Dez Bryant and Brandon Weeden joined the Oklahoma State football program in 2007. Weeden redshirted that year. Bryant played in 12 games, catching 43 passes for 622 yards and six touchdowns.
Bryant was 18 at the time, a year removed from starring at Lufkin High School. Weeden turned 24 during that season, a year removed from playing pro baseball.
Weeden signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys in March, reuniting the quarterback with the Pro Bowl wide receiver.
"He’s unbelievable at what he does," Weeden said. "It’s the same stuff he did when he was 18 when he came in. I have said it when we came in the same year, he’s just a freak. The guy is probably the most passionate football player. He loves the game more than anyone I’ve ever been around.
"He just wants to catch the ball. You can throw him footballs for 24 hours and the guy would never get tired. He hasn’t changed in that sense. Dez is one of the best teammates I have ever had, dating back to when we were at Oklahoma State. He’s just a passionate guy that will have your back until the end."
Bryant vividly remembers the first time he met Weeden on the OSU campus.
"I was like, ‘Man, he’s driving a BMW.’ Driving a black BMW, a black 745," Bryant said. "Remember seeing him get out of the car in the parking lot, and I was like, ‘Damn, how did he get that?’ Somebody had told me that he had played baseball.
"I’m left-handed, too. I should’ve been working on my pitch game."
Weeden never completed a pass to Bryant during their time together in college. Weeden didn’t become Oklahoma State’s full-time starter until 2010, Bryant’s rookie year in the NFL.
With Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo being limited during organized team activities and Kyle Orton not attending the voluntary workouts, Weeden has been often working with the first-team offense, giving him plenty of opportunities to throw to Bryant.
"He’s been doing an outstanding job since he got here," Bryant said. "In my honest opinion, I feel like he was doing some great things out in Cleveland."
Weeden, a first-round pick by the Browns in 2012, started 20 games in Cleveland. In 23 total appearances, he threw for 23 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.
The 30-year-old is hoping his freakishly talented former college teammate can help him have better times in Dallas.
And while Weeden might see the same passion, dedication and exceptional skill on the field from Bryant, he has also noticed some changes.
"I could tell the first day when I came in the locker room, compared to six or seven years ago, he had grown a whole lot," Weeden said. "He is making good decisions off the field, doing the right things. He’s always been a great guy, never been a problem child. But he’s growing up. He’s maturing. I wouldn’t expect anything less. He knows he has to."