The college football season is just around the corner, and several Nigerian college football players will be joining in on the action. We take a look at some famous Nigerians to play college-level football in America recently.
1) Ogbonnia Okoronkwo | DE, Oklahoma
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo played as an edge rusher at Oklahoma. His college-level football career spanned from 2014-2017. In his time there, he was voted as Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2015 and Second Team All-Big XII Conference in 2016. He also won co-defensive player of the year in 2017.
In the upcoming season, the odds on the Oklahoma Sooners are currently +600.
2) Olajuwon Tucker | LB, USC Trojans
Olajuwon Tucker: The linebacker for the USC Trojans had quite an impressive college career. He played from 2014 through 2016, racking up 52 tackles, 21 assists, and 2.5 sacks for a total of 21 loss of yards for the opposition. Unfortunately, he was ineligible to play the 2016 Rose Bowl and would work his way into the rotation for both outside LB and inside LB for the 2017 season but did not return.
3) Derrick Nnadi | Defensive Tackle, Florida State
In college, Nnadi played for the Seminoles from 2014-2017 as a defensive tackle. He racked up 75 solo tackles, 90 assists, 165 total, with 24.5 for a loss along with 12 sacks. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with their third-round pick in 2018.
4) Godwin Igwebuike | Safety, Northwestern
Godwin Igwebuike played college football for the Northwestern Wildcats. His college career spanned from 2015 to 2017, in which he received a total of five All-Big Ten selections and two Big Ten Conference honorable mentions. He also was selected as Second Team All-Big Ten Conference in both 2016 and 2017.
4) Folorunso Fatukasi | Defensive Tackle – Connecticut
Folorunso Fatukasi played college football for the Connecticut Huskies. His college career spanned from 2014 through 2017, in which he was also selected as a Second Team All-AAC Conference player and Third Team Associated Press Little All-American defensive tackle following his junior year.
5) Ade Aruna | Defensive End, Tulane
Ade Aruna played college football at Tulane University. His college career spanned from 2015 to 2017, in which he was selected as the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year for both 2016 and 2017.
He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, spent some time with the Raiders, and now plays professional football in the CFL with the BC Lions.
6) Jason Cabinda | Inside LB, Penn State
Jason Cabinda played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions. He started playing college-level football in 2016, and his college career spanned from then until 2018, when he was selected as a First Team All-Big Ten linebacker and ESPN Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
7) Joshua Kalu | Safety, Nebraska
Joshua Kalu played college football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. His college career spanned from 2013 through 2016, in which he received a total of three All-Big Ten selections and was selected as an Associated Press Third Team Little All-American safety following his junior year.
8) Ebenezer Ogundeko | Defensive Tackle, Tennessee Vols
Ebenezer Ogundeko played college football for the Clemson Tigers before making his way over to the Tennessee Volunteers. His college career at Clemson spanned from 2013 through 2016, in which he was selected as a Division I-A All-American defensive tackle following his junior year and Coaches’ Choice First-Team All-ACC player at end of both 2015 and 2016. In 2017 he had a stand-out year with the Volunteers. Although he was eligible for the NFL Draft, he didn’t make the cut but instead was picked up by the BC Lions of the CFL.
The Nigerian Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
The NAIA is an organization that supports college athletics. Founded in 1937, the association offers college programs for both men and women at post-secondary institutions across Canada, United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and around the globe.
To play college football as a student-athlete through the NAISL, or any college sports program for that matter, you must be given a scholarship.
The NAISL is a college football league in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico set at the NCAA level of competition between college teams from each country.
A student-athlete who plays college football on an international stage will need to have obtained college football eligibility from the college they represent
A college player’s ability to play college football internationally depends on whether or not that individual has met NCAA requirements, as well as any other international college sports agency’s rules.
The NAIA does not allow students who are ineligible for NCAA competition at home to compete in their league if there is college football eligibility at home.