Moving from Nigeria to South Florida last fall, 6-6, 305 Chidi Valentine-Okeke was able to get a feel for the game of football when he joined the team at Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah, Fla. While he had some idea of football and basketball already because of camps back home, being able to practice with the team gave him some practical experience for the game for the first time.
This season he’ll get a chance to suit up and play in a real game and when he does he’ll already have offers from some of the top programs in the country. While his practice time is important he said he’s learned just as much from his mentor even though he’s never met him.
“Auburn is a good school and I got to watch them last season,” Valentine-Okeke said. “My mentor, Greg Robinson, I have been looking at him and want to be like him. He makes me like Auburn. I’m trying to be like him or even be better than him.”
Already with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU and several others, Valentine-Okeke was the most impressive of a solid group of campers on Saturday at Auburn’s 2016 Elite Camp. That earned him an offer from Coach J.B. Grimes and the Tigers, something he said is exciting for him.
“It was a nice experience,” Valetine-Okeke said. “Everything was great, especially with the offensive line coach. I learned a lot of new things from him. It’s a very nice place.
“It was good to be able to show what I’ve got,” he added. “I’m so happy I got an offer from Auburn. It’s so nice. They really want me there.”
With still two years left before he has to make a decision, Valentine-Okeke said he’s just going to take his time with the recruiting process. While he’ll undoubtedly have plenty more offers before all is said and done and likely be a five-star prospect, he said Auburn is a school that has already made an impact on him.