Sandley Jean-Felix committed to Florida International because of his relationship with the coaches and the family atmosphere. But he had to overcome some adversity to reach his goals of becoming a Division 1 athlete.
The 6-foot-5, 292-pound offensive tackle was ruled ineligible and missed his entire junior season because of academic issues. However, the Golden Panthers stuck with him and he decided to pull the trigger over an offer from Bethune-Cookman.
Jean-Felix stated, "I like the fact that it's close to home. I feel that I can grow there, both spiritually and possibly become a NFL star."
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Despite FIU's on-field struggles Jean-Felix said he doesn't have plans to look around.
He remarked, "I'm good with Coach Cristobal, but the main person that recruited me the most there was coach Mirabal. I like the players and the family type atmosphere."
The three-star lineman looks up to Baltimore Ravens OT Michael Oher because he sees a little but of himself in the NFL star.
"Oher is very aggressive. We both started at the bottom and many people doubted him like they did me. And look where he is now."
He had a standout performance at the Miami Nike Camp last spring. He has great reach with long arms and showed well in pass protection sets. Jean-Felix is a little raw in some areas, but he will only get better with more reps.
Jean-Felix said he is averaging about three pancakes blocks a game. His team is 7-1 and wraps up the regular season this Friday against Cypress Bay (Fla.) Weston.