Clark Kent during the week, Superman on Saturdays, Emmanuel Ogbah leading Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Okla. -- During the last moments of a particularly brutal summer workout, David Glidden decided he’d give teammate Emmanuel Ogbah a hard time.

Instead, Glidden wound up making him mad.

“I wanted to give him some grief,” Glidden said of Ogbah, who while finishing off a final round of rope-grip pull-ups didn’t quite go all the way down.

Glidden jabbed, “Is that all you’re going to give?”

Ogbah didn’t find the good-natured ribbing to be a joking matter. He immediately grabbed the rope and did an extra set -- this time to perfection.

“Emmanuel is a real quiet and humble guy,” Glidden said. “But he has this switch. And when he turns it on, he becomes a freak.

“The Incredible Hulk is probably a perfect way to put it.”

Off the field, Oklahoma State’s star defensive end might be more Clark Kent, down to the very glasses he sports around campus. On the field, where the glasses come off, Ogbah has been a superman -- and a major reason why the sixth-ranked Cowboys are 10-0 and knocking on the door of the College Football Playoff.

“Clark Kent by day, Superman by night,” said safety Jordan Sterns. “Great leader, easy going, genuine dude. Then he turns into a new person on game day, screaming, ready to play and be dominant.”

No Big 12 defender has been more dominant this season.

Though a starter only two years, Ogbah is the FBS career active leader with 26 sacks. This season, he ranks third nationally with 11 sacks, and he tops the Big 12 with 15.5 tackles for loss. As a result, Ogbah this week was one of only two defenders named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award’s 15-man semifinalist list.

"Someday, somebody (in the NFL) is going to get a big-time player," said coach Mike Gundy. "They're going to be glad they have him on the roster."

The Cowboys are sure glad they have him on their roster for now.

At 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, Ogbah has the unique combination of strength, size and speed to overwhelm opposing offensive tackles. Because of his relentless pass-rushing skills, defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has effectively utilized three-man fronts at times against the Big 12’s wide-open offenses, knowing that with Ogbah in pursuit the quarterback still won’t have too long in the pocket.

Yet Ogbah’s value to the Cowboys has transcended whatever pass-rushing prowess he possesses.

“A guy you can trust, and know he’s going to get the job done," said linebacker Seth Jacobs. "He brings all the qualities of a lead-by-example kind of guy."

Ogbah indeed has been leading the Cowboys with action. To this day, he’s never missed a class at Oklahoma State. Never been late to a meeting. Never skipped a workout.

“You get a great player that has all those measurables, that has all those statistics, and he’s not an issue in the locker room, a great teammate, goes to class, on time, a good student, a good person and very humble,” Spencer said. “You might have that guy getting all that production, but he might be a pain in the rear end. That guy might affect the rest of your team. We don't have that with Emmanuel. What makes him so valuable goes beyond numbers. You got a leader that does things right."

Ogbah's unassuming off-field personality was on full display earlier this month, when he was inexplicably left off the semifinalists list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which goes to college football’s top lineman or linebacker. Oklahoma State’s sports information department even sent out a mass email to reporters decrying the snub.

In Stillwater, the only one that didn’t seem to care was Ogbah.

“I didn't even know about it until somebody told me I wasn't on the list,” Ogbah said, laughing about the matter. “I was like, ‘Ok?’”

The slight made national headlines, which prompted Ogbah to issue this tweet:

Ogbah’s disposition stems from his humble roots.

As a 9-year-old, he immigrated to America from Nigeria with his family, which includes an older brother and three younger sisters. Ogbah said his parents taught him to “always be humble” and “to appreciate what you have.” According to his father, that message has always resonated.

“He believes in the family,” said Richard Ogbah. “That’s why he never likes to take credit for anything, and is always giving credit back to his teammates. He has this team spirit in whatever he does.”

When he arrived in Houston, the only football Ogbah had ever known was soccer. But he quickly took to the American sport, and began modeling his game after New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, also of Nigerian descent. To this day, Ogbah watches highlights of Umenyiora right before every game.

"Always trying to pick up a new move," he said.

Lately, Ogbah has had all the moves. Saturday at Iowa State, he delivered a pair of ferocious drive-ending sacks that helped ignite Oklahoma State’s second 17-point comeback of the season.

“When I watch film, I’m like, ‘Wow, is that really me?'" Ogbah said. "But when the game is on the line, I'm a different person."

Clark Kent by day, and Superman by night. With the Cowboys thankful they have both.

“The glasses fit him," Jacobs said. "It’s who he is.”