It was a breakout year for defensive end C.J. Olaniyan as he demonstrated big-play capability throughout the 2013 season, finishing tied for fourth in the Big Ten with three forced fumbles. The quick and elusive athlete, who started all 12 games, earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors and should be a candidate for all-conference accolades during his fifth-year senior season. Olaniyan possesses excellent physical attributes, instincts and desire. He led the squad with five sacks for minus-45 yards and was second on the team with 11.0 tackles for loss (minus-64). He ranked 11th in the Big Ten in sacks and 14th in TFL last year. Olaniyan gained nearly 10 pounds during the off-season strength and conditioning program and is ready to build on last season. He was the 2013 co-recipient of the Jim O'Hora Award, presented to the team's most improved player in spring practice. Olaniyan earned Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors for the first time after posting career-highs with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks in the four-overtime win over No. 18 Michigan. Olaniyan also played a big role in the win at No. 14 Wisconsin, recording three solo stops and grabbing his first career interception, returning it 33 yards into Badger territory to set up a field goal. He joins Charles Idemudia and Anthony Zettel as Nittany Lions from the state of Michigan. Olaniyan is on schedule to earn his degree in criminology in August.
2013 (Senior Season)
Olaniyan garnered All-Big Ten honorable-mention honors after starting all 12 games at defensive end during a breakout season. He finished tied for fourth in the conference with three forced fumbles, was 11th in sacks (5.0) and 14th in tackles for loss (11.0). Olaniyan was seventh on the team with 50 tackles (28 solo), led with five sacks (minus-45) and was second with 11 TFL (minus-64). He also forced three fumbles, had one fumble recovery, one interception and two pass breakups. In his first career start, Olaniyan made one tackle in the season-opening meeting with Syracuse. He made four stops, including his second career TFL and sack, against Eastern Michigan. Olaniyan tied for team-high honors with six tackles against UCF, adding one tackle for loss. He collected four stops, including a TFL in the shutout win over Kent State and had another four-tackle performance, including a TFL, in the Big Ten-opener at Indiana. Olaniyan earned Big Ten Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors after posting career-highs with eight tackles (four solo) and 2.5 sacks and forcing his first career fumble in the second quarter in the four-overtime win over No. 18 Michigan. He made five stops, including one TFL, at No. 4 Ohio State before making two tackles in the 24-17 victory over Illinois. Olaniyan had a strong effort at Minnesota, producing six tackles, 2.5 TFL (minus-11), one-half sack and his second forced fumble of the season. He was a force on the D-line in the 45-21 win over Purdue, making two hits to help hold the Boilermakers to 41 rushing yards on 20 carries. Olaniyan's big-play capabilities shined again as he forced and recovered a fumble on the same play at the Nebraska eight-yard line to set up a third-quarter go-ahead score. He finished with five tackles and a sack for a loss of 16 yards against the Cornhuskers. In the season-ending win at No. 14 Wisconsin, Olaniyan registered three solo tackles and grabbed his first career interception, which he returned 33 yards to set up a score. He also had three quarterback hurries against the Badgers. Olaniyan was selected the 2013 co-recipient of the team's Jim O'Hora Award, presented to a defensive player for "exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement" during spring practice.
2012 (Junior Season)
Olaniyan appeared in 10 games, earning his first career start in the win over Temple. He recorded 15 tackles, one sack (minus-10) and a pair of pass breakups, all of which were season career-highs. Olaniyan opened the season with three stops against Ohio and followed with a tackle at Virginia. He made his first career start against Temple and broke his career-high with four tackles. He tallied one stop each against Northwestern, Ohio State, Indiana and at Purdue. Olaniyan also recorded three tackles, with a 10-yard sack, in the 38-14 prime time victory at Iowa.
2011 (Sophomore Season)
Olaniyan appeared in six games and recorded three tackles, all solo, during his first season on the field. He posted his first career tackle in his first game, the season-opening victory over Indiana State. Olaniyan also made one hit each in the wins against Eastern Michigan and Iowa. He also saw action against Indiana, Wisconsin and Houston.
2010 (Freshman Season)
Olaniyan was rated the No. 14 defensive end and a four-star prospect by Rivals.com for Coach Tom Milanov at Warren Mott High School. He recorded 71 tackles and 13.5 sacks to go with an interception during his senior season. As a receiver, he made 17 catches for 205 yards and a touchdown. Olaniyan also played basketball and ran track.
Full name is Kazeem Kayode Olaniyan. He is the son of Abdul and Maryam Olaniyan and has one sister, Halimat. He enjoys watching movies, playing video games and basketball. He is enrolled in the criminology program and is interested in a career in law enforcement. Born June 30, 1991 in Atlanta, Ga.