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2024 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Ifenna Onyeka, DE, Carleton University

Ifenna Onyeka the star defensive lineman from Carleton University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
Ifenna Onyeka the star defensive lineman from Carleton University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Ifenna Onyeka
  • Position: DE
  • College: Carleton University 
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 250
  • Twitter: @yrnife
  • Instagram: @onyekadior

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2024 NFL Draft

  • I am a top prospect because of my ability to utilize my instincts and unique athleticism to be a playmaker. 

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

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  • At the age of 12, I played right tackle on my peewee team.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

  • I am someone who’s dedicated to excellence on and off to field. My track record in the Carleton/Ottawa community and on the field this past season will speak to that.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be? 

  • I would/do donate to breast cancer research. My aunty Ify is a breast cancer survivor. The fact that my family almost lost her was one of the scariest things to happen to me growing up.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

  • “Choose Hard” – This is a quote from my head coach, Corey Grant. It means that when presented with 2 options, the harder choice will build more resilience and thus,  is better. It is easy to miss workouts and not study. But “choosing hard” and doing them will benefit you significantly more. 

Who was your childhood hero? 

  • It is 100% my father. Despite him living in Nigeria for most of the year, the impact he’s had on me and my siblings is unmatched. He’s perfect in every way and is who I aspire to become.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school? 

  • Tristen Rinaldis – he’s a real class-act guy, and his character, work ethic, and dedication are truly unmatched. He gives the phrase “team player” a whole new meaning. 

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

  • Guys who are just there for the “vibes”. Guys who care more about looking the part rather than putting in the true work required to be great. 

Who is your favorite teacher ever?

  • Mr Howard, my grade 7 teacher.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome? 

  • The hardest moment I had recently overcome was when I broke my leg in June 2018. Not being able to walk for 5 weeks and the idea that my life could instantly change was a truly humbling experience that shaped me into who I am today. I was able to play high school football the following September without missing a game.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

  • When I committed to Carleton in 2019, it was one of only 3 schools in Canada to have a cognitive science program, which I am about to graduate from in June. 

If you could have any franchise restaurant in your house what would it be?

  • Baker’s Jerk House.

What is your favorite snack food? 

  • Double-stuff Oreos.

What is your degree in? 

  • Cognitive science with a concentration on the biological foundations of cognition.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say? 

  • I am a physical playmaker who loves to work.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be? 

  • Jonathan Greenard – we aren’t the biggest guys but we can still play very physical football. He also has a diverse pass-rush arsenal that uses speed to power as its base. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

  • Aaron Donald – In my opinion, he is the best football player ever, so talking to him about his mindset and journey would be cool.
  • Bill Belichick – I love to learn the X’s and O’s about football, and who would be a better person to watch the film with than the greatest coach in NFL history 
  • Steve Jobs – He was really a once-in-a-lifetime entrepreneur and mind, so I feel like he would be able to teach me a lot about the nuances of life. 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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