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UB signee: Big Minnesotan, Awosika, helps re-stock OL

The University at Buffalo has been hit hard by the graduation of quality offensive linemen the past two seasons. Restocking the front five is a priority for coach Lance Leipold.

UB added an athletic big man with the signing of Kayode Awosika from Maple Grove (Minn.) High School. Awosika – pronounced Coyote Iwo-shiek-a (I think) – is 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds.

He’s another guy who had an impressive collection of mid-major offers. They included: Wyoming, Nevada, Iowa State and Hawaii. UB offensive line coach Daryl Agpalsa made a visit to Awosika’s home on Jan. 20. He’s a two-star player who was rated 17th in Minnesota. He was first-team all-state for a powerhouse team that went 9-3 and lost in the Minnesota semifinals.

Maple Grove coach Matt Lombardi says Awosika excelled in basketball, too, and that’s indicative of his high-end athleticism for an O-lineman.

Said Lomardi: “He’s a great athlete. He was a starting forward on the basketball team for the last three years. He didn’t play this year. They’re in the top four in the state. He put his focus on football this winter. He’s a three-year starter for us. He’s between 6-4 and 6-5 and 290. He’s got unbelievable feet. He’s got basketball-player type feet, and he’s very aggressive, too. I think he’s going to be a 310- 315-pound kid who can move. He’s pretty athletic and has a lot of tools to work with.”
“He’s very young. He pretty much skipped a grade. He turned 17 like the last game of the year this season as a senior. He was a 14-year-old starting left tackle as a sophomore in the biggest school division in the state, and we’re a top-four team in the state. All the schools have 3,000 to 3,500 students.”

“He’s a great kid, he has a great family. Last year he played guard because we pulled him a lot and he was a good enough athlete to play in space. I moved him to fullback sometimes. He played D-tackle the whole year and had seven or eight sacks.”

Lombardi on the choice of Buffalo: “He was very comfortable. With the new staff and the success they’ve come from, I think he liked going to a program that he thought had coaches who were championship caliber, and I think he really liked the campus. He enjoyed his visit.”

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