Ready To Jump Off The Roster: Vili Leveni

This is part four as we count down from 10 to 1 the players that we think will jump off the roster this summer and fall to become major contributors for the first time in their Oklahoma State playing careers.

Now we are pulling these candidates from the brand new just reported freshmen and junior college players, the ones that reported in January, the redshirt freshmen and sophomores that played some last season, and even some third-year players that are either sophomores or juniors. The only criteria is that they have yet to regularly hold down a position in the two-deep depth chart.

Reviewing the first three players featured. Number 10 is freshman wide receiver James Washington, who has come in this summer and impressed the strength staff and his teammates with his work ethic and athleticism.

Number nine is Darius Curry, who impressed as a redshirt last season and gives the defensive staff a luxury of having a big, physical corner that can help against big and physical receivers. He is a good cover corner at his size.

Number eight is Sione Palelei, who has done a marvelous job of rehab on his knee injury of last fall during his senior season. He brings speed and power in a great combination to the running back position and has the ability to also be a home-run hitter at the position.

Now, number seven is Vili Levini.

Levini redshirted last season as a freshman even though there was serious thought to getting his feet wet because he has so much ability. Restraint here will be rewarded in the future.

Levini went from 6-3, 250-ish upon arrival to now being 6-3 and right at 275 pounds. His increased size and strength with really no loss of speed and athleticism gives the defensive staff all kinds of options in how to use him. He is quick enough to play a seven technique wide or a five technique and battle a tackle man up.

He is now even strong enough to play inside at the three or one tech as a tackle and take advantage of a slow twitch guard or center.

When Levini walks by you cannot help but be impressed. The bonus is while he has that "first player off the bus" physical appearance, he also brings that superior warrior mentality for the game that is often a part of the make up of players that are of Polynesian background. He seems to really get along and care about his teammates and is a popular member of the that talented across the board defensive line position group.

Levini is the fourth straight player in this series to be a newcomer freshman or a redshirt freshman, and while there will be some players with a little experience to come, Levini as well as anybody represents that player that can truly go from being unknown and unseen before to jumping off the roster and making plays.

He has all the God-given ability that you would look for in a defensive lineman. He has shown that in practice and the only obstacle right now for Levini is developing consistency and that comes with reps in practice and experience. He got the former in the spring and the latter is on the way this fall.


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