Kobe Buffalomeat eats up the attention after signing with Illinois State

Kobe Buffalomeat walked out of a Lawrence High School classroom Wednesday, and some friends asked, "Do you know you're famous?"

Twitter erupted Wednesday morning after Illinois State announced the signing of the 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive tackle.

"BREAKING: Illinois State signs the best recruit name in college football history," ESPN's Darren Rovell tweeted to his 1.68 million followers.

Buffalomeat prepared for a media blitz — and a possible appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" — when he joined three football teammates Wednesday in the Lawrence High cafeteria for a national signing day event.

"Here I am," he said at the end of his two-minute speech. "Go Redbirds."

Lawrence coach Dirk Wedd called it a "fairy tale" — not the celebrity part, but the fact Buffalomeat had earned a scholarship to a school such as Illinois State.

"He couldn't walk and chew bubble gum last summer," Wedd said. "Then he figured it out. By the end of the season, he was first-team all-conference."

Wedd surrendered his phone Wednesday morning for jury duty. By the time he got out, he had 125 text messages.

Buffalomeat spent part of Wednesday tweeting with Jordan Peele of the comedy duo Key & Peele.

"Love their show," he said. "Watch all the time. And I just got done with a producer from the Jimmy Kimmel show talking about a Skype call.

"It's fun. I've enjoyed the day. It's a lot, but I'm happy this is happening. Have to enjoy it while you can. It's not going to last forever."

Buffalomeat's friends and family say he can handle the attention.

Ray Buffalomeat said his son, named after Kobe Bryant, is roughly one-quarter Cheyenne/Arapaho, one-quarter Cherokee, one-quarter Choctaw and one-quarter white.

"Having the name Buffalomeat probably hasn't always been easy," said his aunt, Penny Postoak Ferguson. "But it makes me proud for our heritage. I saw a lot of positive comments on ESPNU."

As for Kobe's personality?

"He's very laid-back and fun-loving," she said. "Very respectful."

Classmate Sydona Kegin has been friends with him since the third grade.

"I know it seems overwhelming," she said, "but I think he's enjoying every second."

Illinois State, meanwhile, is happy to have him.

"We didn't do this as a publicity stunt," coach Brock Spack said by telephone. "We did it because of his character. He's a good student. He's long and a very good athlete. He has big upside."

And a name football fans — and perhaps Hollywood — won't soon forget.

"People say I have a good football name," Spack said. "So he and I have something in common."

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A guy named Kobe Buffalomeat joins Illinois State ... and Twitter goes nuts

As college football programs continue to announce additions to their 2017 recruiting classes, one name stood out from the rest: Kobe Buffalomeat, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive lineman who will be joining the Illinois State Redbirds.

Naturally, folks on Twitter took notice of an amazing name like that.


Illinois State football’s newest signee Kobe Buffalomeat breaks the internet

Everyone is eating this name up.

The talk of National Signing Day’s had nothing to do with a high school senior’s playing ability. Rather, it revolved around Kobe Buffalomeat... for obvious reasons.

The 285-pound offensive lineman trended on social media shortly after Illinois State football, somewhat of an FCS powerhouse, announced the signing.

Even Comedy Central got in on the action, tweeting its congratulations to Buffalomeat along with a clip from the famous East/West Bowl skit from “Key and Peele” that features athletes with ridiculous names.

The craze over his name has reached such heights Wednesday that the high schooler was contacted by a producer from the Jimmy Kimmel Show about skyping in for an interview with the host.

Buffalomeat told the Chicago Tribune that he is named after Kobe Bryant.

“I never really thought it was that special until today, I guess. It just blew up. But yeah, a lot of people have always talked about my last name, but it's never been this big yet,” he said.

Name aside, Illinois State has high hopes Buffalomeat on the gridiron.

“We think he can be a very special player here,” Redbirds recruiting coordinator Lamar Conrad said in the signing announcement video. “You just can’t recruit that kind of size and attitude. He’s more than willing and I think that he will be a tremendous asset to coach (offensive coordinator Dan Clark’s) offensive line here in the future.”

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