USU football: Aggies have played a key role in senior defensive lineman’s outlook on life

By Megan Allen

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2012 4:20 p.m. MST

“It feels good to become that team that people look up to. I don’t want to be cocky or anything, but we’re getting there. The talent that we have on this team is way better than it has ever been,” Lasike said. “Not everyone can say they played for not just a good, but a great Division I football team, an uprising football team. I’m not saying we’re the top dogs, but we’re a powerhouse.”

Like so many players, Lasike firmly believes his football experience is what helped force him to grow up. The lessons he learned and trials he went through have made him stronger and more ready to face the world.

“The way coach Andersen handles us and puts us first, the way our coaches take care of us and the way we take care of our own responsibilities, those experiences have turned us from boys to men,” Lasike said.

Lasike is one of many Polynesian players on the Utah State team. The coaching staff has made that demographic a priority when it comes to recruiting goals. Having so many teammates that come from a similar background has helped Lasike.

“It feels good to have people around who are like you. There’s a big respect for your elders in our culture and that carries over here. Being around all the Polys teaches the other guys on the team that same respect. It teaches us to work toward what we want and create the competition,” Lasike said.

While he has high respect for his teammates as well as authority, Lasike also likes to have a good time on the field. He has a very outgoing personality and isn’t afraid of what others may think.

“I’m a happy guy. I like to keep the group happy during the games and practice. I’ll jump around. When it’s time to get down to business I keep it calm,” Lasike said. “If someone messes up, I’m quick to call them out, so if I mess up then the rest of the guys are quick to call me out. I’m an outspoken person. Whatever is in my thoughts, I’ll say it out loud.”

Maile said he appreciates what Lasike brings to the team both on and off the field.

“It’s a new journey every single day with him. He has a great personality. He kind of brings the life to the party. He works hard and does a great job and does everything we ask him to do,” Maile said. “He’s the life of the defensive line, both with his personality and what he brings to the field.”

Lasike will graduate from Utah State in December with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. Eventually, he plans to return home to California where he hopes to be a coach.

Megan Allen writes for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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