COLORADO SPRINGS — University of Colorado defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat was visiting with Vista Ridge football coach Jeremi Calip about any players that a fit for the Buffs' 2018 recruiting class.
Wolves defensive lineman Jalen Sami just happened to be sitting Calip at the time.
"He looked when he sat down and said 'Coach, who is this kid,'" Calip recalls. "I told him it was Jalen Sami. He was on your recruit board, you guys came to watch a few games but no one sent anything back."
Jeffcoat told Calip that he had yet to see any film of Sami.
By the time Monday rolled around around, Jeffcoat must've finally been able to watch some, and he clearly liked what he saw.
The Buffs offered the 6-foot-5, 325-pound d-lineman and sooner after, Ole Miss followed suit.
Prior to those scholarship offers, Sami was looking at either the University of Northern Colorado or CSU-Pueblo.
"A week ago today, it was just Greeley," Sami said. "CU had been in contact with me all year and then Coach Jeffcoat actually popped up at the school."
Sami is a family-oriented guy. When he got the offer from Boulder, the offer that Calip said was the one he wanted, he discussed it with his family. Even with Ole Miss coming in late, there was going to be no changing his mind.
When he started his football career at Vista Ridge four years ago, he told Calip that it was his goal to play Division I football.
In front of a crowd that included family, friends and teams Sami listed as Calip told the story that all the kid had to do was put in the effort and keep his grades up.
"You take care of your end of the deal and I'll hold up mine," Calib said.
The promise was kept on both ends. But with CU being the team that had been paying the most attention, there was really no question as to the decision Sami would make when it was time to put pen to paper.
"He stayed firm," Calip said. "I explained the difference to him between the two universities and what he was looking for. Jalen has really good family values and being around his family is very good for him."
For the last several years, it feels like the Springs and most of southern Colorado has navigated toward CSU-Pubelo. There might be one or two standouts in each recruiting class, so Sami knows that what he experienced on Wednesday is not something a lot of kids that live in his area get to go through.
"This isn't a state that football is as big in," he said. "Just having me and my brothers and friends sign on National Signing Day and go to big schools to continue football is a blessing."