Godfrey Onyeka is highest ranked U-Sports prospect in latest CFL rankings

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani


From Mar. 22-25 the best CIS prospects in the nation will converge in Winnipeg to take part in the annual CFL evaluation camp.

This evaluation camp (E-Camp) is designed to put players through a rigorous battery of physical tests and football-related drills where scouts and coaches representing all nine CFL teams will be in attendance, scrutinizing prospects’ every move. This year, there might not be a more intriguing prospect than Wilfrid Laurier’s own Godfrey Onyeka.

Standing 6’2” and weighing 200 lbs., Godfrey is already a physical specimen at the cornerback position, but to him this isn’t quite good enough; the first thing he cited when interviewed were ways in which he is trying to improve.

“I’m working on getting faster. That’s my biggest flaw,” Onyeka said.

“A lot of the time when I have to go against a guy like Kurleigh [Gittens Jr.] – Kurleigh’s obviously faster than me – so to play against Kurleigh I have to overcompensate and not be as patient as I could be playing against another receiver who isn’t as explosive.”

“There’s a big aspect of patience that comes into football and being fast enough to have the confidence in yourself to just sit there and wait for things to develop is a big part of it.”

“Flaw” may be an overstatement by the exceedingly humble Onyeka, because if his four-year career at Laurier demonstrated anything, it was that he is a dominant force and a player who helped anchor Laurier’s defensive unit.

Consequently, the next few months will be busy for Onyeka as he finishes up his final year at Laurier, competes at E-Camp and in May takes part in the CFL draft.

Godfrey Onyeka was named a First Team all Canadian in 2015, 2016 and 2017, joining Donnie Ruiz (1998, 1999, 2000), Stefan Ptaszek (1992, 1993, 1994) and Alex Troop (1983, 1984, 1985) as only the fourth Golden Hawk in team history to achieve three all Canadian nods during his university career.

When congratulated on this historic feat Onyeka was quick to divert the praise to his coaches.

“This isn’t me trying to sound modest, I was a decent contributor, but the scheme we have, anyone could step in and do it. Our scheme is so fundamentally sound that the only way you beat us is if we mess up. So it’s a really well-devised and well-coached scheme. Our coaches know what they’re doing.”

Onyeka continued on to detail more ways in which he feels his game can be improved.

“I have moments where I do really good things [on the football field] and I’m focused, then I have moments where I have lapses in my concentration and judgement … my footwork isn’t always the best, flexibility and obviously improving on the mental aspect of football,” he said.

“I’m working on quite a few things.”

Onyeka’s tenacity and dedication to self-improvement are traits that no successful player can be without. Furthermore, his amalgamation of these characteristics with a CFL-ready body and exceptional football resume make it obvious as to why coaches are so excited at the prospect of having him join their team.

When asked about which team he would most like to be drafted by Godfrey had this to say: “Honestly I don’t have a first choice. I’ll be getting paid to play football, something I would do for free, so it’s a dream come true for me.”

Currently ranked as the sixth-best prospect – the highest ranking of any prospect who played university football in Canada – it is too early to predict which team Onyeka will land with.

But one thing is certain, whichever team that drafts Onyeka will be lucky to have him. His combination of mental and physical attributes makes him a rare prospect and one that is sure to find a contributing role on a CFL roster.

Consequently, the next few months will be busy for Onyeka as he finishes up his final year at Laurier, competes at E-Camp and in May takes part in the CFL draft.

Regardless, there is no reason to think that he won’t soon be harassing CFL offenses the same way he did CIS offenses during his four years of wearing the purple and gold.

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