By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Only two days after Iowa State’s Pinstripe Bowl loss to Rutgers, Kelechi Osemele began training for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Unlike many of his teammates though, Osemele didn’t stay in Ames to work out.
When it came time to decide where the 6-foot-6, 333-pound former Cyclone offensive tackle would prepare for last weekend’s NFL Combine, the answer was easy.
Osemele, who set personal records in every single event at Saturday’s combine, moved to Orange County, Calif. to work out at Velocity, a top of the line training facility and home to a handful of the top players in the NFL.
"It’s very relaxing when you’re not working," said Osemele. "There’s a lot of stuff that you can do like go to the beach or go to the pool and take a load off every day. It’s a good spot to be in.”
As one would imagine, life in "the OC" differs greatly from life in the great state of Iowa. The weather isn’t the only difference either. In Orange County, you never know who you might bump into.
“I’ve learned that there are a lot of celebrities and you can see one at any moment, said Osemele. "I was actually training today with Kevin James from Hitch. That was pretty interesting."
When he isn’t bumming around with the King of Queens, Osemele can be found rubbing elbows with other football studs like Brandon Marshall, Von Miller and Kellen Moore just to name a few.
Osemele, who also represented Iowa State in the 2012 Senior Bowl, called his combine performance a success. Osemele was a top performer among offensive linemen in the bench press (tied for third) and broad jump (tied for eighth).
"The entire experience was kind of like the Senior Bowl. It was very similar," said Osemele. "The majority of what you do are interviews that take up most of your day. You go to work on very little sleep every day. If I hadn’t have gone to Senior Bowl it would have really taken me by surprise."
To view all of Osemele’s numbers from the combine, CLICK HERE.
THE MCKNIGHT FACTOR: If you ask Osemele who the most important person has been to getting him where he is today, he answers without hesitation. It’s the guy who he still keeps in touch with on an almost daily basis, Iowa State strength and conditioning coordinator Yancy McKnight.
“I give him all of the credit. I can’t really take any for myself," said Osemele. "I didn’t start getting stronger until he got there. I credit him for the things that he does."
Osemele spent his first two years (the first a redshirt) in Ames with Gene Chizik’s staff. When Paul Rhoads was hired, he brought McKnight with him to town. That is when Osemele realized his full potential as a future NFL offensive lineman.
"You don’t just bulk up and get big (in McKnight’s strength and conditioning program). It’s more reaction and explosion and more work in the weight room on flexibility and stuff that helps you recover faster," said Osemele. "When you recover faster, you can do more and you start getting stronger. He knows what he’s doing.”
As for when/where Osemele will be selected in April’s draft, at this point he has no clue.
“It’s still too early to figure out. Anything can happen," said Osemele. "I have an idea of what teams are really interested in me but anything can happen on that given day.”
Most current draft projections list Osemele as a late first round or second round selection.