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Former Dickey Player at K-State Says You Won’t Find a Better Football Mind

A look from within at new OL coach Charlie Dickey

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The general consensus on new offensive line coach Charlie Dickey is that he’s going to fit perfectly in Stillwater and with what Oklahoma State and head coach Mike Gundy are trying to do. I reached out to former Kansas State lineman Boston Stiverson, who played in Manhattan from 2011-15 and asked him for his thoughts on the new main man on the OL for the Pokes. Hope you guys enjoy the Q&A.

Kyle: What was your background with Coach Dickey — how did you get to Kansas State and what was that recruiting process like?

Boston: I was actually recruited by Coach Dickey as well as Joe Bob (Clements) there in Wichita … I met Coach Dickey my junior year of high school. I honestly didn’t think college football was in my future in my early years of high school ….

Kinda got more serious about it and was kinda getting recruited by larger schools. My first time I met coach Dickey was at a summer camp going into my senior year. He invited me specifically to come to this camp, and it was great. Great interaction with Coach Dickey.

Coach Dickey, I guess, wasn’t sold on my abilities and everything quite yet (laughs). He actually invited me back to the same camp the next weekend, where the more highly recruited K-State lineman recruits were coming back into camp. [He] wanted to see me go one-on-one and that type of thing. Went back that next week, did very well and uh Coach Dickey offered me right after that camp.

I clicked very well with Coach Dickey and I knew that K-State was where I wanted to be. So that’s kinda where it all started and Coach Dickey kinda took me under his wing.

As far as Coach Dickey, the first thing to know about him is how genuine he is — he and his family. They are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Very loving. Coach Dickey treated me like I was his own son as he did with everybody on the offensive line. That’s the first thing that people are going to see with him.

What I appreciated most about Coach Dickey was how he formed me into the man I am today in the way that he is very demanding and cares a lot. So he demands a lot out of you … he will coach his butt off to get the most out of your abilities and all those types of things both on and off the field. He wants great grades in class, first and foremost. On the field he will expect a lot out of you as far as working your tail off, not taking days off, but also being a student of the game in the film room and learning as much as you can as fast as you can to help you be prepared.

Kyle: I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed with Dickey is player development. Where did you develop the most?

Boston: So Coach Dickey is huge on fundamentals and technique. And I had zero of that coming out of high school. I was just bigger than everyone, stronger than everyone. And I got away with it. Going into college I found out real fast that that is not going to get me anywhere.

So early on and all the way through my college career, technique and fundamentals, he really hammered that into your head and we practiced that obviously every single day. So I would say my development, as far as an offensive lineman and football player, really came from the fundamentals of how to be great.

And then Coach Dickey is one of the smartest football minds that I have ever been around. Just watching film with him and learning schemes and that type of things. He was an expert on it and he expects you to be an expert on it.

I’ll never forget, my first fall camp I was going to redshirt. I was No. 2 going into camp and our starting guard got hurt and he threw me in with the starters. I probably knew 20 percent of the playbook at that time (laughs) and honestly that wasn’t an excuse for Coach Dickey. He expects the best out of you. So I learned real quick that I need to be in the film room and playbook way more often than I was doing. So that was a really good experience for me

As far as football minds, you won’t find a better one than Coach Dickey.

Kyle: Oklahoma State and K-State have some similarities in the way they recruit. Not going after all the 5-star recruits in the country. What was he looking for [in a recruit]?

Boston: First and foremost is character. How does that person carry themselves? Are they a good person in the community or are they a good person in school? Do they get good grades? I think his philosophy is once you have that good foundation you can teach them to play football and that type of thing.

I think the second thing is work ethic. Work ethic is huge for him. He will again demand a ton out of you so if you are a recruit in high school and not working hard in the weight room or not working hard off the field or on the field, he is not gonna go for that. He is not gonna beat around the bush and that type of thing.

He really wants someone genuine that works hard and is a good type of person that is willing to put the effort to work hard to be great and be coachable. I think when you look at his offensive line at K-State while I was there, we didn’t have any big-name guys. We were all two-star recruits coming in.

If you look at guys leaving K-State and how developed they are and how at the next level with Cody Whitehair and B.J. Finney and those types of guys — B.J. was a walk-on at K-State and now he’s a starter at Pittsburgh so he just gets the most out of you and he develops you a ton.

I know with Oklahoma State I was recruited by Oklahoma State as well so as far as culture, I think he is going to fit right in.

Kyle: How surprised were you to see he was going to Stillwater? 

Boston: I wasn’t surprised.. When the new coach came in [to Manhattan], I shot [Dickey] a text and he didn’t really know what was next for he and his family. He’s got a big family and they are all very close.

I wouldn’t say I was surprised at all as far as the fit for both OSU and Coach Dickey. Stillwater I would say is very similar to a Manhattan, Kansas. Small town, more of a blue-collar type of environment. Great football history and sports history there. So I think the transition and the fit is just the best the way that both sides are.

Kyle: What’s a a moment with Coach Dickey where you realized college football is much different than high school football?

Boston: I redshirted my freshman year and we had a lot of senior offensive linemen, and and we were good my redshirt year with Collin Klein and all those guys going to the Cotton Bowl. But once the season was over Coach Dickey brought me and B.J. Finney and Cody Whitehair into his office and he sat us down and was like, ‘Hey man, I know y’all are young, but this is your time to step up and be the guys now.’

As an offensive line you pride yourself in being the leaders of the team and really carrying the team with you. Being 19 years old, sometimes you get in the mindset of my time is still two years away from now, but he sat us down, and said we were gonna have to grow up fast and he’ll help us get where we need to be coached at and helped at but our time was now. [That year] was definitely hard and fast.

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