Hunter Woodard

Provided Oklahoma State offensive lineman Hunter Woodard, a Tuscola alumnus, is seen on the sideline during a 2019 game.

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HUNTER WOODARD is two years into his time with Oklahoma State football, with the 2018 Tuscola grad getting on the sideline in 2019 after redshirting as a true freshman. The offensive lineman offers insight:

How have things gone thus far in Stillwater?

It’s been a lot of fun. Kind of made me realize how much I have to work on and improve (at).

What are you working on in order to increase your chances at playing time?

From high school to college, I really started to learn how important the little things are. From steps to knee movements to where your elbows are at, it’s all the little stuff that really makes the biggest difference and is the biggest difference between a really good lineman and an average lineman.

What was the transition like for you, leaving Illinois to keep playing football?

It was tough at first, but the guys in my class made it a lot easier for me. I’ve been to several of their houses. Their families invite me over when they come to town for meals. They’re really good guys, and they made the transition a lot easier for me.

What’d you learn about football and yourself in that redshirt season?

Of course I didn’t really want to redshirt, but once I got there I realized how important the little things are and how much more I have to learn. That redshirt year was really important to my development.

What’s it like playing under coach Mike Gundy and his staff?

I love Coach Gundy. We all know that he always has our back. He’s always going to do what’s best for us, and behind the scenes he’s a really, really funny guy.You guys recently played in the Texas Bowl versus Texas A&M.

How would you assess the 2019 Oklahoma State season?

It was definitely a successful season. Our focus this year was discipline and toughness, and I really think we improved on that from my freshman year to this year. We just worked as a cohesive unit, and, really, I think we improved this year and are going to continue to improve. ... As much as I loved that state game (in 2017 at Tuscola), playing Texas A&M at the Texas Bowl definitely was a special experience.

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley grad Ben Freehill is on the Oklahoma State roster as a punter. Do you guys interact much?

We don’t mix a bunch with the specialists. When I bump into him up at the training table we talk about stuff back home. Bunch of stuff we miss, like Monical’s (Pizza). It’s nice to have someone from back home.