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Union Academy defender Ben Ofeimu verbally commits to Penn State

Former Union U19 head coach Jeff Cook has landed another recruit from the Philadelphia Union Academy

Philadelphia Union Academy center back Ben Ofeimu plans to head to the Happy Valley when he graduates from high school next year.

The 17-year-old Michigan native announced his verbal commitment to Penn State on Friday, becoming the second recruit former Union U19 head coach and Bethlehem Steel assistant Jeff Cook has attracted to the program since taking the helm in January.

“When I found out that Coach Jeff Cook was coming to Penn State, I was so excited because I knew his style of play and what he could bring out of me as a player,” said Ofeimu.

The 6-foot-3 defender from West Bloomfield, Michigan joined the Union U16 team in 2015 from Vardar Academy.

He’s started 21 matches this season for the U19s and has a goal after missing half of last season with an injury. He’s also trained regularly with Bethlehem Steel and made several appearances with the team in preseason.

Ofeimu will join U19 teammate Jeremy Rafanello with the Nittany Lions next fall. Rafanello signed a letter of intent after backing out of his verbal commitment to Drexel University in February.

“Their history, facilities, and resources are some of the best in the country,” Ofeimu said. “It’s an extra benefit that some of my teammates from Philly Union will be there. And without a doubt, there’s not a better academic environment.”