DE Chima Ihekwoaba (Wilfrid Laurier) - Undrafted Free Agent
The best name in the 2010 group of rookies without a doubt belongs to Chima Ihekwoaba, a defensive end from Canada. Ihekwoaba originally was only invited for a tryout with the Lions, but he ended up signing a contract with the team following the rookie minicamp. He was the only tryout that got a deal coming out of the minicamp, so it's obvious Lions coaches liked what they saw with him.
Finding information on Ihekwoaba was extremely tough, as you probably can imagine. As a result, I'm just going to go straight to the miscellaneous section and include a few things I found about him.
- Follow Ihekwoaba on Twitter
Interview with Ihekwoaba (one of his answers included below)
6. What do you expect to bring to a CFL team?
A: A competitive hard worker, who is dedicated and loves the game of football. Also, a versatile and athletic football player who comes from a very intricate defensive system. I physically dominate offensive linemen with my strength and speed play after play. I take my pride in my "will to win" every down. Very good footwork and technique, again a versatile D-lineman who can rush from a four down line or up as a rush at the same time. Calm and collective off the field, but when the pads are on its all business.
Write-up from the CFL E-Camp:
Chima Ihekwoaba is a 6’4" 260 lbs. defensive end from Burlington, Ont. who missed most of last season following a shoulder injury in the third game of the year. "That was a defining moment for me," says Ihekwoaba. "You could let it break you or let it make you and I decided it was going to make me. I went back to the gym and was determined to get back to the level I wanted to be at."
The hard work paid off as it earned the 21 year-old Communications major a trip to this year’s E-Camp. Prior to the start of last season he had played in the East-West Bowl.
"I am really excited," says Ihekwoaba, who hopes to pursue a career in public relations after he graduates. "My speed, quickness and ability to get to the quarterback on every single passing down should help me a lot at the camp. I try to be relentless on every play."
"His quickness, size and strength will really help him," says Jeffries about E-Camp. "He will test right off the page. He has tremendous speed for a big kid. He is a physical specimen. Chima will be one of the most powerful players on whatever roster he ends up on."
Outlook for 2010
The defensive end position has pretty good depth right now, but no spots are really locked down after Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril, and Jason Hunter. There is a good mix of veterans and rookies at the position, and I wouldn't be surprised if Lions coaches opted to stick with some of the younger players that show potential. I think Chima Ihekwoaba could be one of those younger players that sticks around on the active roster or practice squad. It will take some time to adjust to the NFL after playing in Canada, but he obviously has already showed Lions coaches some potential, otherwise they wouldn't have signed him after the rookie minicamp.