It’s back to football for David Onyemata.
After months of testing and not knowing where he’d be playing next, the Manitoba Bisons defensive lineman was taken in the fourth round, No. 120 overall, by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL draft Saturday.
Onyemata was the lone Canadian drafted.
“It’s good to know now where I’ll be going,” Onyemata said via telephone shortly after being selected. “It’s been different (the last few months) having to think about so many things.
“It’s back to football now.”
Onyemata was golfing with friends when he got the call from the Saints.
“It was my first time golfing so that was the funny thing,” he said. “It was kind of a struggle early but once I got that phone call, I started hitting the ball really good.”
Saturday was a historic day for the six-foot-three, 300-pound Onyemata, who became the first Manitoba player ever drafted by an NFL squad. He’s also the fourth Canadian university performer selected in eight years, joining McGill offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (sixth round, Kansas City, 2014), defensive linemen Akiem Hicks of the Regina Rams (third round, New Orleans, 2012) and Vaughn Martin of the Western Mustangs (fourth round, San Diego, 2009).
The Nigerian-born Onyemata began playing football five years ago but was Canadian university football’s top lineman last season. Earlier this week, he was named the top prospect for the CFL draft May 10.