I got a chance to chat with former Cowboy long snapper and recent Oklahoma State grad, Josh Elias. I asked Josh about lending us his unique perspective as we look forward to the 2016 football season.
Lucky for us, Josh loves talking OSU.
So he's going to start contributing to the site, bringing the perspective of a former player to our CRFF Roundtables. Stay tuned for that.
But first we'll give you a chance to get to know him a little bit. He's a great follow on Twitter so if you aren't already, given him a follow (@JMElias47).
Here's the Q&A with Josh.
What are you up to now? How's the transition from student athlete to the "real world" been?
I'm currently living back home in San Jose, CA. Luckily, I kind of ran into a job the day I got back from New Orleans, which I'm so grateful for because I was kind of freaking out about my future and what I was going to do. I'm still trying to figure out the future, but having a stable, full-time job is definitely a blessing. The transition has definitely been a lot easier than if I had not been a student athlete. Being a football player at OSU gave me confidence to be successful, no matter what I end up doing. Putting in the hours of workouts, class, meetings, and practice have helped prepare me for the "real world" because the work ethic involved with being a student-athlete, I believe, gives people an edge going forward in life.
What brought you to Stillwater in the first place?
My very first taste of real college football, the football that I had hopes of playing in, was in Stillwater, America. My second game of college football, as a 17 year-old freshman, was in Boone Pickens Stadium with Mike Stoops and Arizona and it was one I'd never forget. The atmosphere was unbelievable, and as a visitor it was daunting from the Paddle People to the zero space you get on the sidelines. I've never been nervous to snap in a game my whole career, except for that night. So in the transfer process, I got in touch with Robby Discher, who was the special teams graduate assistant, and as soon as I knew OSU was a possibility, I knew I was heading back to Stillwater.
What was your favorite memory at OSU on the field?
My favorite memory at OSU was beating OU in Norman in 2014. That was a feeling that not many people get to experience, and I got to live that experience with my parents in the stands. The whole game, no matter the score, the game just never felt out of hand. From Mason, to Tyreek, to the Defense and Des Roland in OT, to Ben Grogan, Kip, and Kaleb Smith with the winning operation; I'll never forget a moment. The stories from my parents about their perspective of that game are equally as memorable.
What was your favorite memory at OSU off the field?
One thing I loved about my time at Oklahoma State was the relationships that I was lucky enough to have with some of the best friends I've ever met. My favorite memories span from late night ping-pong matches in Stinchcomb Hall to celebrating wins on the strip, to Granny's with my parents on Sunday mornings. But one of my most favorite memories was winning intramural softball my junior year with some of my favorite people. As a huge baseball fan, it felt great to (kind of) get back on the diamond again.
How awesome was the Cactus Bowl punt recovery?
That was such a feeling of exhilaration. I was on cloud nine for sure and it was definitely one of my favorite football memories. That was the first time I had recovered a fumble at any level, and I was so pumped. That's a Long Snapper's dream. One of the San Francisco Giants broadcasters, Dave Fleming, was calling the game. I had tweeted him earlier that week and he tweeted me back saying he'd be looking for me. So to have him call my name on TV was surreal for me, even if he did mispronounce it.
What are your thoughts on the team heading into the fall?
I'm stoked for this group of guys this season. The key, as it is for every team, is to stay healthy. If we can stay relatively healthy, then I believe we'll have a great season that could match what we did last year. It'll be fun to watch Mason and his weapons on the outside, the experienced o-line and stable of backs improving the running game, the development of Jarrell Owens and Jordan Brailford on the edge, the toughness of our defense, and of course the continuing success and improvements in special teams. It'll be fun to watch Zach Sinor and Ben Grogan do their thing and help win games just like they did last year.
One of my players to watch this year is Jordan Sterns. I've never seen a guy want to be the best as much as him. I think if he stays healthy, then he'll be an All-American without a doubt.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check our next CRFF Roundtable later this week for more from Josh and the rest of us here at CRFF.