By JUSTIN RAINS
Three years ago, Sam Wren signed what might have been the most important document of his life — his letter of intent to play at Arizona Western.
Last month, he inked his signature to an even bigger one.
Wren, a 2010 graduate of Palestine High School and a star defensive player for the Wildcats in 2008 and 2009, signed his National Letter of Intent to play the next two seasons at Oklahoma State University.
Wren heads to OSU from Arizona Western Community College in Yuma, Ariz., where he was a standout defensive end the past two seasons after a redshirt campaign in 2010.
“I thank God for it and for everything that He has helped me accomplish,” Wren told OStateIllustrated.com after the signing. “I always put God first so, like I said, I feel good but I’ve got to give it all to Him.”
Wren wracked up 56 tackles and 20 tackles for loss in 2012, while helping the Matadors win their first bowl game in four decades.
He also tallied 15 sacks on the year, good for second in all of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
With his versatility — he can play both defensive end and outside linebacker — Wren is expected to make an immediate impact for the Cowboys, who’ll lose three seniors at the defensive end position alone.
But, what does the former Wildcat star think he brings to the table?
“My speed, the way I use my hands to get around the corner and my vision on how to see the linemen — how I can read the offensive tackle,” Wren told OStateIllustrated.com.
While at Palestine, Wren had 51 tackles and a team-high four sacks in his senior season, and continued to improve his game while at Arizona Western.
He was honored with first team spots on both the all-ACCAC (Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) and the all-WSFL (Western States Football League).
He was named the Defensive MVP of the El Toro Bowl after the Matador’s win over Nassau Community College, a game in which he had a sack in the 42-37 win.
Now, he’ll hope to continue to improve his game as he takes it to yet another level in the Big 12.
“(I want to be) just dominating my position. I mean, really that’s how I always do it,” Wren said to OStateIllustrated.com when talking about his goals for 2013. “I want to be the hardest working guy and dominate my position.
“At the end of the spring I want to feel comfortable with the whole system and really just make it happen for the season coming up. Basically, just go in with a great mindset and motivation to make it happen and do big things.”
Oklahoma State finished 2012 8-5 overall and 5-4 in the Big 12. The Cowboys capped their season with a dominant 58-14 victory over Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
OSU opens the 2013 season Aug. 31 at Houston’s Reliant Stadium against Mississippi State.
Sports editor Justin Rains can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org