Kansas State fans should already be familiar with Grandview High School in the Kansas City area. In 2006, the Wildcat staff landed Josh Freeman, the most-heralded player to attended Grandview, who went on to pass for more than 8,000 yards during his three years at Kansas State. Now the Kansas State coaches have their eyes on Freedom Akinmoladun, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end/defensive end who has complied five scholarship offers this spring.
"At the beginning of April Kansas State offered me through my head coach," said Akinmoladun. "I have spoken with Coach Miller since then. He said I have a two-way offer at either tight end or defensive end. If I do end up going to Kansas State, I'm starting to think I'd like to play defensive end. They're turning into somewhat of a powerhouse and they're known for their stingy defense. I'd like to say I played defense there.
"I went to the [Kansas State] Spring Game with my brothers. They thought it was a crazy atmosphere which is a great thing. I definitely enjoyed it and look forward to going back again."
After starting at left tackle as a sophomore, the Grandview coaches wanted to make better use of Akinmoladun's ball skills and moved him to tight end in the offense. He made 15 catches (with no drops) for more than 300 yards for a 22 yards-per-reception average in a run-heavy Bulldogs offense. On the other side of the football, Akinmoladun accumulated 86 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. He was named third team All-State and first team All-Conference at tight end and second team All-Conference at defensive end. The Bulldogs named Akinmoladun as their team MVP.
"I'm going to Nebraska's Big Red Weekend on June 15th," he said. "I have relatives there. My cousin runs track at Nebraska and my older brother is playing football at Nebraska-Kearney. They told me they loved my tape and see a lot of potential in me as a tight end.
"Right now I'm still open but I'd like to make my decision before the school starts in the fall. I really don't want to wait too long and have my scholarship offer taken away because the class is too full. Academics are my top priority. I want to find a school with a good program in my major. I'm looking at going into Physics or Finance. I'm also hoping to play for a good football staff who treats me like family and an actual person and not just a football player."
Offers may still be rolling in for Akinmoladun. He reports strong interest from Arizona State, Arkansas, and Minnesota. This spring he was in attendance at the Nike Football Training Camp in Chicago. Akinmoladun says he runs the 40 yard dash regularly in the 4.6-4.7 range although he didn't have his best day time-wise in Chicago. He's a member of the National Honors Society and lists a 3.6 GPA.
Grandview made the Missouri Class 4 playoffs last season, but Akinoladun says this season offers a "big challenge" to the Bulldogs as they try to replace their entire offensive line.