Now, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Achayo is a fast-rising Division I recruit who is receiving interest from numerous universities across the nation. At or near the top of his short list is Boise State.
"I started playing football as a freshman in high school, but I fell in love with it my junior year," Achayo said. "I convinced my mom to let me play at Sierra (College). It took a lot of convincing. Trust me.
"I love (Boise State) because ever since I got into football. I was looking at Boise and could see myself playing there. I love the Smurf Turf."
As with many late-bloomers, coaches began paying attention to the talented Achayo much further into the process than most players. Eventually Iowa State of the Big 12 came along and offered him, and he committed to the Cyclones on Nov. 3.
"During spring ball is when coaches started noticing me," Achayo said. "I committed to Iowa State on Nov. 3, but I decommitted after the coaching change. I was going out there to play for coach Paul Rhoads, and he's gone now."
Iowa State fired Rhoads on Nov. 22.
"Boise State offered me the day after I committed to Iowa State," Achayo said, laughing. "When I decommitted, it opened everything up for me. Boise is high on my list right now."
Mutual interest between Achayo and the Broncos has exploded. Head coach Bryan Harsin and defensive backs coach Julius Brown had an in-home visit with him and his mother Sunday night. He plans on seeing the Blue Turf in person on Dec. 11. As expected, his mother will play a big role in where he commits.
"Coach (Scott) Huff came to one of my games, and Coach Harsin and Coach Brown came for a home visit recently," Achayo said. "It went well. As soon as they left, my mom said she loves them and wants me to be a Bronco. They're good people and I like them a lot."
With additional offers from Cincinnati, Georgia State, New Mexico, Buffalo, Weber State, and Stephen F. Austin, Achayo has one more visit planned. He will check out Cincinnati this weekend, Dec. 4.
"I'm not sure about them," Achayo said. "I know they play good football and I want to check it out. my teammate Devin Gray, a wide receiver, and I both have offers there and are going to visit."
Achayo has not designated a specific date when he wants to commit, but he knows he doesn't want to think about it too much, either
"Signing Day is coming up soon, and I can't wait too long," he said. "I think I will make my decision by Signing Day."
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