On any given day you can find Texas A&M University-Commerce senior offensive lineman Jason Osei with his trademark smile and 6’5”, 300-lb frame limping around campus. A native of London, England, Osei keeps his social media followers nothing short of entertained, whether he’s teaching his Texas friends and classmates about his hometown lingo like “dench” or joking around with teammates around Commerce.
“I went to Baylor, played there for three years, eventually ended up picking up an injury, tore my meniscus, that’s what led me to Commerce,” said Osei. Since transferring from Baylor University, Osei has been an instrumental part of his team’s success. “I always said if football didn’t work out, in any shape, I’d probably go back into mixed martial arts.”
It’s late on a weeknight, after classes, meetings and football practice he's wrapping up his duties hosting Lions After Dark on KETR 88.9 FM, the university-licensed public radio station. Osei got the gig after auditioning to host the student-affairs program, which airs Monday through Thursday from 9-11 p.m.
“It helps me get my reel out there, I'm able to show I could get things done at a high level while I was in school playing football," Osei said. "We never know who's listening."
He’s sitting intently behind a computer and soundboard editing his podcast; he’s a radio/television major, minoring in computer science.
"Ideally I would like to be working in T.V. and film, probably editing or behind the scenes," Osei said, "A big dream would be to go pro for a little bit but I'm not banking everything on that."
When asked about adversity he's faced since he enrolled, his reply is simple: Balancing extracurriculars and academics.
Baylor's resources allowed him to take his studies on road trips easily, with assigned advisors catering to his needs during away games. Osei said that A&M-Commerce also provides academic support to student-athletes.
"We have (Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Success) Miss Judy Sackfield," Osei said. "She does an absolutely amazing job but she's a single person trying to do the job of a thousand people."
Osei said that his major has helped him become a more well-rounded student athlete.
"I feel like it's made me a better athlete in the way that it forces me to interact with different people and appreciate different people."
Osei's humility is refreshing as he describes his second chance at football.
“This is a blessing where I have a talent not many people have and been given a scholarship for it, I need to make sure I don't forsake that, " he said.
Osei's absence at A&M-Commerce will be felt once he graduates and moves back home. But for now, he continues to build his legacy.
"I want people to be able to say I was a hard worker who gave his all," Osei said. "This goes beyond football, that doesn't define me."