Cyrus Kouandjio's long road

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
9:45
AM ET
Cyrus KouandjioAP Photo/Butch DillCyrus Kouandjio, right, is a massive protector for Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Cyrus Kouandjio hunched over in his seat, an enormous, well-built man struggling to connect the dots of his past. Where does my strength come from? he asked, his wide smile vanishing behind the dust of old memories as he sorted through his family's struggle to survive.

Unlike most 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive linemen, Cyrus is unburdened by a heavy gut or cumbersome muscle. His feet are nimble -- something he developed kicking around a soccer ball as a child. But the most impressive thing about him is his raw power. This season he's unveiled a new move -- "The Slap," as it's been called -- where he simply takes his right hand and whacks rushing defenders to the ground like wobbly tackling dummies.

A junior left tackle at the University of Alabama, Kouandjio is still a baby to the game. He seems mostly unaware of his sizable presence, even as his grip swallows yours in a polite handshake.

To continue reading, click here.

Alex Scarborough | email

Alabama/SEC reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 9/27