensive line?
I could see Daeshon being a starting defensive lineman at this level, but I wasn't quite as sure that I would do it. So, yeah, to line up with Daeshon on the defensive line here at TU - it's kind of surreal."
After spring practice in 2011, you were promoted from walk-on status to scholarship status.
After spring ball, you have a meeting with your position coach and with the head coach. (Head coach Bill Blankenship) immediately brought it up. He was subtle. It was like, guess what, you're going to be on scholarship. My first phone call was to my mom. She was very, very happy. There are the financial aspects, but more than that, it was a reward for all of the work here. It was a tremendous honor. Really humbling.
At what point did you realize that you could thrive at this level of football?
The first time (TU coaches) realized I was a little bit of a ballplayer, it was the spring of 2010. They knew I was a guy they could trust. I played in five or six games that year. I was on the punt-return unit at Notre Dame, and that was cool because Damaris Johnson scored on a punt return."
You're a Maryland native from Baltimore. What was it like when your family relocated to Oklahoma in 1998?
My mom's career brought us to Oklahoma. I was young enough that it really wasn't that big of a deal. I was always an outgoing kid, so it wasn't that difficult to make new friends.
You're on course to graduate in the spring. What is your plan after graduation?
Hopefully, I want to coach football. Maybe get a graduate-assistant position here. If not, catch on with a staff somewhere.
Great movie. Favorite Goodfellas character?
It's got to be the Joe Pesci character.
Original Print Headline: Up Close: Jared St. John