Andrew Mukuba has a unique story about his journey to Clemson and the path he took to get there.
The freshman safety, who enrolled early at Clemson in January, played his high school ball at LBJ Early College High School in Austin, Texas. However, he didn’t begin playing the sport until he was in middle school after moving to the United States from Africa with his family when he was a youngster.
“It’s different from a lot of people,” Mukuba said during a YouTube video from Clemson of how he ended up there. “I was born in Zimbabwe, but my parents are from Congo, so we came here when I was like nine. I didn’t start playing football until like the sixth grade. That’s when I really started playing football, and then I just picked on from there. It was a nice transition from where we came from. But we came a long way.”
Mukuba’s family didn’t know much about the recruiting process – which he went through as a consensus four-star prospect and coveted recruit with more than 30 scholarship offers – and his mother still has little knowledge about the game of football that her son will be playing at the highest level in college.
“My mom, she doesn’t even know what a touchdown is,” Mukuba said, “but she just knows I’m in a great place and they’re going to take care of me here.”
While Mukuba’s mom is not familiar with football, she knows full well her son is good at it.
“Yeah, she knows that,” Mukuba said, smiling.
Mukuba, who committed to Clemson last September before signing with the program in December, is ranked as the No. 6 safety and No. 154 overall prospect in the 2021 class by ESPN.
A two-way player at LBJ Early College High School, Mukuba won District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior when he had 27 receptions for 427 yards and six scores to go with 173 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns on 20 carries. Defensively, the 6-foot, 185-pounder posted 60 tackles, six interceptions and four caused fumbles as a senior in 2020.
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