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September 6, 2013

Lavey a team leader on defense for Pokes

STILLWATER — There’s no time to celebrate for Caleb Lavey.

The Oklahoma State linebacker was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, but he’s more interested about facing UTSA. He wants to keep looking forward after piling up a game-high 11 tackles in the Cowboys’ 21-3 season-opening victory over Mississippi State.

“It’s pretty cool, I’m honored,” the 6-3, 235-pound Lavey said. “But at the same time, when you’re playing week in and week out, you kind of have to forget about Mississippi State and move on to UTSA.”

That attitude is just one of the things that endears him to Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer.

“If you know Caleb like I know him, he shrugs that off like any other time he hears someone talk about him, good or bad,” Spencer said. “That’s why he’s such a great leader. He realizes in two weeks they could be saying something totally different about him, and that’s what I love about the kid.”

As good as his performance on the field was, what truly defines Lavey’s value to the defense was his leadership.

“All he cares about is lining up the next week and being the leader of the defense,” Spencer said. “That kid was unbelievable on the sideline Saturday. You talk about a champion and having one heartbeat, he was that guy. But he’s always been that guy. It’s stuff he’s been doing for years. He’s an emotional guy, he’s encouraging, just the epitome to what a leader is.”

After allowing a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter, the defense held Mississippi State scoreless the rest of the way and allowed the Bulldogs to cross midfield just three more times. The defense was particularly strong on third down, limiting the Bulldogs to just two conversions on 16 attempts.

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