|This story originally published on FightinGators.com|
Sometimes it is the guys that come from nothing or maybe the guys that don't have the best of futures ahead of them in the current surroundings that can fight through it and become leaders of men. Sometimes those individuals are the warriors that great leaders want to go to battle with.
Time will tell which of these two Jermaine Eluemunor is, but either way he seems to be headed in the right direction and everything he does points to the next best thing.
Eluemunor moved from England in 2008 when his parents thought he would have a better future elsewhere.
"I came here from England because we were in an area that wasn't good for me to grow up in," he told FOX Sports NEXT by phone Sunday. "There just weren't many opportunities over there. There just isn't a lot to build a career with over there."
As a youth and a young high school student, Eluemunor took up wrestling. He found himself to be an aggressive type and liked the hand to hand combat that wrestling allowed. In the beginning it was rough going, but the training and toughness he garnered from the grappling has allowed him to be an elite college prospect.
"Wrestling is what really got me how I am right now," he said. "I got beat up in my first season by people bigger than me and I told myself it was never going to happen again. My senior year I was second in the state. My aggressiveness right now comes from wrestling."
Wrestling is a grueling sport and takes a lot of grit, determination, and stamina. He has taken all he has learned and now he believes the best way for him to get where he wants to go is to make life as difficult as possible for the guy that lines up across from him.
"I wrestled and when people are trying to take my best football away from me I hate them and want to hurt them," Eluemunor said. "I am not just going to pancake them I am going to hurt them. I want them to not want to go against me in the end. You can be the number one player in the country and I am still going to do that to you. I know I can get the best of you.
"I came here with the mindset that I am not going to get beat by anyone and I'm going to outwork everyone. I did just that. Now, I beat people up. I hurt people. I pancake people, and hit people hard. I did everything I can to try and impress the scouts… and it looks like I really impressed them."
These traits are what are going to make him a great leader of men, or at worst that one man wrecking crew that coaches want to have on their side when the coin is flipped to start a football contest and the guy that the players on the other team don't want to line up against.
"My aggressiveness and determination are my best traits," Eluemunor said. "I want to be the best offensive lineman in junior college. When I make it to the next level I want to be the best lineman. I hate the defense. If you are a defensive linemen or linebacker, I hate you. I hate you so much I want to hurt you. You are keeping me from winning the game. You are between me and the end zone and I will destroy you and do what I have to do to win the game."
The crazy thing about his recruitment is that it is absolutely sky rocketing right now. A semester ago he was sitting with a single offer from Florida State who watched his film and really liked it. Now you need more than two hands to count the top 25 programs that have offered him a full ride scholarship to their schools.
Eluemunor says it was just a timing thing and things might have happened earlier if his transcripts were a little more suited for the NCAA standards. He says schools kind of chilled on him knowing that he wasn't going to be available for them to corral in the 2013 class.
"I think that it was just my time to come," Eluemunor said of the sudden burst of offers he is getting. "I got an offer from Florida State last semester when I showed them my film. Then more people started watching my film and I was going to finish last semester, but the NCAA didn't accept my transcripts because they didn't understand it.
"Every school actually knew about me, it was just a matter of time till they started calling me. When they really took the time to look at my film in depth, they were surprised and said I was a big time player. That is when the offers started to come in.
"I sent my film out myself at the beginning of the semester, then I got a lot of help from a friend that is really helping me with the process. Now the offers are flying in from nowhere. I went from New York and having nothing to coming here and expecting the worst."
These are the moments throughout his past where it stands out just how hard he has had to work to get the attention needed to get a scholarship to play college football. His parents certainly made the right move for him getting him to America where he can excel as a student athlete.
It is almost time to move on to the next stage in life, but before he does that he has to figure out where that stage will be. Eluemunor does not have a top five, but says he believes he will take official visits to four schools and there are two more fighting for that last one. Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, and Texas A&M are the four schools he is setting up officials with. Right now, that fifth spot is a battle between Arkansas and UCLA. All of this of course is subject to change.
"I am not going to name a top five right now, these are just the teams in my mind right now that I will visit," he said. "I have an official for Ohio State on November 23. I have an official for Texas A&M on October 2. I am setting one up for Bama and Florida right now and the last one will be between UCLA and Arkansas."
The Buckeyes are of course recruiting juggernauts and according to Eluemunor there is a lot to like.
"I like Coach Urban Meyer," he said. "He is really funny and really cares about his players. He wants to meet my family over the summer and have a family reunion. He seems like he really cares. He coached the (Gator Greats) Pounceys and has put some great linemen in the league.
The defending national champs are on the scene and they want to get a piece of the man-child that is Jermaine Eluemunor as well.
"I talk to Coach Nick Saban and Coach Cristobal, the offensive line coach," he said of Alabama. "I have been talking to him every day this week and he is just a really cool guy. He tells me he wants to coach me. They are trying to show me how much they want me down there. He said Coach Saban saw my film and really wants to meet me.
The Texas A&M Aggies are set for a visit as well and Eluemunor likes what he sees.
"Coach Anderson and Coach Sumlin, they have something special going on down there," he said. "They are starting to create a force down there.
The Razorbacks are under new leadership and it just happens to be someone that Eluemunor was talking to before Bret Bielema came over from Wisconsin.
At Arkansas I talk to Coach Sam Pittman and Coach Bret Bielema," Eluemunor said. "I had a good relationship with coach Bielema before he got to Arkansas. We just kept that up and I've talked to Coach Pittman a lot. He is one of the funniest coaches I have talked to in this entire process. He told me I was one of the best linemen he has seen and he has a lot of linemen in the NFL with less ability than me. He thinks with his coaching and my ability I can be the best. They have the best fans I have probably ever seen."
UCLA made drastic strides a season ago under new leadership with Coach Jim Mora. Eluemunor has taken notice.
At UCLA it's Coach Klemm and Coach Mora. Coach Klemm has the experience of being in the NFL. They are starting to create something special there as well. He has a few in the NFL and had three All-Americans and All-Pac-12. He also really cares about his linemen."
The Florida Gators may just get his first official visit and it may be because Florida head coach Will Muschamp really wants to get a look at Eluemunor as soon as he can. Because he will graduate in December from Lackawanna, he is able to make official visits starting May 1.
Again, it was Eluemunor's persistence and aggressive nature that pushed it to this point.
"I initiated the call because I wasn't hearing from them that much and I was trying figure out which schools I liked the most," he said. "I talked to him and asked him about myself and what he thought. At first he didn't remember me and after I reminded him he said he definitely remembered me. He said they were very very interested in me and liked me a lot.
"He said that I need to get with (UF Director of Player Personnel Coach Jon Haskins and get an official to Florida set up as soon as possible.
"Now, Coach Haskins says that Coach Muschamp wants me down there as soon as possible. He looked me up on Facebook yesterday and said that Coach Muschamp is fired up about me taking the initiative and he really liked that."
There is a lot for him to like about what the Gators have to offer.
"I just like the program," he said. "They have a bunch of great linemen that went here. I like the environment and atmosphere and how the fans like Gator football."
"They have several guards leaving this year. I think they want me to play inside, but most want me to play outside. That is something to think about. I can play anywhere on the offensive line. I can play either tackle or guard spots, I just don't want to play center."
After talking about these schools that he is trying to fit in for official visits, Eluemunor was steady naming others that he really didn't want to leave out.
He talked a little about the Georgia Bulldogs.
"I haven't spoken to Georgia very much, but they have had some dominant offensive linemen," he said. "They have a really good program and a team and seem like a good team to play for."
His first offer came from Florida State and that means something to him.
"They were the first to offer and the first to meet me," he said of the Seminoles. "I have a good relationship with (offensive line) Coach Tricket. The fans at Florida State are cool, just like the Arkansas fans."
After a very long and wonderful interview with this 6-5, 310 pound monster that has run a 4.84 in the 40. You come to realize he is one heck of an intelligent person. He rattles off assistant coaches at all of these schools like they are nothing. Most kids have to go through their cell phone contact lists for even one or two schools to remember the coaches names.
And yet, this guy is that guy that is going to rip the head off of the defender across from him on Saturday. Boy, this is going to be a fun one to follow.