Friday, July 9, 2010

Tyler Ogletree- Looking for a Championship Ring

Going in to the 2010 season, Jacksonville State will be counting on a major contribution from Senior Center- Guard, Tyler Ogletree. Ogletree is determined not to disappoint the Gamecock nation and has shown an increased commitment in pre-season workouts that has drawn the attention of players and coaches. Since arriving at Jacksonville State from Griffin, Georgia, Ogletree has battled some injuries but has always stepped up to contribute when necessary including replacing Reggie Wade at Center at the end of the 2008 season. Ogletree is working hard in the classroom as well and is on track to graduate with a degree in criminal justice this Spring.

Ogletree was kind enough to talk with after a 5:00 a.m summer workout. Here is what he had to say about his career at JSU, the 2010 season and his quest for a championship ring.

Q: How did you wind up at Jacksonville State from Griffin, Georgia?

A: A former player, Antonio Andrews and I came over for a Homecoming Game. After I visited the school, Coach [Kirt] Botkin [now at Arkansas] called me up every week, stayed in touch with me and told me I had a home at JSU. I felt good about it so I signed my letter of intent to go to JSU.

Q: Tell us about playing in the North - South All star game as a high school senior?

A: I played with Marcus Ball, Jermaine Cunningham . . . [a lot of great players]. I bonded with a lot of the guys. It was a good experience to get to play in thaT all star game.

Q: What are some of your personal hilights of your time here at JSU?

A: One hilight was playing as a redshirt freshman after recovering from my knee injury. The first game I played was at Memphis which was a big game for us. I was nervous and had butterflies in the game, but after that I really came along. Another very memorable game for me was against Florida State last year.

Q: What position do you see yourself playing this year- guard or center?

A: I will probably play both. I don’t have a preference - wherever they need me the most, I’m down for it. If it helps the team win games, I’m for it.

Q: As a team, what are your goals for the season?

A: We are going to prove that last year was not a lucky year. We are going to try and make it to the playoffs again and hopefully take it to the national championship. We are very hungry. There was a bunch of us here in May working out on our own, when we did not have to be. It was good. We are focused on football this year.

Q: I know you have been hitting the weight room, who are some of the top lifters on the team?

A: Curt [Porter] is one of the strongest ones. Monte Lewis and myself are also some of the top lifters. We have a lot of offensive lineman that are coming along in the weight room getting really strong.

Q: What are your individual goals this season?

A: Just to be remembered as a good player and a good leader. I am anxious to get a [championship] ring, that’s what I want. I want a ring before I leave Jacksonville State. I really don’t care about individual awards, I just want our team to be good and to have a great season.

Q: Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking?

A: Run blocking. I like a lot of contact. I’ve been doing it since high school, because we did not pass the ball that much. I like getting after it in run blocking.

Q: Do you think we will be a more run oriented team in 2010?

A: We will still be balanced. We have good receivers and good running backs. We will still be able to throw it around.

Q: Who do you see stepping up for the Gamecocks in the running game?

A: Calvin Middleton will be a big factor in the running game. He is working hard this summer. Also, Richard Freelon, is a hard runner, very fast. I see him stepping up as well.

Q: What’s it like blocking for two guys with different styles like Calvin Middleton, a big brusing runner, and Jamal Young, who is really elusive?

A: Its different, because you realize who you have in the backfield with you, but there is not a certain way you have to block for each one. I block hard for either one of them because if you give them just a little crease they are going to make a play.

Q: Tell us about playing for Coach Smouse, your offensive line coach?

A: He expects greatness in practice, in a game, outside of football, in the classroom- it doesn’t matter where you are. He is very demanding. He is a demanding coach, but I like playing for him.

Q: Lets talk about your teammates. Tell me about Offensive Tackle, Curt Porter?

A: Curt is a good guy and a leader on this football team. We have been together since day one. Curt is my main man, I love playing next to him on the offensive line.

Q: What about Justin Kay?

A: Another good guy. Justin has never let me down.

Q: Tylor Chambers?

A: Tylor works hard. He is still young and learning, but he plays hard. He does his best whenever he is out on the field.

Q: Who are some young guys you expect to step up this year on the offensive line?

A: I would have to say Tori Mobley, Taylor Johnstone. We have some freshman that are coming in this year that are going to have to step up. Everybody has to play a part this year. The more offensive linemen we have, the better we can be. We will really miss Reggie Wade. He was a very good leader of this team.

Q: Who are some of the defensive lineman that are really tough to go up against in practice?

A: Monte Lewis, Jameson Wadley, Demetrio Tyson.

Q: What makes Monte Lewis such an outstanding player?

A: He is strong and quick and he plays very smart. He keeps you guessing about what he is going to do.

Q: How about Wadley, why is he such a tough defensive lineman?

A: He goes full speed every time. He keeps you guessing as well, you never know where he is going to be.

Q: Who are some young guys on the team you think might make some noise in 2010?

A: A.J. Davis [cornerback], Jason Horton [defensive back], Justin Howard [tight end]. I’m also looking forward to seeing Tori Mobley back on the field this year.

Q: Are you excited about the challenge of going up against Ole Miss’ highly touted defensive line?

A: Oh yes. it’s a challenge to play against good defensive linemen. Its an opportunity to show how good you are.

Q: Do you think that the showing you made against FSU and Georgia Tech last year will help you mentally against Ole Miss?

A: Those two games gave us confidence that we can play with anybody. We can step up to whatever is put in front of us.

Q: Who are personally your biggest rivals in the OVC?

A: Eastern Kentucky. [I’m also looking forward to Eastern Illinois] they always play us tough every year.

Q:: What are you going to do once your career ends?

A: After I graduate I may pursue my masters. If not, I would like to get in to the security area or maybe try to work for the Secret Service. I look forward to getting into the workforce.

Q: Before we sign off, do you have any message to the Gamecock fans out there?

A: Yes, they need to come support us. This is going to be an exciting season with the new stadium. We are going to try and put on a great show and win a lot of games this year.


  1. Great interview with Ogletree. Keep up the good work. Always glad to learn more about the players.

  2. Tree, this is Coach T. So proud to have had the chance to coach you at Griffin!!! I knew you were going to be an impact player based on your enthusiasm as a young buck!!!