[Premium site article] Michael Oyefesobi is one of five new defensive linemen on the two-deep MSU defensive line chart.

If you do not know Michael Oyefesobi you may not know that he is a friendly, quiet, down to earth kind of guy. If you have watched him on the field, you surely know that he plays with determination, enthusiasm, and a hunger to step up and make plays. It is that kind of attitude that has allowed him to make an immediate impact on the defensive squad of the MSU football team.

Oyefesobi grew up in Miami, Florida where college football is second to none. Oyefesobi said, " Growing up as a little kid we were always playing football in the neighborhood looking at the University of Miami. That's the team down there, and everybody always playing football was what really got me started in it."

Michael continued his football ambitions at Miramar High School in Florida. What most people are not aware of is that he played tight end. During his senior year, he was credited with running a 4.8 second 40 meter dash. The change to the defensive line came when he gained about 80 pounds over the next two years.

About switching to the defensive line, Oyefesobi said, "I didn't really have a choice. When I left high school I weighed about 230. When I came back home after my freshman year at school I was 275. The following year I was 305, but I still had my speed. I thought the change would be good and I would be able to use my speed."

Michael actually models himself after Warren Sapp, the All-Pro defensive lineman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He said, "I look at Warren Sapp -- he is a big man who is agile. I'm not saying I'm like him, but I have good feet like him."

Michael is listed as a junior after transferring from Arizona Western College. There he played with current Bulldog teammates Kahlil Nash and Dannie Snyder. Like most defensive transfers, he came to State because of the defensive reputation. "They're known for having the best defensive lineman around," said Oyefesobi. "They are a bunch of hard-nosed type of players, and that's the way I like to play."

Oyefesobi is not the type of player that will walk around making a lot of noise, but when that whistle blows it's a different story. He said, "When you see me walking around campus I'm pretty quiet, but when I get on that field I'm another person. I just get hyped and that's what lets me play hard-nosed."

Probably the biggest thing that makes Michael unique is that he knows his role on the team and is not trying to overstep that role. He knows what he has to do to help the team and he will do what it takes to contribute. He said, "I'm just trying to put up my piece of the pie. I'm just trying to give my all for this team. We all have to work as a team."

Michael Oyefesobi's full name means "king" in Nigerian, and he says he is "definitely working toward that on the field." This is a person who is extremely nice and a pleasure to talk to. If you happen to bump into this man then take a minute to get to know him. Just remember when Saturday comes, he'll be getting to know the other team's ball carrier.

Hank Allen is a free-lance correspondent for Gene's Page. Hank is a student at Mississippi State University. He is also a reporter for the student newspaper, The Reflector. You can contact him by email at jha1@msstate.edu.

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