Malverne High School senior Emmanuel Adeyeye signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play football for Fordham University in the fall.
Adeyeye, 17, who was named Nassau County’s Defensive MVP during the 2012 Senior Bowl, earned a full athletic scholarship from both Fordham and the University of Maine but made his official decision this afternoon.
"It really came down to the academic part of it," Adeyeye told Patch. With plans to major in Broadcast Journalism, he touted Fordham's close proximity to Manhattan and its connections in the industry.
Kito Lockwood, head coach of Malverne's varsity football team, described Adeyeye as "a fine young man [who is] fabulous on the football field, full of energy and very athletic."
Lockwood also praised Adeyeye's accomplishments in the classroom and his dedication to his school community. He's currently vice president of his senior class, and president of Malverne's chapter of the National Honor Society and the MSG Varsity Club.
Lockwood had no doubt that studying and playing football at Fordham will open up great opportunites for Adeyeye in the future. "He's blessed," he added. "A lot of kids look for these opportunities and he's been granted them ... Manny is a great leader and he will be very successful."
Leadership was also a trait that Adeyeye's proud parents noticed in their son from an early age even though he is the third youngest of nine kids.
"He's been a great child from when he was very little," his mother, Anthonia, said.
"We call him 'Mr. President,'" his father, Festus, added.
His parents also praised their son's social skills, his intelligence and his ability to multi-task and excel at many things.
"I know this is just the beginning," Anthonia said. "We know he has the NFL in his mind ... and as parents, we are also for that and I will not rest until he gets there."
After signing the paperwork, Adeyeye and his parents thanked the coaches, teachers, principals and other staff of the Malverne School District.
"It's been a blast," Adeyeye said. "From Head Coach Kito Lockwood to the assistant coaches, counselors, principals, students, staff members and even the security guards ... everyone supported me the whole way."
He added, "Going from a Mule to a Ram is not going to be a bad transition, and I'm ready to do it."