SportsLife 2016, Issue 2 - Page 21

understatement. “All I can say to you is this: He’s special. He’s a really special young man. I truly believe that he will be drafted and will easily play in the CFL and maybe, just maybe, follow Izzy to the NFL.” Really? This is a young man who did not show up in Canada until May of 2011 and now he’s the best lineman in the country and perhaps the next Canadian to play in the NFL? Apparently so. “I came from Lagos, Nigeria just to go to school,” said Onyemata, the youngest of six kids. “I just wanted to leave home to go to school and take economics. And I wanted to learn to play football. Without Coach Dobie I would never have had the chance.” Onyemata’s father is a successful Nigerian businessman. As a high school student in Nigeria, he played soccer and basketball. The only time he ever saw a North American football game came at those rare moments when the NFL was shown back home in Lagos. Now, he is the top ranked CIS player in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s initial draft rankings. Released last September, he was No. 2 on the list and the top CIS graduate. Five years ago, no one on the planet would have believed it was possible. “Truly, and I mean truly, he’s special,” Dobie said. “His future is unlimited. He can be as great as he wants to be and he hasn’t shown us anything that doesn’t make me think he might be the most successful football player ever to come out of our program.” l sportslife / 21