As the weeks and months go by, it's becoming more and more apparent to Boubacar Cissoko that he has the kind of talent that major colleges covet. The Detroit Cass Tech junior still finds that a bit surprising, seeing as how he hasn't played the sport very long. Originally from Guinea, West Africa, Cissoko has spent the majority of his youth playing the other football. His interest in the pigskin version didn't materialize until a few short years ago.
"I just started playing football," Cissoko explained. "This is my third year playing football in my whole life. I was playing soccer when I was in Africa. I came to the United States in '98 to live with my sister. I was good at soccer, but I stopped for a minute and said, 'Let me try something else.' I was watching football on TV and I said it's kind of cool. I wanted too see what else I could do, so I tried it."
Getting acclimated to the differences between his native country and his new home was a little rough in the beginning, but in no time he seemed to be catching on very quickly. Switching sports saw him go through a similar adjustment period.
"The language was a little bit hard," Cissoko said regarding learning English. "I picked it up okay. When I first started playing football I wasn't very good, but I picked that up too."
Cissoko's speed and agility are skills that could be displayed in both sports. However, his penchant for being physical is something that became evident once he put on the shoulder pads. That combination of talent and mentality has caused college coaches to form a line at his door. Since his breakout showing at the Nike Camp in Columbus back in May, he has seen a steady rise in the attention coming his way.
The Michigan Wolverines stepped forth with an offer shortly after, and that gesture immediately propelled them to the top of Cissoko's list. In the months since 5-9, 177-pounder made that revelation in a July 31st interview with GoBlueWolverine, not much has changed atop his leader board.
"Michigan was the first team I heard of," Cissoko said. "I remember watching Michigan vs. Ohio State. Michigan was the first team whose camp I went to. Michigan is still my favorite."
Aside from Wolverines, six other programs are currently under consideration. Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Penn State, and Iowa are all schools that Cissoko plans to get closer looks at.
"We're trying to go to Penn State for this upcoming game," he said. "They've been on me…and Iowa also. But Michigan is really on me too. That was my second (Michigan) game (last Saturday against Wisconsin). My first one was against Vanderbilt; me and my coach went, but we had to leave early. This time I got to talk to Coach English and Lloyd Carr. I went in and talked with Coach Lloyd Carr with my family. I enjoyed it very much. He just said he wanted to see me come there."
Knocking the Maize and Blue off its perch certainly isn't an impossible task for all of the other contenders, but Cissoko insists it is going to be very tough.
"Man … I don't know," responded Cissoko when asked what other teams must do to move past Michigan. "They can't. I just love Michigan that much man."
The rest of Cissoko's suitors should have time to convince him otherwise. At this point, he doesn't plan on making a decision anytime soon.
"I'm going to wait until my senior year," he said.
Those that missed GoBlueWolverine's video feature on Boubacar Cissoko can view it here.
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Cissoko in the coming weeks and months.