Julien Kafo began playing football to remain grounded. The sport has provided much more than that for the Canadian in a short period of time.
"In grade 9, my History teacher back that was really close to me convinced me that I could be great at it and it would help me discipline myself," Kafo said.
Kafo's high school coach took over from there.
"He made me understand that I could play wherever I want if I wanted it bad enough and was willing to work hard enough and sacrifice for it from when I started," Kafo said.
Kafo apparently took that advice to heart. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end/outside linebacker reported scholarship offers from Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Miami (Ohio). He felt Iowa and Nebraska were close to extending him an opportunity.
Iowa, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Connecticut have played host to Kafo on unofficial visits, he said. He has set an official visit with the Golden Gophers for Nov. 23.
"I might want to (officially) visit Nebraska and Iowa but I don't know yet," Kafo said.
Kafo was born in Germany and moved to Canada at age 9. He also spent a year living in Cameroon, the homeland of his parents.
Vanier Prep Coach Victor Ogalbaye brought the well-traveled Kafo to the states for camps this summer and college coaches liked what they saw.
"I think my natural athletic abilities are a great asset," Kafo said. "I am tall, big and I can move. I still have to learn to deal with my height and staying low. I also need to work on the mental part of my game, not letting a bad play get to my head."
Kafo first met with the Iowa coaches at the Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp in Michigan during June. They've remained in contact.
"I know a lot about Iowa since I knew Tevaun Smith before," Kafo said. "I have also done a lot of research on the school because I really like it and I really like the setting the school is in."
Kafo said he is unsure when he might commit to a college. He wants to take multiple visits before deciding.
"The school standing out the most to me at this point would be Minnesota because they have been the ones staying in contact the most and been the most aggressive," he said.