Obinna Eze's cultural experiences extend far beyond most adolescents in the Volunteer State, even speaking three languages — English, Igbo and Pigeon.
Up next for the Davidson (Tenn.) Academy junior offensive tackle and transplant from Nigeria is coach speak.
Moving the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder’s name up recruiting boards are college coaches and scouts all across the South. It’s a remarkable circumstance for a teenager that had never played organized football as of 10 months ago.
Looking back, Eze barely recognizes the confused blocker just being introduced to the sport, struggling to compare his production from then to now.
“I probably can’t answer that question,” Eze told InsideTennessee. “Recently, I saw a video of myself the first time I did pass setting workout. Man, I’ve got to say I’ve come a long way. I’m not where I need to be. I’ve still got a long way to go, but at least I know I’m making progress. But, I don’t want anybody to see that video.”
As a sign of the Scout three-star prospect’s significant upside, both Missouri and Tennessee offered Eze a scholarship this week. Those schools pulled the trigger on the heels of the likes of Auburn, Duke, Kentucky and LSU.
A reason Eze has improved by leaps and bounds is the tutelage of former Tennessee Volunteer and Minnesota Viking offensive tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson.
“Tiny’s my friend; he’s my big brother,” Eze said. “My relationship is beyond someone coaching. He understands me as a person. He understands what I can do physically, mentally. He really knows me. So, it’s easy for him to communicate with me. I don’t have to go through things time and time again with Tiny because he knows how to get it to me one time. We have a really good understanding.”
Richardson was one of the more highly recruited prospects in the South when he was at Ensworth School and Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville. Any advice for the Class of 2017 recruit?
“He told me a few inside stuff that I can’t tell you,” Eze said.
“Because I just got these offers now, I’d like to have a little bit of time to check those schools out, think about it, make my research, see if they have what I want and stuff,” he said. “So I’ll probably make my decision at the end of my football year and season.”
Between now and signing a letter of intent, the Music City resident plans to do nothing but improve.
The Nigerian wants to add about 10 pounds of solid muscle before he enrolls in college, however, he’s not going to just fill up on cheeseburgers and milkshakes.
“Obviously I’m not trying to be fat,” Eze said. “(Wants to) improve my strength physically and right now I’m just trying to work up weight in the weightroom as much as I can because I know already 280 is a good weight. So, I’m trying to put as much muscle on myself. I’m trying to avoid being fat. I don’t want any fat at all, so I watch what I eat, drink a lot of water, I have my water can at school everyday in and out of class and in the weightroom.
“If I put on fat, I won’t be able to stay as fast as I am right now.”