From England to Nigeria to New York to Canada to New Mexico to ... Morgantown? That could be the path of Terry Ayeni, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end who holds a West Virginia offer and has the Mountaineers as one of his favorites.
He was not always a hulking defender that terrorized quarterbacks, though. A few weeks after being born, Ayeni moved to Nigeria with his mother and two sisters. At the age of 8, he moved to New York City, where he picked up the "other" football, soccer.
"It was weird getting used to the lifestyle in America," he admits now. "Eventually, like any living thing, I adapted."
And he would need to keep adapting. A few years later, he was on the move again, this time to Canada to live with his father. For the first time in his life, he stepped onto the gridiron, and he was a natural.
"I started playing football my junior year [of high school] going into my senior year," he said. "I eventually got noticed by [New Mexico Military Institute coach Joe] Forchtner, and since then, I haven't looked back."
Ayeni has picked up major-college offers from the likes of Texas, South Florida, West Virginia and more. This past weekend, he was expected to head to Austin to visit the Longhorns, but the coaching situation altered those plans. Now, he's focused on three programs.
"I'm waiting until January [to take visits] now," he said. "I have two visits set up to West Virginia [Jan. 31] and Northern Illinois [Jan. 24]. I also want to get Arizona State in the mix."
The Mountaineers' recruiting efforts are led by none other than defensive line coach Erik Slaughter, who visited Ayeni earlier this month.