The newest Vol football commit in the class of 2019 may play in Florida, but he's already spent a lot of time in the state of Tennessee. Offensive tackle Chris Akporoghene played under head coach Matt Lowe at the King's Academy after leaving his home country of Nigeria.
"He's one of those young people that come into a program literally a blank slate," said Lowe. He had every physical characteristic, every physical tool you kind of look for, but had never put on a helmet."
Focused more on basketball initially, Akporoghene came to Seymour at the end of his freshman year, humble, young and not knowing what to expect.
"You had to take things kind of slow with him, just to allow him to absorb it all, because everything was brand new."
But with each practice, each rep, Lowe saw a desire to grow, to learn, to improve.
"He is a relentless worker, if there are mistakes that are made in day 1, day 2, he's going to spend time after practice trying to figure out how to correct those mistakes," said Lowe.
Physically, there's a lot of potential for Akporoghene. Officially listed at 6'4" 290 pounds, Lowe says the offensive lineman has a commitment to the weight room and has gained nearly 50 pounds of muscle since his first days at TKA.
"In the first game that he ever played, there's one particular play that stood out, where he happened to lock onto a defender and drove the young man almost 20 yards into the end zone," said Lowe.
Lowe is now the head coach at Powell, while Akporoghene plays at the IMG Academy in Florida, but the two are constantly talking to each other.
"I'm just very proud of him, very proud for the way he has handled all this," said Lowe, "just taking it all in and enjoying it, but at the same time, not letting it change who you are and what you want the end result to be."
Akporoghene plans to graduate in December, joining the Vols as an early enrollee.