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Unfazed: Presley keeps it cool

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Brennan Presley

Brennan Presley's touchdown celebration in the fourth quarter. 

Sophomore receiver Brennan Presley trotted over to his sideline after short-arming a throw that, if completed, could have gone for a touchdown.

The conversation that took place after was telling. The double pass play, called in Oklahoma State’s 32-24 victory against Texas, was set up perfectly.

Quarterback Spencer Sanders turned to his right immediately after receiving the snap. Presley caught the ball and turned back to his left, firing the return pass at Sanders who had blockers and open grass in front of him.

Except the pass didn’t find Sanders. It found the grass in front of him.

"We had a good play, a throw back to the quarterback, when he threw a poor pass,” coach Mike Gundy said. “We might have scored on that play, so it was kind of a big deal.”

Presley did not receive a berating or have to apologize to a position coach when he trotted to the sideline. Instead, he cracked a joke with quarterback coach Tim Rattay.

“(Presley) was over there on the bench and Rattay walked by, and (Presley) was kind of in a somewhat comical frame of mind for a second,” Gundy said. “Presley was like, 'Hey I need you to work with me on my throwing next week, man.'”

Presley’s humor was well received by coaches and teammates. Joking about the emerging receiver’s one hopper continued after the Cowboys clawed out of a 14-point deficit to upset the Longhorns.

“If the outcome would have been different, they probably wouldn't have laughed, but I'm glad they laughed because we won," Presley said.

OSU practiced the play dozens of times leading up to breaking out the creative call in game. Presley routinely executed it perfectly in practice, but throwing a pass feels different in Royal-Memorial Stadium than the Sherman E. Smith Center.

“It is just so much different in the game,” Presley said. In practice I’m like, ‘OK, I have time.’ I got in the game, he called a play, and I caught it and all I wanted to do get it out as fast as I could. I don't want to get sacked.”

Gundy said the 5-foot-8 speedster has a happy-go-lucky personality. Not a lot phases the young wide receiver, even messing up on a play he knows he can do.

Perhaps it has something to do with Presley’s football past. His high school, Bixby, is one of the biggest in Oklahoma. Presley won a state championship his senior year in a college stadium, and completed a pass for the Spartans.

Gundy said the exposure Presley had as a high school star helped with his ability to play unfazed football as a sophomore in college. But he also said Presley would play the same at any level.

“You could take him out of here and go put him on down here for the Dallas Cowboys, and he wouldn't care,” Gundy said. “He'd just go play. That's just the type of personality he has.”

Presley has found plenty of success at OSU. His short-armed pass was the opposite of successful. Regardless of how Presley is playing, it might not matter. Gundy said he just goes with the flow.

“I try not to dwell on one thing,” Presley said. “Even when you miss a pass and stuff…even though I missed the pass we still have two more downs. I’m not going to pout.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com