By Scott Billeck, @scottbilleck
Five years ago, David Onyemata had never touched a football, let alone watched a football game. On March 14, he’ll be trying to impress up to 16 National Football League scouts.
Onyemata’s fast rise to the top of the football heap in Canadian university football culminates with his Pro Day next week.
On the line for the 23-year-old? A potential shot at being drafted onto football’s biggest stage.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work out for NFL Scouts,” said Onyemata, who will forgo the CFL combine in lieu of a chance at football’s holy ground. “It’s something huge for myself and the (Bisons) program. It’s an opportunity for me to go out there and show teams how fast and strong I am.”
It will be the first Pro Day in Bisons’ football history.
“We are excited that a significant amount of NFL teams will be present and are, of course, very proud to showcase our university, our program and represent the deep talent pool that is Canada West,” said Bisons head coach Brian Dobie in a release.
“Above all though, is the pride and excitement all of us at Manitoba have for David and the tremendous opportunity that lies in front of him.”
From Lagos, Nigeria, Onyemata moved to Winnipeg for university in 2011. He walked into Dobie’s office and was put on the field. After a season learning the game’s intricacies, Onyemata was set loose.
Since then, Onyemata has raked in the accolades, including the 2015 J.P. Metras Trophy given to the most outstanding down lineman of the year in CIS football. He was named as a 2015 CIS First Team All-Canadian and was handed all-star honours in the Canada West conference.
Onyemata was also selected to the East-West Shrine Game this past January.
Israel Idonije is the only Bisons alumnus to every strap on the pads in the NFL. He played 11 years split between four teams including the Chicago Bears.
Pro Day Schedule:
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Investors Group Field
Weight room work at the Manitoba Bisons football facility at IGF
– Measurements (height/weight/arms/flexibility)
– Vertical jump
– Broad jump
– Bench press
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex
On-field workout at the WISC at University of Manitoba campus.
– 40-yard dash
– Pro agility (5-10-5) drill
– 3-cone drill
– DL specific drills