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Bernard-Converse, Brown excited for spring game

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Oklahoma St Baylor Football

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy argues with the referee in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Waco, Texas. (Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune Herald, pool)

For cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse, it’s the atmosphere.

“Fans, family and friends,” Bernard-Converse said. “Everyone is just coming back and enjoying the time and competing and having a good time with our brothers. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Running back LD Brown had similar thoughts.

“You can tell in the town it’s a different sense of energy,” Brown said. “It’s just people knowing they’re allowed in and being able to watch football.”

Oklahoma State’s spring game details were released Tuesday. The game will begin at noon and conclude at 2 p.m. on April 24 at Boone Pickens Stadium. The roster was divided into two teams, Orange and Black.

Fans will be able to attend but are asked to socially distance.

Coach Mike Gundy said the game will begin with a short practice and 7-on-7 events. Two 20-minute halves will be played, with a 5-minute halftime. Scoring, rules and stoppage will work like a regular season game.

“This is the first time we’ve (been able to play a real football game in spring) since I don’t know when,” Gundy said. “We think that’s what our fans want to see.”

Gundy said he asked each position coach to divide players evenly, and then had the teams assembled.

The Orange Team will be coached by running backs coach John Wozniak, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, offensive line coaches Joe Bob Clements and Charlie Dickey and cornerback coach Tim Duffie.

The Black Team will be coached by offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn, quarterback coach Tim Rattay, tight end coach Jason McEndoo, defensive line coach Greg Richmond and safety coach Dan Hammerschmidt.

Quarterbacks will wear gray jerseys for the game. Gundy said contact in the game will be a “full-thud” to avoid injuries.

Gundy said full-thud practices are when players wrap their arms around the player they want to tackle. He said sometimes they go to the ground, but they try not to.

“As much as I would love to have live tackling, we’re going to go full-thud,” Gundy said. “As I’ve moved forward during my career as a coach, in rare instances seen a young man get hurt in the (spring) game and he’s out for six months, I can’t deal with that.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com