Dean's List: More To OU's Kasitati Than Meets The Eye - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Dean's List: More To OU's Kasitati Than Meets The Eye

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KASITATI A POLYNESIAN SINGER AND DARN GOOD FOOTBALLER

  • Nila Kasitati is typical of many offensive linemen in that his role as starting guard is important but the public doesn’t know a lot about him. The 6-4, 315 pound redshirt senior from Euless, TX is atypical in that he talks softly but carries a big stick, is a musician who should not be labeled as another dumb jock – which reminds me of a dinner recently when a lifetime OU fan actually told the five people dining with us that he’d found that it very rare to find a great football player who was smarter than a lump of coal. A foolhardy notion, and Kasitati certainly is anything but. Last year he earned Academic All-Big 12 honors and Honorable Mention All-Big 12 as a player.  
  • The affable Kasitati is a talented vocalist who frequently performs at area hospitals and schools. After red-shirting in 2012 he played in just four games before suffering a knee injury against Texas Tech. But he’s healthy and eager to play a big role in helping the Lincoln Riley Air Raid offense succeed in 2015.
  • Riley’s system spreads the field which takes some of the heat off the responsibilities of the offensive linemen – a lot of one-on-one blocking. Check out our interview with Nila done11 days ago at the OU Media Day.  By the way, the pronunciation is NEE-luh KAH-sih-TAH-tee.

DARKHORSE PLAYOFF CONTENDER

  • Athlon Sports is listing OU as one of its Top 10 Darkhorse Playoff Contenders. Steven Lassan summarizes it this way: Oklahoma’s final record in 2014 was only 8-5, but the Sooners weren’t far off from winning 10 games last season. Coach Bob Stoops’ team lost by three in overtime to Oklahoma State, by one to Kansas State and by four to TCU. After recording a negative turnover margin (-5) in 2014, getting into the positive side of the turnover battle could swing a couple of games in Oklahoma’s direction. Also, despite last year’s disappointing record, the Sooners still have one of the Big 12’s most talented rosters. Could the new scheme and addition of coordinator Lincoln Riley catch the Big 12 by surprise? The change in offensive coordinators certainly worked with TCU last season. Oklahoma’s backfield is arguably the best in college football, and the receiving corps has options with Sterling Shepard and intriguing junior college recruit Dede Westbrook.
  • The five schools listed ahead of OU include Notre Dame, Clemson, Ole Miss, LSU and Boise State.

DON’T TEXT WHILE DRIVING

  • A text presumably originating from an OU offensive starter made its way to me today. In part, it indicated Trevor Knight is making a strong push to be named starting QB: Essentially, the text said, ‘it’s definitely a 2-man race,’ ‘ Trevor’s been better in game level scrimmages and was clearly best QB last week,’ and ‘lots of INTs and mistakes by Baker.’

MAYFIELD STILL PRESUMPTIVE MAN-UNDER

  • For the record, after spending time on campus yesterday, it’s my belief that the staff knows the direction they’ll go; that the starter will be named next week; and I will be surprised if Baker Mayfield is not the one they announce. But I remember breaking the story that the staff had decided to go with Trevor Knight over presumptive starter Blake Bell about this time two seasons ago. Knight is clearly a spunky leader who gives 100 percent every second of every day in everything he does. Though it would surprise many and disappoint some, it would be foolish to assume Knight has not chance of being named again this time around.

DON’T SLEEP ON TIGER TOMORROW

  • Just in case you were wondering, Tiger tees off at 6:50 CT tomorrow in the first round of the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.

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