Rockhurst’s lineman from Nigeria thought he’d be playing basketball. ‘I had the body’ for football
The biggest high school football prospect in Kansas City — literally — is leaving the area to pursue his NFL ambitions.
Rockhurst offensive lineman Danielson Ike signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to attend Southern Methodist University on a football scholarship. Ike, a native of Nigeria, opted for SMU in Dallas over a dozen other offers. He had visited Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas State within the past four weeks.
Ike (pronounced EEE-kay) already has the size for the next level. He is a 6-foot-6, 325-pound force who lines up primarily as a right tackle. He helped Rockhurst reach the Missouri Class 6 state championship game and was a first team all-state selection.
“And there’s so much more to him than football,” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino told The Star’s Sam Mellinger in an extended profile of Ike earlier this fall. “We’ve had better football players here. I’m not sure we’ve had many better kids.”
Ike began playing football only four years ago but has already stated his hopes to reach the NFL. He grew up in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria and Africa’s largest city. His high school highlight reel was more than enough to draw interest from coaches before he had even finished his first season. Alabama and Michigan were among those who offered scholarships.
Rivals lists Ike as a three-star prospect and the 53rd best player at his position in the country. He announced his commitment during a ceremony Wednesday at Rockhurst.