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Can't spell this Gryphon's name? Then just remember it

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Thu. September 22, 2011 | Joey Knight | Email

Can't spell this Gryphon's name? Then just remember it

The top tackler -- and arguably top college prospect -- at Sickles is a 5-foot-10 package of speed, strength and syllables. Lots of syllables.

Tonight at King, Gryphons junior FS Adekunle "AK" Olusanya (we'll get to his middle name later) hopes to give as many fits to the Lions' passing game as he does their public-address announcer. 

"I'm going to have to be involved a lot," he said.

The last of four boys born to Nigerian-born parents, Olusanya (5-10, 205 pounds) figures to be key in this potential Class 6A, District 8 elimination game. In his fourth year of American football, he has collected a team-best 28 tackles and one offer from Alabama-Birmingham.

"I used to play soccer, I just got tired of it," said Olusanya, whose sprawling middle name -- Oluwabusyomi -- means "God will always be my blessing."

"They said I was too physical."

Originally a weakside linebacker, Olusanya was slid back by defensive coordinator Kirk Karsen because, essentially, offensive teams were forcing him out of the box anyway.

"If he were still at weakside linebacker, I think he'd be the best in the county," Karsen said.

Nonetheless, he has flourished at his new spot, brandishing a 40-yard dash time (4.5) that equals his GPA and anchoring what he considers the county's top secondary.

Tonight, "AK" and fellow defensive backs Jakarius Crittenden, Adrian Lopez and Antonio Valdez get their most stern test to date.

Lions QB Greg Windham has consecutive 300-yard passing efforts, and top target Chris Murray has 17 catches for 428 yards in his last two games alone.

"(Murray) scares the heck out of me," Karsen said. "He's such a dangerous receiver after the catch. Gosh, I've seen him take a little hitch and go 60 (yards) on it. His speed is tremendous and he's got the hands to match.

"And I think Greg is by far the best quarterback in the county."

Seems the perfect foe against which to earn some long-name recognition.

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