Chris Mulumba researched the University online, watched episodes of The Rise on YouTube, talked with head coach Mike MacIntyre and defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat, and also discussed the Buffs with current Colorado safety Kyle Trego, who played with him at Diablo Valley College in 2015.
“What I kept hearing from everybody, and what I kept seeing when I looked into the program, is that it is a great fit for me,” said Mulumba of his decision to sign with the Buffs. “I can't wait to see the facilities with my own eyes but I am confident I made the right choice.
“Kyle said I am going to like it a lot. He told me the players on the team there are nice and they really care about each other. He said the support there, on and off the field, with football and academics, is excellent.”
Mulumba took an official visit to Houston, Central Florida, Fresno State, New Mexico and Central Michigan earlier in the process. He also received an offer from Iowa State.
“Colorado plays at a high level, I like the way they play defensively, and Coach Mac is a good coach. So that also played into my decision,,” Mulumba said. “It was hard when you didn't know really where you were going to end up but I kept my hopes up and everything worked out."
Mulumba's background is much different than your typical college football player. He hails from Finland, where he earned a black belt in judo and later served in the Finnish military. His father and mother lived in the Republic of Congo, a French colony, before moving to Finland due to political unrest.
“I believe my background in judo helps with leverage a lot and hand placement, how to use your hands,” he said. “And I think my motor comes from judo. I feel like I will bring a lot of physicality and toughness to Colorado's defensive line.”
Mulumba did have experience playing in the American Football Association of Finland before he arrived in the United States in 2014 and his college eligibility clock started. He is now 24 years old with two years to play two.
Mulumba earned first-team all-league honors as a sophomore Diablo Valley College after recording 63 tackles and four sacks in 10 games. He played his freshman season at Chabot Junior College in 2014.
“It is a huge relief after all this. I feel it has been a long journey so I am just happy to look forward to enrolling at the University at Colorado next month, get ready to work and help the team win,” he said. “I am excited.”