Feature photo courtesy of Rolly Landeros.
For most high school sophomores, it can become very overwhelming to have already received 13 Division I college football offers, but Emil Ekiyor is not like most high school sophomores.
As the number one ranked Indiana football prospect in the class of 2018, Ekiyor has obviously received an abundance of college attention. 13 schools have offered him, including Michigan, Tennessee, and Georgia: three of the best programs in college football.
“I try not to let it get to my head too much,” Ekiyor said about all of the recruiting attention he is receiving. “I just try to stay humble and grounded, and just control everything that I can control right now.”
Ekiyor will have a lot to control later in his high school career. The 6’3” sophomore will soon have to decide between at least 13 programs because of the skill he possesses as an offensive guard.
“It’s probably my quick feet and my ability to move well in space, and also my run-blocking skills,” Ekiyor said about the parts of his game that makes him so special.
Ekiyor’s skills help him immensely in his high school career. He has been a starter on the offensive line at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis for his first two seasons, and won a state championship his freshman year.
“It was a great feeling,” Ekiyor said about winning the state championship. “I was a little bit more excited than everyone else. I guess everyone else expected to win.”
The other players, and Cathedral’s coaching staff of six former college and professional football players, had good reason to expect a state championship. The 2014 title was Cathedral’s fifth straight state championship, and the 12th in school history. The school also holds the mark for most wins in Indiana state football history.
“There’s a lot of tradition,” Ekiyor said about playing at Cathedral High School. “You know there were people here before you that were just as good. It’s a great school.”
Ekiyor still has two more seasons left at Cathedral, and plans to work on his weaknesses as a pass-blocker and to get better in general.
“I just want to get more high-level offers and be able to develop my game so when I get to college I’ll be ready to play right away,” Ekiyor said about his goals for his final two high school seasons.
Although he does not exactly know where he wants to play his college football, Ekiyor knows he wants to go to a school with a good campus and football environment.
“I would like the environment to be one that has a great football environment where I can enjoy every Saturday. I have actually ruled out some schools based on that,” Ekiyor said.
Ekiyor has had some help to get him to the point where he can think about where he would like to play his college football. His father, a former NFL draft pick and college standout at Central Florida, helped him get to where he is now.
“I try to follow him and I look up to him a lot,” Ekiyor said about his father. “He does all of my recruiting stuff and he trains me all of the time. He’s just a great resource for me.”
His father helps him become great on the field, but Ekiyor also excels off the field. He has a 3.7 GPA and knows that his good grades help with recruiting.
“I think that [schools] won’t be as hesitant to offer me if they know I’ll be able to go to a good school,” Ekiyor said about how his good grades affect his recruitment. “They know that I will be able to succeed and they won’t have to have any second thoughts at all.”
For Ekiyor, the most enticing offer is from Tennessee, which is currently at the top of his list. Wherever he goes, Emil Ekiyor will continue to excel on the field and in the classroom, and be the definition of a student-athlete.
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