Kobe Buffalomeat, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound high school senior offensive lineman out of Lawrence, Kansas, is in all likelihood the most popular Illinois State recruit in school history, and is certainly the only good thing to happen on Twitter during National Signing Day.
After the large teen and his intriguing name came to light Wednesday, interest in the future Redbird rookie piqued, with a garden variety of so-so puns clouding college football Twitter. Today, we got some background on Buffalomeat by way of the Chicago Tribune.
As his last name would suggest, Buffalomeat is of Native American descent: the future Missouri Valley Conference player is a quarter Cheyenne/Arapaho—a tribe hailing from Choncho, Oklahoma—a quarter Cherokee, a quarter Choctaw, and a quarter white. As of last season, Division I football fielded just 109 Native American athletes among its total 28,380 players, so unique name aside, Buffalomeat was already going to be a rarity in the FCS.
The part that people appear to be more interested in—his name being Kobe Buffalomeat—was inspired by former Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, according to his dad, Ray. The soon-to-be graduated senior seems to be enjoying his 15 minutes, as he’s reportedly got an upcoming appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show in the works and tweeted with Jordan Peele yesterday.
The Lawrence High School product almost missed his chance at the limelight, though, as he quit football after his freshman season, according to the New York Post. He played basketball for the next couple years before head coach Dirk Wedd convinced him to give football another shot as a senior. Since he had to earn his way back, Buffalomeat was withheld from the starting lineup for the first three games; he finished the season first-team all-conference and first-team all-state.
Let’s all thank Kobe Buffalomeat for bringing us a college recruiting story that is actually fun and does not involve grown men tweeting weird things at 18-year-olds.