04/30/2012 - QUOTE TO NOTE: "When you put on the tape, you can just see. He puts a lot of opponents on the ground. Everything you heard about the guy was positive. When you look at somebody and you're trying to evaluate somebody playing at a Division II level, you look at him to dominate his competition and that's exactly what he does. He has that temperament." - General manager Marty Hurney on second-round guard Amini Silatolu, who will have a chance to win the starting left-guard job in training camp. - The Sports Xchange
04/27/2012 - OG Amini Silatolu, Northwestern State -- A powerful blocker and small-school left tackle some felt was the No. 2 guard prospect -- behind Stanford's David DeCastro -- with the upside to play right tackle and replace injury-prone former first-round pick Jeff Otah.
04/26/2012 - ROB RANG'S TOP 50 PLAYERS OF THE 2012 NFL DRAFT: 44. Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State: At 6-4, 311 pounds and possessing the quick feet and nasty demeanor that every offensive line coach is looking for, Silatolu ranks as one of the most intriguing blockers of the 2012 draft class. Nonetheless, he's a significant projection who may need a year before he can be expected to contribute, as Silatolu's level of competition at the Division II level did him no favors. Silatolu also will be faced with the challenge of switching from left tackle to guard. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
04/23/2012 - Amini Silatolu wasn't highly recruited out of high school, and he couldn't qualify academically at Nevada after playing at San Joaquin Delta College. So he ended up at Midwestern State and this week will become the school's first NFL Draft choice. Silatolu, like so many before him, proves small-school players can reach the big time. "I just know that if you put him at Oklahoma or Texas, he'd do the same things at Oklahoma or Texas that he did here," Midwestern State coach Bill Maskill said. Midwestern State, with an enrollment of 6,182, is in Wichita Falls, which has a population of 101,000. Silatolu is the big man on campus, and not just because he's 6-foot-4, 311 pounds. All 32 NFL teams have scouted him, and he visited 10 teams, including the Dallas Cowboys. Silatolu, 23, could hear his name in the first round despite playing Division II football. "The whole process has been crazy," Silatolu said in a phone interview Friday. "Coming from a small school, I never thought I would get highly looked at by all these teams. It was overwhelming at first, but I got used to it. It's all downhill from here." - Charean Williams, The Fort Worth Star Telegram
04/19/2012 - It's winding down now. The general manager, the head coach and a few trusted lieutenants are spending the final days before the National Football League draft collectively taking that last look at highlight tapes of debatable players and tweaking their ratings accordingly. In many draft rooms, one of the most talked about players for months has been Aminiasi "Amini" Silatolu, a left tackle from Midwestern State University who will play guard in the NFL. Silatolu played two seasons at left tackle for an NCAA Division II institution just as Larry Allen played right tackle in 1992-'93 for Division II Sonoma (Calif.) State and Jahri Evans started at right tackle from 2003-'05 for Division II Bloomsburg (Pa.) University. Allen, a second-round draft choice (No. 46) by the Dallas Cowboys, might be the greatest guard of his generation. Evans, selected in the fourth round by New Orleans, has started every game at right guard for six seasons and has been a Pro Bowl starter each of the last three years. "When I saw Silatolu first thing I thought of was Jahri Evans," said Mark Dominik, general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I've watched Larry Allen's highlight tape from Sonoma. At Midwestern State, he dominated the way Larry Allen did and the way Jahri Evans did." Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, Midwestern State has sent a handful of players to the NFL, most notably running back Dominic Rhodes. The Mustangs play in the Lone Star Conference against such teams as Angelo State, Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M. As good as Evans has been, Allen is the gold standard when it comes to franchise guards. "I love him, but I have major concerns about loving him too much," San Diego GM A.J. Smith said. "It's scaring me as the weeks go by because we all want the next Larry Allen. - Bob McGinn, JSOnline.com
04/02/2012 - NFL DRAFT SCOUT TOP OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State, 6-4, 311...Silatolu hopes to get a break in the draft and in the NFL that helps him attain the type of national recognition he has missed several times. He has been outstanding at every level he has played, but his highest level has been Division II. Coming out of West Tracy (Calif.) High School as a two-way football star, he stopped at San Juoquin Delta Community College to improve his grades in an attempt to play for Boise State and earned juco All-American honors in 2008. But after missing the 2009 season due to academic ineligibility, he still could not play at Nevada, so Silatolu settled on little Midwestern State College in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he was a dominant left tackle. Last season he became the first MSU player ever to earn a Division II consensus All-American honor. He finished second in voting for the Gene Upshaw Award for top D-II linemen. And he was the first MSU player invited to the Senior Bowl, but once again was disappointed as he pulled a hamstring and was unable to take part. His performance at the combine didn't live up to his play at MSU, so opinions on his pro potential are as varied as the path he has taken to get this far. But when finally given a chance he has been outstanding at every level so somebody will certainly see if he can do the same in the NFL. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
02/23/2012 - On assessing the 2012 O-line class: "It's a little different (than 2011). It's a little better on the interior, specifically at guard, which is unusual than it has been in recent years. Tackles are still good. It's not as deep as it has been, and center is not very deep." On Midwestern State tackle Aminiasi Silatolu: "Any small-school guy, they have to prove they can do it at the next level because we can't see them. They're missing a step along the way. The further down you go in college football - Division III, II, I - the harder it is to prove you're worthy of NFL competition because you're not at that level as you're preparing for the next step." - Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert, 2012 NFL Combine Transcript
12/29/2011 - Midwestern State's Amini Silatolu finished as runner-up in the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year voting presented Monday by the Manheim Touchdown Club. Wayne State offensive tackle Joe Long edged out Silatolu, who is considered a top lineman by many professional scouts. The award is presented annually to the top NCAA Division II junior or senior lineman in the nation as selected by sports information directors at the Division II football institutions. Delta State senior center Darrell Leopold, Abilene Christian defensive end and Vernon native Aston Whiteside and Concordia senior offensive tackle Tyler Hendrickson finished third through fifth, respectively, among the nine national finalists. Silatolu enjoyed one of the best individual seasons in Midwestern State history. He earned first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches' Association, Associated Press and Daktronics. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound left tackle has been invited to participate in the 2012 Senior Bowl, which will be played at Loyd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Friday, Jan. 28. - The Times Record News