Eze goes from basketball star to football player

Over the last few years the Florida Gators have recruited several prospects that are new to the game of football. In the case of offensive lineman Obinna Eze (6-8, 283, Nashville, TN Davidson Academy) he’s really new to the game of football.

Eze moved to the United States from Africa and was brought in with a host family, but the Tennessee prospect never thought he would be on the football field.

“I have played football for one year,” Eze said. “I came into America and found a family that I trusted and they told me that they thought I could be special in football. I really didn’t have a reason to play football because I’m a basketball guy but I played football on trust of my family.”

Back home Eze was special basketball player at 6-foot-8 and never thought about playing football, but he has a new opinion of the game after he has had the chance to play it.

“I like football and I actually can’t believe it because back home me and my friends hated football back in Nigeria,” he said. “We thought it was a really scary sport but my opinion has changed and I love the game man.”

On Monday, the Florida Gators thought enough of Eze to send offensive line coach Mike Summers to visit him and eventually extend a scholarship offer to the tackle.

“Coach Summers was the coach that offered me,” Eze said of the Gators coach who offered him the scholarship. “It was simple, he told me that he liked and that he thought I could be a really good athlete and great tackle at Florida. He offered me and said that he was looking forward to building a relationship with me and showing me why Florida was the place to be.”

Florida has been looking at Eze for the last few months and Summers has been communicating with the Nashville prospect through Twitter.
“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times, we talk a lot through messages on Twitter,” he said. “I don’t know him that much in person, but talking to him he seems like a good person. I think he’s a really good guy.”

Since Eze is new to the States and game of football, he doesn’t know too much about the Florida program but he wants to learn more about the Gators.

“I don’t know too much about Florida but I watched a lot of Florida games last year,” Eze said on what he knows about the Gators. “Since I live in Tennessee, I know a lot about the rivalry [Florida-Tennessee]. I don’t know much about the coaching staff and like Florida off the field but I’m starting to do my homework. Hopefully in a short time I will be able to meet the staff and come down there for a camp.”

Eze says he’s grateful for the opportunities he has been given and that getting a college offer is more for his family then just him.

“To be able to play college football means a lot, not just to me but to my family,” he said of what this means to him. “My family back in Nigeria are very educated so they know what means to have a scholarship from all of these schools. I really appreciate what’s happening to me and I’m just grateful to God for what’s happening to me.”

INSIDERS TAKE: Eze says he hasn’t planned out his summer visits but he hopes to visit Florida this summer and other schools as well. Eze is very open in the process as he tries to learn more about each school that has offered him a scholarship. Eze has a very high ceiling on the football field.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.