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OU Football: Sooner guard Nila Kasitati reflects on high school teammates who died in summer crash

NOTEBOOK — Oklahoma's sophomore guard from Euless, Texas is returning from a knee injury. Now he has added motivation: to honor high school teammates who died in July car wreck.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: August 28, 2013


Oklahoma sophomore offensive guard Nila Kasitati was already motivated for the season after returning from a 2012 ACL tear.

But after two of his Euless (Texas) Trinity High School teammates died in a late July car accident, Kasitati has new motivation for 2013.

Polo Manukainiu, a Texas A&M redshirt freshman defensive end, and Utah signee Gaius Vaenuku were both killed along with 13-year old Andrew Uhatafe in northern New Mexico.

“It was a tough deal back home,” Kasitati said. “It was right around two-a-days, so I had to go home and miss some of two-a-days. If anything, that sort of just gave me a little more of a push that life is short, and if they had the chance to play, they would play hard.”

Manukainiu committed to the Sooners in September 2011, but de-committed a few months later and eventually signed with the Aggies.


Senior receiver Jaz Reynolds is all set to return to game action this weekend against Louisiana-Monroe.

“He's excited. He's worked hard. He's learned his lesson,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. “He's made some mistakes, but he wants to do a good job.”

Reynolds was OU's third-leading receiver as a sophomore in 2011, when he caught 41 passes for 715 yards and five touchdowns. But after spring football a few months later, Reynolds, Trey Franks and Quentin Hayes were suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

Receiver Kameel Jackson was also suspended and later dismissed from the team.

Reynolds, Frank and Hayes served their suspensions throughout the entire 2012 season.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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