TE Nick Kasa makes a catch during rookie mini-camp. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Raider Nation, meet TE Nick Kasa, the Raiders 6th round pick out of the University of Colorado, because he is already familiar with you. "I've heard about the Black Hole and how extensive the fans go for games and I'm excited for it," said Kasa. "I love that attitude and just everything that the whole Raider Nation brings to this club."
The converted defensive end first made the switch to tight end in the middle of his junior season in college. He has adjusted quickly to his new offensive role. "I'd say I'm pretty comfortable," said Kasa. "It really goes day-to-day. Obviously, I'm missing a lot of experience, but I think that I'm picking it up pretty quick. It's been great so far. I'm really glad that I did make the switch. Obviously, it's working out pretty well for me right now."
Kasa met the Raiders coaching staff at the Senior Bowl in January and believes the relationships he built there have been helpful in his transition to the NFL. "I think it helped out a ton because I know them all already," said Kasa. "I love all the coaches too. I think they're all great guys, great coaches, and so it was definitely helpful to meet them all before I got here. I just have that relationship already established."
The rookie also went through the Combine and Draft process and is glad those are out of the way. He wants to focus on his new job at hand. "It was pretty nuts. But it was fun too," said Kasa. "It was pretty eye-opening. I would say it was a great experience. Glad it's over with and that I don't have to do it again. It was pretty great experience altogether."
General Manager Reggie McKenzie was the one to make the phone call on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft. "It was amazing," said Kasa. "I talked to Mr. McKenzie on the phone. It was awesome because I knew that I did know these coaches and I'd worked with them before and I know the opportunity that's open here, especially at the tight end position. It's work now. It's all competition. We just have to see who comes out with it in the end."
Kasa had imagined playing in the NFL, but didn't know if it would really happen. "I've imagined it, but even through my junior year of college, I didn't really see it happening," said Kasa. "I thought really I was going to go through my senior year and I'd be done with football. It's worked out to this right now and I'm so thankful for it. It's amazing. This is a job now. It's pretty ridiculous to think about and I think that's what all of us are kind of going through, just rookies coming here every day…it's amazing. This is what I want to do."
Now that Kasa is in the NFL, he is trying to make the most of his opportunity. "Rookie camp was pretty awesome," said Kasa. "It's nice to be here and just finally getting into the swing of things."
Kasa is learning from the two veteran tight ends as OTAs get underway. "Rich [Gordon] and Dave [Ausberry], the two veteran tight ends, are really cool guys," said Kasa. "They've been really cool about just working us in and trying to get us the feel of how it is to be here."
The rookie tight end is enjoying every moment, especially putting on the Silver and Black for the first time. "It was awesome," said Kasa. "[Putting on the Silver and Black] was amazing and I look forward to doing it for a long time."