Alexandru Ceachir moved to the United States from Eastern Europe by himself three years ago to play football.
Ceachir is from Moldova – a small country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania and used to be part of Russia – and most of his family still lives there.
Football is not popular in Moldova and Ceachir knew what he had to do in order to play the sport he loves.
"I didn't want to stay at home and I wanted to do something for myself and the US is the land of opportunity so I wanted to try it," Ceachir said. "And with football especially, this is the motherland of football and if you want to play, you should get here. That's one of the biggest reasons I came here."
Ceachir, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle, is a sophomore at Santa Monica College (JUCO). Having played football in America for two years now, Ceachir is being discovered by a few Division I programs. He holds offers from SMU, Colorado, Utah and Arkansas.
He said the recruitment process is a little overwhelming and has no idea which school he wants to play for.
"I like all the schools," he said. "Every coach says his program is good and I know they're good, but I really don't know yet. It all sounds so wonderful. It's hard."
Ceachir said that the most important thing to him when choosing a school is his position coach.
At SMU that's Adrian Klemm, who is also Ceachir's recruiter.
"With all the time I'll be spending with the offensive line coach, he'll have to be one of my closest friends so I'll need to feel comfortable with him…that would make me choose one school over another," Ceachir said.
"[Klemm] is a really great coach, a really young coach and I like that. He understands me and I understand him. I feel comfortable with him."
Ceachir doesn't know too much about SMU, but he is interested in learning. He hopes to schedule an official visit sometime soon, probably after finals and this semester is over.
"I've heard it's a really great school, with great coaches and a really good business school," Ceachir said. "I am interested."
Asked what he feels his greatest strengths on the field are, Ceachir said, "I can run and can move really quick for my size. And coaches are impressed that I've only played two years and don't have bad habits."
If Ceachir decides to come to SMU, he'll need to meet defensive end Margus Hunt, a fellow Eastern European who hails from Estonia, which is 876 miles from Moldova.
When asked if he knew how close the aforementioned countries are, Ceachir laughed because other coaches and people he's spoken with about SMU have also brought up Hunt being from Estonia.
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