Because of that it has pushed up his timeline to choose a school. Visiting Georgia last weekend, he was at Auburn this week and is headed to Alabama to finish off his busy week before the dead period starts in recruiting. Getting a chance to spend time with Gus Malzahn and J.B. Grimes while on his trip. Valentine-Okeke said everything about the experience was outstanding.
“It was great,” Valentine-Okeke said. “It was the best visit ever. I have visited a lot of places academic-wise and had a good talk. Football-wise it was great. It was not my first time there. I had been there several times for game and camp. I really enjoyed it a lot.”
“All of the visits I have taken were great, but this one was a little bit different than the one I did last week,” he added. “It’s kind of like I feel at home. That’s what I mean precisely.”
One of the reasons why Valentine-Okeke had a strong interest in Auburn early was because of Greg Robinson. The guy he looks up to at the offensive line position, Robinson flourished under Grimes’ guidance and that means a lot to him.
“He’s a good coach,” Valentine-Okeke said. “He had Greg Robinson, the second pick. That means he knows what he’s doing. He’s a nice guy to be my coach.”
Saying that Auburn is in his top list along with Georgia and Alabama, Valentine-Okeke said a big reason why he likes the Tigers is because of the comfort level he feels with the staff and players on the Plains. That starts with Malzahn.
“I had a lot of time to chill with the head coach at his house,” Valentine-Okeke said. “We played ping pong. I beat him. Of course he let me win. He was saying “in my house” and I told him it didn’t matter that I would beat him anywhere.”
Getting to spend time with Auburn offensive tackle Shon Coleman, Valentine-Okeke said he saw the student-athlete side of things while on his trip and that’s an important piece of the puzzle for him because he’s so far away from home.
“The people there are nice,” he said. “They’ve got good people and good coaches. Also the players relationships with the coaches, they act like family over there. That’s pretty nice.
“Yesterday (Thursday) I was over at his dorm and we were playing video games,” he added of Coleman. “He’s a nice guy. He was telling me some good stuff about the O-Line coach and everything. He’s a nice guy and I have been watching his tape. He’s doing pretty well. I’m trying to be like him if I come over there, hopefully.”
Once he gets his final visit done this weekend, Valentine-Okeke said there is only one more thing left for him to do before he makes the call on Jan. 3 in San Antonio. “I’m going to pray to God. I just can’t make a decision like that.”