Like everybody else, Michigan State wrapped up its 2017 recruiting class on Wednesday, and while the class wasn’t one of the top-ranked in the country — 247Sports has it ranked No. 34 — it did include at least one interesting story.
Mustafa Khaleefah is a three-star offensive tackle out of Dearborn, Michigan, but Khaleefah took a long journey to reach Dearborn before even getting to East Lansing. A story from MLive.com documents Khaleefah’s life, which began in Iraq. It was there that Khaleefah grew up in a war-torn country before his family immigrated to the United States when he was about nine years old.
Khaleefah says that he saw his uncle, friends and neighbors shot in Iraqui streets. His family decided to move to the United States because “we couldn’t just afford to lose any more family members than we did.”
When he arrived in America, he didn’t speak any English, making his transition to life here more difficult, but it seems there’s one universal language among teenagers all over the world: video games.
Khaleefah had no familiarity with the sport of football, and he became acquainted with it while playing
“Madden.” He played the game in middle school and learned all about football, but it wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that he actually put on pads and played the game when others convinced him to give it a try.
It’s an interesting story, and one I recommend reading in its entirety.
As for how Khaleefah’s football career will turn out, given where his journey began, the fact he’s received a scholarship to play at Michigan State already feels like a tremendous victory.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Michigan State signee who escaped Iraq learned football from ‘Madden’