He felt like Head Coach Turner Gill and the coaching staff knew he wanted to play for them as well. But rather than make a commitment on the spot at the conclusion of his official visit, the ultra-athletic defender from Highland (KS) Community College did the prudent thing.
He went home and talked it over with people he trusted. He spoke with his father, Mohammed Bakare, and coaches past and present – including HCC head coach Mike Beagle – all of whom were supportive. He prayed. He slept on it.
And in the morning...
"When I woke up, I knew," Bakare said. "I feel like it was a no-brainer."
A 5-foot-10, 205-pound linebacker-safety hybrid, Bakare was one of the most dynamic defenders in the talent-rich Kansas Jayhawk Conference. His 66 tackles – including 6.5 tackles for loss – 1.5 sacks and five forced fumbles earned him a second team all-conference selection.
Holding offers from East Carolina, Kansas and Minnesota, in recent weeks he had trimmed his list to include on the Pirates and the Jayhawks. He visited both programs officially in January, beginning with ECU on the weekend of the 7th.
According to Bakare, the Jayhawks are recruiting him to play a type of "rover" position that will involve more in the way of coverage responsibilities than the position he played at Highland.
While he hopes to step in and play big snaps right away, he doesn't expect anything to come easily.
"I have to prove myself first when I get on that field," Bakare said. "I feel like I have to prove myself to be a starter."
"I'm definitely glad this process is over with, " he added. "It was fun, but I'm ready to roll and I'm ready to make things happen for KU."