The Incredible KO

By Chris Williams, Publisher
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

Kelechi Osemele is a super nice guy.

When Iowa State’s 6-foot-6, 347-pound monster offensive tackles isn’t padded up, Osemele is a giant teddy bear. He’s polite. He’s very well spoken. He’s an overall pleasant person to be around.

That is until you make him angry.

That’s what football does to “KO,” who many are predicting to be All-Big 12 in 2011.

“I’m a completely different person when I am on the field,” Osemele told during the Big 12’s media days in Dallas this week. “It is almost on a biochemical level. As soon as I step on the field, I get goosebumps. I start sweating. I can’t really explain it. I have split personalities.”

This transformation begins on the team bus ride to the stadium.

“I keep to myself,” Osemele said. “That’s when I really start feeling it. When I step on that grass for the first time I am gone. I’m completely in the zone.”

Osemele’s choice of pregame music likely has something to do with this alter ego.

“I listen to anything that is violent,” Osemele said.


He turns into Hulkster mode during practice,” said Iowa State’s All-Big 12 linebacker Jake Knott. “You don’t want to let him get his hands on you. If someone ever makes him mad, just don’t get in front of him. He will land on you too when he tosses you on the ground. I’ve seen it done before.”

Last week, Rivals.comranked Osemele as college football’s 35th best player heading into the 2011 season. He’s a first-team All Big 12 candidate and is likely going to be a first round pick in next years NFL Draft.

Still, he has critics.

“I’ve heard that I am overhyped,” Osemele said. “I’ve heard some criticism from some Hawkeye guys. There’s a reason that I’m playing and they’re not so there’s really nothing they can do about it.”

“It gets you going. It pisses you off. It makes you work harder. It motivates you to grind.”

There is a lesson to be learned by all of this fanatics. If you see Osemele walking around Ames, feel free to say “hello” to the big guy. He’ll likely smile, sign an autograph for you and be on his way.

But at around 4 p.m. on Sept. 3 during Iowa State’s traditional spirit walk before the season opener vs. Northern Iowa, it’s probably best to leave the "Incredible KO" alone.