Good KO Article
Article from Fox Sports, Osemele just discussing a few things about his life and cyclone football.
AMES, Iowa (AP)
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is glad to have Kelechi Osemele blocking for the Cyclones.
At 6-foot-6 and 347 pounds, Osemele not only is the biggest player among Iowa State's regulars, he's also the most highly regarded.
''Thank goodness he's on our side,'' Rhoads said.
Osemele is listed on numerous preseason All-Big 12 and All-America teams. He's a marked man on the Cyclones' offensive line and if he isn't taken in the first round of the NFL draft next year, he could go shortly thereafter.
All that hype probably will motivate any defensive lineman who stares into Osemele's facemask and that's fine, he says. It motivates him, too.
''That happens with anybody that has notoriety because you have only so many opportunities to play certain guys. It's going to be a motivator,'' he said. ''I'll definitely have to be on my game every game because everybody is going to have to show what they're made of.
''It's going to make me bring my `A' game every single game.''
Off the field, Osemele smiles and laughs easily and talks in a big baritone voice.
On the field is a different matter. Rhoads often talks about how Osemele manhandles opponents and stays on his block until the play is over.
''I try to make every guy who lines up against me remember my name,'' Osemele said.
Osemele, who's just ''KO'' to his teammates, long ago learned the value of a strong work ethic.
His family moved from Nigeria to Texas, where Osemele grew up. In the Nigerian homeland of Osemele's family, his first name translates to ''Thank God.''
He attended Langham Creek High School near Houston and caught the attention of college coaches, who couldn't help but notice a guy who was 6 feet 5 and nearly 300 pounds.
He became part of Gene Chizik's first recruiting class at Iowa State, signing in February 2007. Osemele redshirted his first season, which is when he saw how much work it takes to play college football.
''You come here and you realize it's a whole different level of playing,'' he said. ''You come from high school football, Texas high school football, you think you work hard. Then you get here and guys are just, man, it's incredible. You've got to up your game. It's intense every day. Every day you have to bring it. If you miss out on one day, there's no telling how that's going to impact your season.''
Osemele was a backup through the first part of the 2008 season, which was Chizik's last at Iowa State. He got his first start in the eighth game of the year against Texas A&M. He hasn't missed a start since.
When the Cyclones open the season against Northern Iowa on Sept. 3, Osemele will start his 31st consecutive game.
''I'm really pleased with KO's offseason and his ability to work on his flexibility and what we refer to as bending,'' Rhoads said. ''He's bending his hips in a much better manner that will allow him to finish blocks in a way that draws attention. I think he deserves everything he's been given.''
Osemele has the long arms and agility needed to pass block, which has been important in Iowa State's spread offense and likely to become even more critical this year. The Cyclones are looking for more big plays in the passing game, and the linemen will have to hold their blocks longer to give plays time to develop.
They also need to cut down on the 33 sacks they allowed last year.
''I feel like (pass blocking) has improved because we have more talent,'' Osemele said. ''But it's still not quite where it needs to be.''
One of the biggest issues in the Cyclones' preseason camp has been the competition for the starting quarterback job, won by junior college transfer Steele Jantz. Not that it made much difference to Osemele.
''Our butt's facing the ball anyway, so it really doesn't matter who has the ball,'' he said. ''We're going to protect him either way.''
source: Iowa State coach grateful for tackle Osemele - College Football News | FOX Sports on MSN