2022 NFL draft: two Ottawa players say

Ottawa isn’t generally seen as a development center for NFL players, but that could start to change.

First it was Neville Gallimore, who is successful with the Dallas Cowboys, and now two more promising players are getting closer to the NFL dream.

Luiji Vilain from Ottawa says he always knew where he wanted to end up.

“I see myself playing in the NFL; it is one of my dreams. I’m going to work for it, ”he told CTV News Ottawa in 2016; that was while he was still in high school – and now, “I declared myself for the NFL Draft,” he says.

He says goodbye to his time at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, one more step towards his chance to play in the NFL.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life. Ever since I started playing football, it’s a dream for me. It’s huge, because coming from Canada, few people have this opportunity, ”he said.

He is not the only one. Jesse Luketa of Ottawa, who plays for Penn State, has also declared himself for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Coach and mentor Danny Nesrallah is thrilled with Luketa’s prospects.

“This kid has received over 70 scholarship offers, which I think is probably more than any other Canadian in history,” he says. “It’s been several years now, it’s been going slowly, and there was no doubt that this kid, he was going to go somewhere with this.”

Go somewhere, like Ottawa’s Neville Gallimore, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys in a city more than ready to claim it.

“The talent is there; it is about children who bow their heads, work, forge their character. You will see this trend continue, ”Vilain coach and mentor Victor Tedondo said.

“He has worked so hard in the last 10 years of his life, he is able to make his dream come true; I’m really happy for him – that Luiji not only continued, graduating from the University of Michigan, which is one of the best universities in the country, but graduated from Wake Forest, for me – it’s priceless, even more important than playing a game in the NFL.

As he tackles his goals, Villain also has some advice for anyone dreaming of the NFL.

“If you have a dream, if you have a goal, you have to work on it. It’s going to take consistency, it’s going to take a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice. If you want it, you have to work for it.


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