OSU football signee ready to 'make it happen'
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 06, 2013
1/06/13 at 6:47 AM
Sam Wren celebrated his 21st birthday Thursday. Now it's time to go to work. He said he's on a mission to "make it happen."
"They are expecting a lot from me, so I've got to make it happen," the Oklahoma State football signee said before departing for Stillwater this weekend.
Wren is a defensive end from Palestine, Texas, and Arizona Western College who proved troublesome for junior-college quarterbacks. He was credited with 14.5 sacks and led all juco players in sacks per game.
Wren said he intends to "get after" quarterbacks while at OSU, but he wants to show he is a run-stopper, too. He's thankful for an opportunity to play at this level because he learned a lesson while in high school.
Wren set his sights on playing college ball when he was in Palestine and he said he was the happiest person in the world when he got a recruiting letter from Kansas.
But academics sabotaged Wren's recruitment and he said he never heard from the Jayhawks again.
"My head wasn't on right with my grades," Wren said, adding that he didn't try as hard as he could in the classroom.
Wren didn't like the feeling of going from wanted recruit to unwanted kid with academic issues. He said it felt like the world "didn't notice me or anything."
Junior college was a forum to get noticed. Butler County Community College in Kansas and Arizona Western offered scholarships. He said Butler told him he would have to redshirt, so he chose Arizona Western. Then he injured a knee in Arizona and redshirted.
"My freshman year at Arizona, it came to a point where I had to get myself a reality check," he said.
"I was like if you want to make it big in football, you have got to have the grades. That's just all there is to it. I buckled down and got closer to God and put my faith in God and went from there."
Wren said he chose to become a hard worker on and off the field. Doing right and being respectful to others became a priority.
"I got rid of all the foolishness I was doing and I just straightened up basically," he said.
As Wren straightened up and got bigger (he grew from 220 to 250 pounds while in Arizona), quarterbacks began landing on their backs. Scholarship offers rolled in and Wren said OSU and Washington State recruited him the hardest.
Why did Wren pick OSU? "The fans and the coaches," he said. "It's all one family. That's one thing I looked for when I went there was did it feel like family? It felt like I was supposed to be on the team already."
And OSU is close to home. Palestine is a six-hours-and-change drive from Stillwater. Palestine also is the hometown of Adrian Peterson, who nearly broke the NFL's single-season rushing record.
Wren said he doesn't know Peterson, but he uses him as motivation. "I always look at him and know that if he can make it out, I can make it out," Wren said.
Bill Young recruited Wren. After Wren signed a letter of intent, OSU issued a press release with this statement from the Cowboys' defensive coordinator: "Sam has a very good first step off the edge and has got the athleticism and burst to really be effective in the pass rush. He also has the tools to help in stopping the run. He comes from a good family and we would expect him to contribute quickly."
Original Print Headline: Oklahoma State signee ready to 'make it happen'
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389