When Michigan State landed 2018 Dublin (Ohio) Coffman linebacker Jeslord Boateng, the Spartans knew they would be getting a super-athletic prospect.
Boateng, a track star, sprints like a defensive back, but he has rare size to go with that speed. Having put on more than 15 pounds since last season, he stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 213 pounds.
His football prowess has been well-documented, but what about off the field? Land of 10 caught up with Boateng to learn more about the kid underneath the helmet.
Q: First off, I was curious about your last name. Is that Ghanaian?
Boateng: “Yeah. I have family from there. I’ve never been there, though.”
Q: How far back does that go? Are your parents from there?
Boateng: “Yeah, my parents are from there. My parents both met in Ghana, and then my dad came here with his mom, and then my dad went back to get my mom to bring her here.”
Q: Do you still have family back there?
Boateng: “Yeah, I’ve never met them though.”
Q: So, the name Jeslord: Is there any special meaning to that?
Boateng: “It means Jesus is Lord.”
Q: Do you have any siblings?
Boateng: “My oldest brother goes to Cincinnati. His name is George. My second-oldest brother, Jason, goes to Indiana Tech. He plays basketball and does the high jump for the track team there. And I have a little sister.”
Q: When you get up to Michigan State, do you have any idea what you might study?
Boateng: “Sports marketing, I think.”
Q: What’s your favorite subject in school?
Boateng: “History. I just like to learn about what happened in the past, really. Usually U.S. history.”
Q: So Ghana’s not on the list yet, but what’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?
Boateng: “Probably when I went up to Canada. I visited family in Ontario. It’s like a six-hour drive. It wasn’t too long.”
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
Boateng: “High School Musical 2. I just thought it was always funny.”
Q: Is there a TV show you can’t miss an episode of?
Boateng: “I don’t really watch TV. Back when I was a kid, probably Drake and Josh. But right now, I don’t really have a show. I just watch SportsCenter.”
Q: So how do you spend the little bit of free time you have?
Boateng: “Hanging out with friends, watching football, watching basketball. Any sports, really?”
Q: Are you a Browns fans? A Bengals fan?
Boateng: “No, I don’t really have an NFL team. If I had to watch an NFL team, probably the Cowboys or Seahawks.”
Q: What’s your go-to snack?
Boateng: “Fruit snacks. Any kind, really. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Q: Do you have any hidden talents? Is there something not many people know you can do?
Boateng: “I used to play drums for my church when I was younger. Not many people know that.”
Q: Do you play at all anymore?
Boateng: “No, not anymore. I just got really busy when I grew older, so I didn’t really have time to practice.”
Q: Do you have any superstitions or anything you have to do before a game?
Boateng: “Listen to music.”
Q: What kind of stuff are you listening to before a game?
Boateng: “Drake, Logic, Lil Uzi, Meek Mill.”
Q: Do you have an album, song or artist that you can’t stop listening to at the moment?
Boateng: “Probably Lil Uzi’s new album [Luv is Rage 2]. It came out a couple weeks ago.”
Q: How would your friends describe you off the field?
Boateng: “A funny guy. I like to have fun. Nice to everyone.”
Q: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Boateng: “Over the summer, I worked at Taco Bell for like two days.”
Q: Why did it end so quickly?
Boateng: “I ended it. I couldn’t do it anymore.”
Q: What did they have you doing there?
Boateng: “Making food.”
Q: Did you find a better job after that?
Boateng: “No, I just stuck with football because two-a-days were just starting, so I didn’t really have time for it.”
Q: Who’s your biggest role model?
Boateng: “Probably my parents.”
Q: What do they do for a living?
Boateng: “My dad is a truck driver, and my mom is a nurse.”
Q: I’m sure there have been a lot of things, but what would you say you’ve learned from them?
Boateng: “Hard work, determination and trying to get whatever you aspire for.”
Q: What’s the biggest thing you’ve had to overcome in your life? Have you had a certain bout of adversity that stuck out?
Boateng: “Probably staying focused with school. Early on in my life, I hated it a lot, and my coaches helped me stay on track.”
Q: If there was a movie made about your life, whom would you want to play you?
Boateng: “The Rock [Dwayne Johnson]. I’ve just always thought he was a great actor. I just like watching his movies.”