Lake Forest Academy (Ill.) DE standout Faith Ekakitie has learned to take everything in stride. Including football -- a sport he didn't even pick up until high school.
For the 6-foot-3, 275 pound Ekakitie, it all started with basketball.
"My high school coach from here, [Lake Forest Academy] was at one of my basketball games in Canada," Ekakitie said. "And he asked me how I would like to come down to Lake Forest and play football."
Ekakitie was shocked, "I was like whoa, I have never played football before, why would I come down to Illinois to do it?"
But he went home, and made a decision that would change his life.
"I talked to my parents about it and I thought it would bring about a lot more opportunities," Ekakitie said. "I still play basketball today but I am going to end up playing football."
Now, Ekakitie has received over 20 offers -- one of the most recent from Penn State.
"I had gotten a couple of letters from them in the mail, but they were not sending me a lot of mail," Ekakitie said. "But one day my coach told me that Coach Larry Johnson wanted to come by and watch me work out, and I was in the weight room and he came to watch, then came back a week and a half later to watch me do agility and stuff."
He continued, "He really liked me and offered me a scholarship."
And it's the continued interest from Coach Larry Johnson that is keeping Penn State in the mix for the talented Ekakitie.
"I really like Coach Johnson," Ekakitie said. "He knows what he is talking about and he has a good reputation of developing lineman and turning them into NFL players."
But that's not all.
"Most of all he is passionate about what he does," Ekakitie said. "He loves coaching the D-line."
As for favorite schools? That's another thing that Ekakitie is taking in stride.
"Right now I am pretty open to all the schools," Ekakitie said. "They are all pretty high on my list."
And what about the Lions? "I have heard nothing but good stuff about Penn State," Ekakitie said. "I have heard they are a good academic school and the talent coming in and out is amazing."
Ekakitie may play for Lake Forest Academy, but he isn't from Illinois. His family hails from Toronto, Canada and lived originally in Nigeria. One thing that is important to him is location, because his family has never seen him dominate the gridiron.
"My parents have never seen me play a football game," Ekakitie said. "It would be great to have them come out, if I went to a place that is close by."
One of the closest schools that Ekakitie has an offer from is Penn State -- about a six hour drive from home. But location isn't the only thing that is going to play into his final decision.
"When it comes down to it I am gong to base my decision on how comfortable I feel with the coaches," Ekakitie said. "From my standpoint I am pretty conformable with Coach Johnson."
He added, "Penn State is a football school, and with over 100-thousand fans at each home game, that is also really attractive."
Attractive enough to keep the Lions in the hunt for Ekakatie? Definitely.