DIONTE SAVAGE, OG, 6’5 ½, 335, ARIZONA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE, YUMA, ARIZONA:
First, you have to love a guy that has lost 90-pounds so that he could put himself into a position to chase his dream of playing D-1 football. Second, for offensive guard Dionte Savage of Arizona Western Community College, to play well enough to recently earn an offer from OU and a number of other Big 12 programs, tells you volumes of just how talented Savage really is.
Savage is still developing as a player but he is proud where he has come from and he is looking forward to his future.
“Yeah I lost about 90-pounds over a year,” said Savage. “What you have to do is change your diet and eat right, and then run and workout. Make sure you run every day and then no fried foods, pizza, no sweets and eat right. People really know what to eat if they want to stay healthy. I mean I am no expert, but common sense can tell you what to eat, because I just started eating right and running and the weight just started to shed off of me.”
“I just disciplined myself and started to eat right. I had my brother (Deandre/Texas A&M Kingsville) along with me and that was good because we pushed each other. This wasn’t easy because I like to eat, but I had to discipline myself and eat better foods.
“I like my weight where it is now, but I think I will lose ten more pounds before the summer. You know ten to 15 more pounds and tone up a little bit more than I am now. I mean that is the plan and what I hope to do.”
With the weight off Savage is still a large man, but now he has better quickness and better feet and without question he is much more explosive off the snap of the football.
“I had a great year this past season,” said Savage. “I trained hard before the season and it paid off for me because I had a great year and I can only get better. I plan on doing the same thing at my next school coming in and making a big impact on that team.
“I play real aggressive on the field. As an interior guy I have to play real aggressive and I love run blocking. I am a good pass blocker, but I am a great run blocker especially on the run-down. I just feel that is my game, run blocking and playing physical on the field. I am a smart football player too as well, picking up the blitzes and the linebackers on the zone-blocking. I graded out at 89-percent on the year and I am only going to get better.”
One important element to Savage’s game is his attitude.
“I definitely play with a chip on my shoulder,” said Savage. “I have a lot of self motivation, and I love the game of football. You can’t play football without being physical and being a self-motivated person helps me a lot, and having a chip on my shoulder I definitely bring attitude to the game.”
Recruiting has picked up for Savage as his offer list is now up to nine with OU being the latest school to offer him.
“Recruiting is great as I am getting more offers and I am separating the schools trying to figure out which schools are better for me,” said Savage. “Recruiting is great for me, but it has all started to get confusing, because it is coming down to the wire and coaches are beginning to put more pressure on me and I am just trying to make sense of it.”
The Sooners checked out Savage last week. They offered over the past weekend and Savage is now set to visit the Sooners this weekend, the final weekend for visits on the recruiting calendar.
“I will be visiting Oklahoma Friday,” said Savage. “Oklahoma is already a successful football team because in the last 12-years they have won eight Big 12 Championships, and their tailback Damien Williams and I have a great relationship because he played last year with me here at Arizona Western.
“I really don’t know much else about OU Football expect they are successful, but I am going down there this weekend to find out more about it. I want to see if it is a better fit for me and that will be the key. Damien is going to be my host for the visit and I am looking forward to that.”
“Coach (Bob) Stoops is going to call me tomorrow and I am looking forward to talking to him,” said Savage. “My relationship with Coach Heupel and Coach Kittle is going great and they seem to be pretty cool guys, but I can tell they are both all business. They are OU coaches and you can tell they know what they are doing.
“I really don’t know too much about them until I get a chance to meet them in person so I am looking forward to going down there on Friday. I really don’t know too much about Oklahoma except that they are a great football team, and the tradition there is crazy with all the players they are turning out. There are all kinds of players in the NFL that went to OU, and I am looking forward to going down there and finding out more information about it.”
Savage has visited Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas and he is a soft verbal to the Bears.
“Baylor was my first official visit and they showed me a great time,” said Savage. “I loved Baylor and everything about Baylor, and since it was my first visit they were all I knew and I didn’t know how to compare them to anybody. Now that I have three visits and getting ready to get my fourth in at OU things are beginning to get confusing
“Baylor is a great program and I love their strength and conditioning program under Coach Kaz (Kazade) and he is a mad man, and that was one of the things that I really fell in love with at Baylor, the strength and conditioning program. The academics are good at Baylor too.
“Then with Texas Tech they just made me feel at home. I felt really comfortable at Tech and I can see myself going there. I can see myself gong to Kansas too. Kansas really made me feel at home and I already have two teammates that I played with at Arizona Western that are at Kansas. Coach Charlie Weis is great at Kansas.”
While recruiting become more and more confusing, Savage has come up with central factors that he hopes will separate the school of his choice from the pack.
“The school that puts me in the best situation to be successful is where I am going go,” said Savage. “I love be coached hard, and want to be correct on my mistakes so I don’t keep making the same mistakes. The school that is going to put me in the best situation to go to the next level is where I am going to go, and to that school that can help me get me that degree.
“I want to get a business degree and that is very important. Location is not a problem for me at all because my family has always been separated and I have had to travel to get the family together.
“Style of offense and depth chart matters and like with Oklahoma they already have a thick depth chart in the offensive line. With my whole thing, competition has never been a big thing with me, because I am going to come in and work hard and be a leader and give everything that I have. Competition has never really been a problem for me because where ever I go I am going to play. I don’t care what anybody says where ever I go I am going to play.
“I know Coach Heuple would not have recruited me if he didn’t want his offense to become a more physical offensive unit and a more physical running football team. If they didn’t need me they would not have offered me and they would have used my scholarship for somebody else that could help them more for something else they need, but they offered me so I know they need a player like me in their program. In their offensive line they need players that can be more physical, and that is what I bring.”
Savage says he has four classes to pass this semester and if he does then he is on pace to graduate in May.