"It was wonderful. I got on the field and I forgot everything, man. It was just a wonderful feeling just looking out at the fans and just being on the field with my brothers."
USC freshman outside linebacker Oluwole Betiku was overwhelmed by the feeling of being on the field and playing in a game at the Coliseum for the first time.
From Lagos, Nigeria to the United States, the East Coast to Gardena (Calif.) Serra and from being a UCLA commit, de-committing and eventually choosing to be a Trojan, Betiku has had a long journey that led to him playing against Colorado for one third down play in the first half on Saturday. It was his first game action as a collegiate athlete.
It was only one play, but it had an impact.
"It's something you dream about every day," Betiku said. "It's just something you dream about from your first day playing football...It's just a beautiful experience."
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound physical specimen was originally slated to redshirt this season. He is extremely raw, having only played two seasons of football, but recently it has seemed he's turned a corner.
"We saw the light click on for him over the last two weeks," USC head coach Clay Helton said. "We’ve decided to pull the trigger and allow him to help us on third down."
Helton also cited the proliferation of spread offenses that USC is currently facing in the middle of their schedule as well.
"You’re playing these teams that you could play anywhere from 80-100 plays a game. We need that third down pass rush and he gives it to us."
"Even though he looks like a 30-year-old man, he’s a true freshman and he’s learning a pro style system with Clancy. We haven’t given him the entire package…not quite ready for first, second down, but to be able to cut him loose and be able to get Chenna [Nwosu] or Porter [Gustin] a rest real fast, we think is advantageous."
Betiku credits his time on scout team for earning him playing time.. After Betiku initially took scout team lightly, the offensive and defensive line assistants got on him and told him to treat each day like a game situation.
"[The coaching staff] always tell me every day that scout team is a way to get better. 'Go give these guys a good look and play every rep like it's a game. Tuesday on scout team is your game day,' so every day coming into scout team, I approached it like it was my game day and I tried to beat Chad [Wheeler] on every rep. I went aggressive on every rep.
Watch Oluwole Betiku, above, talk about how his first game action in the Colorado game was 'a dream come true' and the scouting report he gave on former Serra HS teammate Khalil Tate before facing Arizona.
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