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BYU beats out Utah for commitment from 6-foot-9 Juan Diego lineman Chinonso Opara

Chinoso Opara
Chinoso Opara
Andrew Sorensen, Deseret News

In late 2014, Chinonso Opara arrived in the United States from Nigeria, first going to Maryland, then California before moving to Utah at the end of his sophomore year in 2016.

Now the 6-foot-9, 270 Juan Diego defensive lineman holds scholarship offers to play football at both BYU and Utah after having played football for just one year, and on Thursday, he announced his commitment to the Cougars as part of their 2018 recruiting class.

Recalling when he received his first offer from BYU on June 13, Opara said, "It felt like a big relief because I was working hard all summer and last season to play at the next level, so it felt like a dream."

Nine days later, Opara tweeted that the Utes had offered him.

So why commit to the Cougars now?

"I just want to play close to family," he said. "I have the chance to play at the next level, and I've just been working hard to get at that level."