Former Sooner Standout Gives Back To OKC’s Next Gridiron Greats

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Success is nothing new to J.D. Runnels.

Now he’s passing on all his football philosophies to a new crop of local standouts during his third annual pro day at his gym in Choctaw.

The former Sooner standout beamed like a proud papa today.

“It’s a day for me to show my appreciation for the kids the train with me,” Runnels said.  “I’m very fortunate, that a lot of those, 90 percent of the kids that were here do train with me commonly.  So just showing them that I care that there’s somebody out there that wants to give them the answers to the test.”

The special event allowed the area’s best to bounce skills around off each other.

The lifted level of play provided a special chance for some like OU commit Brey Walker.

“It’s cool cause like guys are on my type of level,” Walker said.  “I was joking around with them because they’re for real, and they know exactly what I’m talking about cause they’re on my type of level.  That’s what I like about being here.”

Runnels unique training through his gym and in particular at his pro day through games and specific drills helps his guy’s grow.

But it’s his experiences as a local high school standout and then success at the college and pro levels of football that his player’s say make him so easy to relate to.

Plus he’s pretty popular with the public.

“You go around and you say you train with J.D. Runnels and they’re like, ‘Oh yea.  Really?’," Cade Mashburn, Norman North senior linebacker, said.  “You don’t really understand when you say that all the people going, ‘Man, J.D.’  He’s more of a normal guy to us than other people see him as, so we get kind of a different feel for him.  It’s kind of cool.”

Runnels’ relationship extends to any step in his guy’s career’s like former Cowboy commit turned Texas A&M pledge Adrian Wolford.

“I know he’s been there, the college level,” Wolford, a Meeker High School senior linean, said.  “I know J.D. know’s a lot of people from Texas A&M.  He told me a lot about Texas A&M that I liked.  I know he can help me through this process.  I’ve already basically ended the process, but I know he’s helped me a lot through it.”

“When you lay your down at night, and kid’s are constantly texting you saying ‘Hey I can’t wait to come see you tomorrow, or I can’t wait to get better tomorrow.  I want to do this.  This is what I want to work on.’  That will drive a person, and that truly does drive me."