The Edmond Sun

Sports

February 4, 2013

OSU's Bajema plays in Super Bowl

New Orleans — Billy Bajema won’t play every offensive snap and likely won’t catch a single pass in the Super Bowl. But for the former Oklahoma State University tight end and Oklahoma City native, simply playing in the pinnacle of his sport is worth more than gold.

“This is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little kid and now I’m getting to play in that game, so it’s just really special, really exciting and kind of hard to believe,” Bajema said. “It goes without saying that it’s a special game for everyone. ... After my first seven years in the league never even making to the playoffs, it’s really special and I’m really excited.”

Making his appearance in the Super Bowl on Sunday even more magical is when one looks back to where he was during the offseason. As a free agent after three years with the St. Louis Rams, Bajema wasn’t even certain he would be playing for an NFL team this season. Then the Baltimore Ravens came calling.

“I was still at home when training camps were starting, just working out and hoping for a call while not sure what was going to happen,” Bajema said. “The call could have come from anywhere at all and I would have been happy.

“But the fact that it came from the Ravens, as soon as it was from the Ravens I knew I was going to a join a team with a great history and was a winner. ... It’s just amazing looking back six months ago to not being on a team to where I am today.”

The symmetry of Bajema first trip to the playoffs doesn’t end there. When he lines up in the bulk formation for the Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans, he will be lining up against the same team that drafted him out of Oklahoma State — the San Francisco 49ers.

“A lot of the guys that are still on the 49ers are the same guys that I played with,” said Bajema, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 draft by San Francisco and played his first four years for the 49ers. “When we’re out on the field a lot of the guys out there will be guys I’m friends with and guys I played with for a team that I spent more time with than anywhere else in my career. So it’s pretty cool to reach the Super Bowl and be playing against them.”

With the journey the former OSU tight end has traveled since leaving Stillwater, he said family and friends are happy to see him finally get the opportunity to play in this type of game.

“I think everybody’s just excited. All of our friends and family are excited to watch the game,” Bajema said. “They are all just pumped up about it.”

Bajema isn’t the only former Cowboy representing Oklahoma State in the Super Bowl. OSU has four former players on the roster — two for each team — which ranks as the highest of any Big 12 Conference school and is third-most of any college being represented in the game.

“As an OSU guy and a guy who loves the Cowboys, it’s been exciting my whole career to watch their games on Saturdays and the great seasons they’ve been having. What the OSU football program has become is something to take pride in as someone who used to play there and played a small part in helping build the program to where it is today,” Bajema said. “You see it all throughout the league, there are Oklahoma State guys playing all over the place and doing well. That’s just a credit to the program and shows how well they’ve done there and how far the football program at OSU has come.”

Jason Elmquist is the sports editor for the Stillwater NewsPress.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • spts-DC Brock Ruminer dive TD catch.jpg Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A

    With the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association releasing enrollment figures, Deer Creek stands as the second-largest school in Class 5A with 1,252 students.
    Lawton Eisenhower, which had been a very strong football program in 6A, is now tops in 5A with 1,281 students.
    Schedules in football classification still remain the same until 2016-17. Del City will move back into 6A beginning in 2016.
    The statistics will not be deemed official until pending approval at the OSSAA’s board meeting next month.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson, Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins.
    The moves were made to aid OU’s defense. They could benefit both in the future.

    July 28, 2014

  • spts-OSU Yurcich.jpg Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.
    Yurcich and most of the Cowboys’ coaching staff attended the annual media golf outing  Wednesday at Karsten Creek. He, along with the other assistant coaches, talked about the upcoming season.
    “Every offense is going to be a little bit different from year to year, depending on the personnel,” Yurcich said. “I think you learn a little bit more about the players, because you know them for a longer time. You know a little bit more about the coaches you work with because you’re around them a little bit longer. All of those things factor into one more year of experience.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist

    The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored  Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.   
    Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg McKey to compete in North American final

    Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet  June 28.
    McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
    McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter      champion.
    The North American final will run Aug. 2           in Hershey, Pa.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
    “That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
    So, the answer is no.

    July 25, 2014

  • Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens

    During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
    After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
    Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    Alternates
    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Photos