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Catching On; A Ball Watchers Guide to Kassim Osgood

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/76393/47181_chargers_camp_football.jpg"><img title="Kassim Osgood" src="http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/76393/47181_chargers_camp_football.jpg" alt="Kassim Osgood" width="200" height="300" /></a></div>

    Kassim is best known to most fans of the San Diego Chargers as a special team's demon who will consistently make great plays and pin the opposing team deep in their end of the field. But there is more to this young man than just a willingness to get down field and deliver a hit on the opposition. There is a secret not many know about him- Shhhh, come close- Kassim is a- darn good wide receiver as well!

    <strong>That was then</strong>
    Though he was born in Boston, Massachusetts, home of the team many Charger fans hate with the passion usually reserved only for the Raiders, the New England Patriots. He moved to southern California, to Salinas, as a young man. In High School, he played in Jaycees All-Star game at Salinas High School in 1998, where he graduated. He scored 2 touchdowns in the game and the East beat the west by the largest margin in the history of the series 37-0, a record which still stands today. In high school his athletic abilities stood out as he lettered in three sports; Football, Basketball and Track.

    His road in College was not the typical route for a Pro Bowl, NFL player. He started his colligate carrier at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, where he was a Division I-AA All-America. He led the nation in receiving yards as sophomore while ranking second in receiving yards per game and sixth in catches per game. Kassim set an NCAA I-AA record with 376 yards receiving in a game against Northern Iowa.

    Then he became an Aztec. Now get this, Kassim while playing for the Aztecs of SDSU sported a jersey with the number 1. A bit flashy perhaps, but that is Kassim. If you got it flaunt it, and as a colligate receiver, he definitely had it! He was named first-team All-Mountain West Conference in 2002, that year Kassim ranked second in the nation with 108 catches and fourth in nation with average of 119.4 yards per game for total of 1,552 yards. He and teammate J. R. Tolver set NCAA records for receiving yards in a season by teammates with 3,337 yards and catches with 236.

    <strong>Charging to the NFL</strong>
    It must have been hard to go through College as a standout receiver then not get any calls come draft day. That however did not stop Kassim, he became one of the many standouts on the San Diego Chargers who was an undrafted free agent, joining other players such as Tight End Antonio Gates, Offensive Guard Kris Deilman, and Linebacker Stephen Cooper.

    As an undrafted Free Agent, Kassim had to find whatever means he had to stick on the team, and that is what he did, proving himself on Special Teams. In Kassim's first two seasons he got on the field at wide Receiver, catching two touchdowns in each season, two from Doug Flutie, and two from Drew Brees. That is two of the most popular Quarterbacks to pass the pigskin for the Chargers. Kassim has been voted player of the year, Special Teams for the last three years by his team mates.

    In 2004 Kassim made two of biggest plays of season in 34-31 win at KC Nov. 28, on the opening kickoff of the third quarter he ran down Dante Hall from behind. Hall appeared to be headed toward end zone and 92 yard touchdown return Kassim's relentless pursuit caused Hall attempt to change hands to avoid Kassim, during the process he fumbled to fumble while changing hands to avoid Osgood and Chargers recovered to keep score 17-14. Then in the fourth quarter while facing 2nd and 22 yards to go from their own 19 while trailing 31-24, Kassim caught career-long 65-yard pass from Drew Brees.. Four plays later, Chargers scored TD to tie game, 31-31.

    <strong>Drive to Excel</strong>
    For all his acumen, and recognition as a special teams player Kassim has felt some frustration over his lack of time playing wide receiver. He has often been outspoken in his displeasure about being only a special-teams specialist, even though that is the position where he has earned two trips to the Pro Bowl.

    There was offseason talk of trade demands, of moving on to a place where he had a better opportunity to play receiver on a regular basis. That said, I have never seen anything saying or showing that Kassim has ever taken a hard line with the Chargers on this.

    Considering the fact that Kassim wants to continue to improve himself and be a productive receiver for the Chargers, can this be considered a bad thing? I would be worried if he did not want to improve himself and play receiver. Special teams is one thing, and he has done well, but I want him to always strive to be more, do more and take the Chargers further than before.

    Kassim has been quoted saying "<em>I've been playing receiver all my life,</em>" Kassim said. "<em>It's always been my position, and it's something I'm passionate about doing. Being able to contribute in different ways should earn some respect and keep the fans who say, 'He has stone hands' off your back. Overall, I want to do whatever it takes to help this team win.</em>"

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