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'Unsung hero' Okung working to be draft's No. 1 tackle

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted Feb. 25, 2010 @ 4:47 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

INDIANAPOLIS — Russell Okung might be a mild-mannered, humble young man, but it's clear that he has dreams of being the first offensive tackle off the board in April's NFL draft.

After measuring in at a mammoth 6-5, 307 pounds, the Oklahoma State product spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday afternoon, frequently showing his competitive nature.

"Whatever position you're at, you want to be (taken) first, you want to be No. 1," Okung said. "As competitors in the game of football, you don't want to settle for anything less."

PFW's No. 2-rated offensive tackle, Okung certainly knows a little bit about competing at the college level. A first-team All-American in both 2008 and '09, he started 47 consecutive games during his career with the Cowboys, protecting the blind side of QB Zac Robinson.

Okung has spent much of his time during the past couple months preparing for the Combine, working on every drill in which he's going to participate this week. Team interviews shouldn't be a big problem for him, either, as he never has had any character concerns. He plans on being completely honest and forthright when talking to NFL clubs.

"I'm coming out here just to compete and show what I've got," he said. "I don't want to shy away from competition. I'm going to take full advantage of it."

With so many tackle-needy teams sitting atop the 2010 draft, Okung can look forward to hearing his name called early on Draft Day. He's considered a near lock to be a top-10 selection, and a number of clubs could come calling. Unfortunately for the Texas native, he hasn't seen much of them on TV — he spends his Sundays in church.

Possessing all the talent needed to be a star and a very accomplished college track record, it wouldn't be shocking if Okung had an inflated ego. But the 22-year-old is just the opposite, willing to do whatever the coaches tell him and happy to go to any team that desires his services.

"I've always been an unsung hero. I'm definitely fine with that," he said.

Come April, however, that's exactly what he's going to be: a hero for a rebuilding organization.

 

For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.

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