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Drew lineman commits to Kennesaw State

Drew offensive lineman Chiaza Nwadike is the first lineman to commit to startup Kennesaw State. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone).

Drew offensive lineman Chiaza Nwadike is the first lineman to commit to startup Kennesaw State. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone).

RIVERDALE — Chiaza Nwadike didn’t set out to make history when he made his college choice. It just happened to work out that way.

The Drew offensive lineman became the first lineman to commit to startup program Kennesaw State. Nwadike chose the Cobb County school, which will field its first team in 2015, over Furman, Alabama State and Bethune-Cookman.

“Kennesaw State won the battle with Mom,” Drew coach Jarrett Laws said. “She really liked what they had to offer Chiaza, and that was important.”

Nwadike is the third player from the Southern Crescent to commit to Kennesaw State, which will play on the NCAA’s second-highest level. In addition to Nwadike, Kennesaw State is expected to sign Riverdale senior Isa Muhammad and Cymeon Burden of Eagle’s Landing. Muhammad plays defensive back and Burden is a wide receiver.

“When I was up there, I thought about my decision, and thought Kennesaw State was best,” Nwadike said. “Staying close to home was a factor, but it was not the biggest factor. I have a chance to play in a program that is new.”

Kennesaw State will play on the Football Championship Subdivision level, which is the second-highest in the NCAA. Earlier this week, the school announced that it would join the Big South Conference for football. The rest of the school’s athletic teams will play in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“I have a feeling that he will be very successful there,” Drew offensive line coach Maurice Dixon said. “He is very athletic and physical, and their offensive scheme will fit him. We do a lot of the same things that they will be doing.”

Earlier this year, Kennesaw State hired former Georgia Tech assistant Brian Bohannon as the school’s first football coach. Bohannon is a Griffin native and played his college football at Georgia. The Owls will run an offensive scheme similar to that of Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern.

Nwadike is 6-foot-2, and weighs 285 pounds. He has a 3.3 grade-point average and has already qualified to play as a freshman under NCAA rules.

“It is a good addition for their program,” Laws said. “I know they are excited about getting him.”