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Warren Peace: The vengeful reason Jaylen Warren transferred to OSU

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Jaylen Warren

Brandon Matich, Jaylen Warren’s high school coach, has a theory about why Warren transferred from Utah State to OSU.

Revenge.

After Warren’s senior year, where he broke a state high school record with 3,099 rushing yards, a Big 12 head coach flew out to East High School in Utah to meet with Matich about some of his players. On the visit, the coach slighted Warren.

“A Big 12 football coach came in here and told me that (Warren) was not an elite back and did not have elite speed,” Matich said. “I responded and said ‘then I don’t know what elite means, the kid has 3,000 yards.’”

Matich wouldn’t say which coach it was, but confirmed that they are a current head coach in the conference. He said he believes Warren went to OSU to show this coach how wrong he was. How is he so sure about this? Because Warren went there despite warnings.

“I was very against him going to OSU,” Matich said. “I did some research and told him that OSU’s running back stable is pretty full. But he had something he felt he needed to prove. So he had a great conversation with coach Gundy and went there.”

Warren’s risk has paid off so far. Against Boise State and Kansas State, Warren rushed for 218 yards and 123 yards respectively. Even his most talented former teammates, like Packers quarterback Jordan Love, continue to notice Warren’s progress.

“Jaylen is a really good back,” Love told The O’Colly. “I was only with him for a short time at Utah State, but when he got in, all he did was work and was able to jump up the depth chart and be a premier running back for us. He works really hard and I expect him to do big things at Oklahoma State as he continues to get opportunities.”

 

Proving people wrong has been his forte for years. According to Matich, Warren, who was a “chubby” high school freshman, pointed at the biggest running back on the team and claimed he would be better than him by his senior year. After breaking state records and never recording a fumble during his high school career, Warren accomplished this goal.

“There’s something to Jaylen that’s different,” Matich said. “I regret ever doubting that he could accomplish things (at OSU). I just wanted to make sure that he would shine in his senior year. He ended up doing that.”

If he’s able to continue his career, the next step for Warren would be a leap to the NFL. While Matich had his doubts about Warren at OSU, he said he wouldn’t dare question his abilities again.

“I’m never going to doubt the kid again,” Matich said. “I think he can play on Sundays and be very effective. Being at somewhere like Oklahoma State, where they’re relying on the legs and shoulders of this young man, I think that’s going to shine brightly for him.”

Matich isn’t the only one that’s surprised by Warren’s impact. When asked how much Warren has exceeded expectations this year, OSU coach Mike Gundy gave a candid response.

“Quite a bit,” Gundy said. “It’s hard to tell at times when we evaluate high school players, transfer players, we miss right? The NFL spends millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars, and they miss.

“So, obviously we liked him from what we saw on tape or we wouldn’t have brought him in here.”

While Warren’s gritty persona plays out on the field, his coach said he’s quiet and humble off it. Despite attending East High School, where the popular Disney movie ‘High School Musical’ takes place, Matich said Warren isn’t much of a celebrator or dancer.

“He has zero dancing spirit,” Matich said. “He’d be the first to admit that.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com