Don't let the name fool you. Ayodeji Olatoye was born in Cleveland. He spent most of his childhood there being raised by parents who were born in Nigeria and immigrated to the U.S. years ago.
His full name is Ayodeji Oyewale Olatoye (pronounced I-o-day-jee O-yay-wall-ay O-la-toy-ay). Each part has meaning.
"Ayodeji, it means "your joy is double." Oyewale, means "the king has arrived." And "My wealth is enough for the chief" is what my last name means," Olatoye said.
Olatoye grew up with parents focused on their children performing in the classroom and earning high school and college degrees. His parents own and operate several restaurants serving classic American cuisine.
He is the third of four children. He has a younger sister. His older sister went to school at Emory University and attended law school at Howard University. His older brother is an under-graduate student at Morehouse College.
"He knows what it takes to be successful in the classroom," his high school coach Karl Johnson said.
Just before he entered high school, the family moved from Cleveland to Dublin, Ohio, where Olatoye eventually caught the attention of college recruiters, including Colorado running backs coach Darian Hagan.
When Olatoye first arrived at Scioto High School, he played soccer. As a kid, he helped his teams win four state championships in Ohio. Johnson noticed his speed and athleticism and approached him at lunch one day to encourage him to give football a try. He lettered his first season and continued to improve each year.
"He's going to be a tremendous football player in college," Johnson said. "He started playing football in 10th grade and each year he's just gotten tremendously better. He's physical. Flies to the football. He's got a very athletic body. I think he has the potential be a super player in college."
Olatoye said he knew Colorado was the place for him after his official visit. He said he fell in love with the campus and bonded with players on the team who treated him as if he was already on the roster. He said he knows Rodney Stewart and Doug Rippy, who came to CU from Ohio and their presence also helped him feel comfortable.
"They were probably the best school out of all the schools that offered me," Olatoye said. "I fit in pretty well with their defensive scheme. They press and they're a lot of man or trap and triangle defense."
Olatoye is playing basketball this winter but doesn't plan to run track in the spring. He said he wants to improve his tackling on the football field and is focused on getting bigger and stronger. Olatoye said he weighs 180 pounds and eats all the time. He said he is the victim of a high metabolism, which has prevented him from adding significant weight. At 6-foot-2, he has room for another 20-40 pounds to fill out for the safety position.
"I feel like I have a lot of potential left," he said. "I'm just going to have time to bloom now and reach my peak."
Olatoye has played safety, outside linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver during his high school career. He played safety exclusively on the defensive side of the ball as a senior and said CU coaches recruited him to play safety in college.
Olatoye seemed to come out of nowhere in recruiting last fall. In the week leading up to his official visit at CU, Scout.com and other major recruiting services didn't have profiles of him.
"I think when you watch tape of his sophomore and junior seasons, he's just a little raw," Johnson said. "If you came to see him in person and saw what he looked like and saw his athleticism on film, the schools that did that were very interested. He was at the all the combines and junior days and that kind of stuff and sometimes when you're doing that, you don't pop up on the recruiting sites," Johnson said.