Jayhawk Insider: Kwamie II
By: Ellen Terhune
For Kwamie Lassiter II, scoring his first collegiate touchdown was special for more reasons than one; his dad, a former safety at Kansas, was on the field to see it.
Just six seconds into the second quarter in KU’s Homecoming game against Oklahoma State, the sophomore wide receiver adjusted perfectly to an under-thrown pass from quarterback Carter Stanley for a twenty-yard touchdown. Kwamie II’s catch cut the Cowboys’ 14-point lead in half and put the Jayhawks on the board.
“I knew I had to just make the play, it was a routine play and that’s what me and all of the receivers do best,” Kwamie II said. “It felt really, really good, especially being able to do it in front of my family.”
Kwamie II’s dad, Kwamie Lassiter, played for the Jayhawks from 1992 to 1994, leading them to a win in the Aloha Bowl in his senior season. Lassiter, along with the rest of the family, were able to make the trip from Arizona to watch Kwamie II play.
Lassiter said watching his son’s first touchdown in crimson and blue was a moment he will never forget.
“I was so excited, I felt like I made the play, but it was all him because I understand his grind and how much he puts into this,” Lassiter said. “I know how much he just loves being here.”
Kwamie II redshirted his freshman season and saw time in the 2017 season, but is making his impact this year as KU’s punt returner, as well as seeing time at wide receiver. He ranks fifth in the Big 12 in punt returns at 8.7 yards per return.
Some may say Kwamie II has a long way to go before even beginning to fill the shoes of his father. The elder Lassiter played 10 years in the NFL for the Cardinals, the Chargers and the Rams, collecting twenty-five interceptions throughout his career.
But Kwamie II is embracing the challenge.
“Everyone talks about how I’m Kwamie’s son, I already know what I have to live up to,” Kwamie II said. “It’s a lot of pressure, but I know I can live up to it.”
Lassiter’s advice to his son is simple.
“I tell him, although we have the same name, make them forget who I am. Make them understand you’re Kwamie Lassiter the Second.”