BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – For some young athletes, playing high level college football is a dream, but for SDSU’s Randy Keumogne, it’s been the journey of a life time.

“Every TV show and every thing we watched on TV was literally about America so it was cool to finally realize I’m actually going there,” SDSU third year Defensive End Randy Keumogne said.

Born into a family of eight, South Dakota State defensive end Randy Keumogne spent his childhood in Douala, Cameroon.

“We played soccer all the time together, the weather was always nice so we were always outside playing. So, it was super fun. My childhood, personally I was redo my childhood again if I had a chance,” Keumogne said with a smile.

By the age of 14 Randy would move to the United states coming to the Minneapolis area where his older brother was located. The plan was originally to stay with him, but with his brother becoming newly engaged, Randy and his father thought it was best he find his own place.

“From sophomore year till senior year I lived in an apartment by myself,” Keumogne said.

Living alone as a teenage was a huge adjustment, but perhaps the biggest challenge was learning a language he had never spoken.

“It was frustrating because when I would go to like place where people are speaking English I was like why are they talking to fast? Because when I learned it, I learned it word by word. I want to go to the store.. and then I go there and they said I want to go to the store (Quickly) and I was like what?” Keumogne said with a laugh.

Randy began playing basketball as a freshman at Tartan High School and by his junior year would decide to go out for the football team.

They would first place him at outside linebacker, but due to injury, a week before their first game, they decided to move him to defensive end.

“My first game I went in there, I think I had 5 tackles and one or two fumble recoveries and my coach came up to me after the game and said I think we found you a new position,” Keumogne told.

College programs would begin to take notice. During the summer heading into his senior season…

“Randy came to team camp, we have three different sessions in the summer time and they spend two and a half days here with us. So, I knew about him going into it and wanted the opportunity to work with him one on one,” SDSU Defensive Line Coach Christian Smith said.

In front of the entire camp, Smith would put Keumogne through a number of intense drills.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more tired. That was probably the most tired I’d ever been and I couldn’t put my hands on my knees, I couldn’t show any signs of weakness because we were in the middle of every camper and I was getting validated. I was so tired that day,” Keumogne remembered.

“He earned it for sure. Everything in life that’s worth something is earned and he definitely earned the opportunity to play at South Dakota State,” Smith remarked.

Now in his third year with the program, the juniors attitude is simple.

“I’ve just been thankful and thanking God about this all along. If I wasn’t playing football I don’t know how my life would have been. So, for me, I always thank Him because sometimes I just stop myself and think wow, I only played a sport for two years and got recruited at this championship level program,” Keumogne expressed.

“For me, it’s nothing but a blessing.”