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Rookie Kelemete catching up with Cardinals

There’s one thing you can say about Arizona Cardinals
offensive guard Senio Kelemete:

He’s patient.

The fifth-round pick stayed in Seattle to finish up his
degree in American Ethnic Studies at the University of
Washington while the rest of his Cardinals teammates were
going through OTAs in Tempe.

It paid off. Kelemete became the first member of his
family to earn a college degree.

But now with the academics taken care of, Kelemete can
concentrate on football. The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder
participated in his first practice as a professional
Tuesday at the team’s training facility in Tempe.

“I’m really happy to be here,” Kelemete said. “Being back
at home and finishing up school was kind of hard. I was
there, but my mindset was trying to be here, so I’m glad
to to be back.”

Kelemete was absent from all ten OTAs, so how much did the
first-year player fall behind?

“A lot,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “It’s not so
much the scheme, that’s hard enough, but when you go
against our defense and what they do now for ten practices
plus the 11th today, and you’re seeing all the different
looks, the stunts and the gap pressures, it’s hard to look
at it on film and understand what’s going on.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve for

Kelemete has shown the ability to get caught up to speed
in new situations. After playing on the defensive line in
his first two seasons at UW, he made the switch to the
offensive line, where he started 26 consecutive games at
left tackle for the Huskies, earning second team All-Pac-
12 recognition as a senior.

“I’d say if they give me two or three more days, I think
I’d catch up,” he said. “I know definitely over the
weekend, I’m going to be in my playbook trying to catch up
with everyone.”

Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this