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Catching Up with Preferred Walk-On Safety David Thibodeaux-Benoit



One area of Oklahoma State’s roster that needs some depth with the new defensive scheme is the safety position. One of the latest recruits to join that position this summer will be preferred walk-on David Thibodeaux-Benoit from Chickasha High School (Chickasha, Okla.).

PFB caught up with him about his experience at the spring game, his famous familial connection to Oklahoma State, and his impression of new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.

Be sure to check out all of our previous PWO interview with RBs Garrett L. King and Mbari SnoddyQB Shaun Taylor and WR Jacob Morris and LB Carson Kropp.

Phillip Slavin: What made you decide to choose OSU?

David Thibodeaux-Benoit: “I’ve always wanted to play Division-I football. There were other Division-Is that offered me the same preferred walk-on, the guaranteed roster spot, but Oklahoma State seemed like the best fit for me. I already knew how welcoming it was from whenever I went to the camp. And my Uncle Daniel Cormier went there and he’s my dad’s first cousin. I know how much he’s talked to my dad about how “its’a family up there” so that’s why.”

PS: Who was your primary recruiter at OSU?

Thibodeaux-Benoit: “Coach Wozniak, the running back coach, is actually the coach that recruited me and was coming to see me. He’s the one that I was talking to. After I signed, I got to talk to Coach Hammerschmidt, the safeties coach. I met him at the spring game and it was really fun. He was a really good guy. I remember him from when I went to the Summer camp a year ago. He was pretty cool.”

PS: What was your impression of Hammerschmidt?

Thibodeaux-Benoit: “Especially whenever I was watching him during the spring game, he was like, he was really motivating. I saw, there was a safety that kinda got a lick put on him by Chuba Hubbard, and I saw Coach Hammerschmidt over there hyping him up. The next thing you know, that safety is smacking one of the running backs. I just like how even though something bad happened, he was still motivating.

PS: What do you think you can bring to the team and to the safety position?

Thibodeaux-Benoit: “To the team as a whole, I’m going to be someone who’s going to work regardless. That’s how I’ve always been, that’s what’s in my blood. I’m just going to work. It doesn’t matter where I’m at on the depth chart, I’m going to work. I’m always competing, I never settle with mediocrity.”

“To the safety position, I’ll be someone that can fill holes. I know I’ll have to get bigger for college. But for high school, tackling was my best attribute. I could cover and everything, but tackling was my best attribute. I finished my senior year with 130 tackles, so that says, because it was better than the rest of my stats, that I was a good tackler, especially in the open field. I was always able to take on those blocks.”

PS: How are you preparing yourself to head to college next semester?

Thibodeaux-Benoit: “I’ve been working out every day, and running. Whenever I went to the Spring game, the coaches, the DC, I got to meet him, and he told me that ‘working out is good and all, but we really need to make sure you’re in shape and that you can run with these guys. We’ll beef you up when you get here.’ So I took it and ran with it. I’ve made running a priority.”

PS: What was the experience like at the spring game?

Thibodeaux-Benoit: “It was great. I loved the atmosphere. Everybody’s so welcoming, it’s like a family. It was like that before I was on the team. Even when I was going there for camps, it was welcoming. It felt even more welcoming once I knew I was on the team. But it was just great atmosphere.”

PS: You mentioned meeting new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. What was your impression of him?

Thibodeaux-Benoit: “I really liked him. I’m sure he’s different whenever he’s on the field, but he’s kinda laid back and everything. I really liked how all the coaches, him especially, looked me in the eye. I like for people to look me in the eyes, and he really did the whole time I was talking. And the whole time he was talking. I just really got a good vibe from him. He seemed like he really knew, and he let me know, that he knew what he was talking about.”

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