New to the game

Since moving to America last August, Chidi Okeke-Valentine hasn't played a single snap of football in front of the Friday night lights.

OT Chidi Okeke-Valentine Profile

But that hasn't stopped some of the nation's top college football programs from sending the 2016 offensive tackle a scholarship offer. In total, 15 have already offered, including Clemson, Alabama, Florida State, LSU and South Carolina.

"This year will be my first year to play organized football," Okeke-Valentine told CUTigers last week.

"Last year, I couldn't play…I came in late, but back home in my country, we would practice and do some football drills, we used to host football camps in Nigeria, my country, every year, it would be football camps and basketball camps.

"I was one of the kids always playing football, so that's the foundation, the camp found a school here for me for my learning. This year is going to be my first year to play on the field. We played our spring game, so I played in two games this year. This will be my first season to step on the field."

The rising junior from Champagnat Catholic School [Hialeah, Florida] visited Clemson for the last two days of the Dabo Swinney Football Camp with his teammate, 2016 four-star wide receiver Darnell Salomon. Head coach Mike Tunsil brought the two four-star prospects to Tigertown.

"It was great. We did a lot of stuff over there. We camped, checked out the school environment and everything about the school. It was a great camp and a great visit," Okeke-Valentine said.

He added, "The school was nice. The school, you know, the nature of it is nice at the school. They're doing well academic-wise. That's the main thing that the coaches over say, they help players to be a graduate and get that degree. It's not all about football. You've got to have your degree, too. I like that."

Next month, Okeke-Valentine is planning on making visits to Alabama, Auburn and LSU.

With no list of favorites to speak of, he won't decision during his senior year.

"I want to go to a school that likes me, have good coaches and everything. I would like to go to a school where I know I can play and I'm also going to have good times with the teammates and coaches," he said, "And, to be great, academic-wise and in football, too."

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