Nakas Onyeka ranks top 16 by Central Scouting Bureau
Coming in at number 16 in the Central Scouting Bureau’s September rankings for the 2017 CFL draft, Laurier’s number 11, Nakas Onyeka, of Brampton, Ontario, has played an important role in Laurier’s 4-0 start to the OUA football season.
For Onyeka, this path all started back at St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary School.
Playing mostly baseball and basketball up until that point, a friend introduced him to football in grade 11.
“One of my buddies convinced me to come try to play and I haven’t really looked back since,” Onyeka said. “[In grade 12] I really decided that football would be the best path for me.”
After finishing his fifth and final year of high school, Onyeka chose to take his talents to Laurier despite receiving attention from many programs.
“Coming out of high school, I had a few offers from a few different schools. Manitoba and [St. Francis Xavier] were viable options outside of Ontario, but I realized that I wanted to stay close to home,” he said.
“I just felt [Laurier] was the best choice for me as a football player and as a student. The thing that really hooked me was the atmosphere.”
Onyeka credits a lot of his success at Laurier to the coaching staff and his teammates. The Laurier football program does a better job than most at spending the time to develop their players and getting the best out of them.
Looking back on his first year, Onyeka was happy that the coaching staff took the time to develop his talents rather than rushing him.
“In my first year I didn’t really play as much as I would’ve liked to and I credit the coaches for that. I feel like if I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t be in the situation I am now. It gave me the time to actually grow my skills, develop as a player, develop as a teammate and really focus on the small things in order to become the player I am today.”
When asked about the future, Onyeka was excited about his CFL scouting rank, but he was aware that there was much more to accomplish here at Laurier before he reaches the next level.
“As this season goes, winning a national championship would be great,” he said, hesitant to look too far beyond this season.
“In terms of the future and looking past this season, I’m in a fortunate situation where I’m a top prospect and teams are looking at me. So I feel like as far as football goes, it’s going to go as far as I’m willing to take myself.”
With a good head on his shoulders, Onyeka appears poised to take his talents to the next level after the 2016 OUA football season.