Second-ranked prospect Onyemata to make history with pro day

Johany Jutras/CFL

WINNIPEG — David Onyemata continues to make an impression on both sides of the border, announcing Saturday that he’ll be the first ever Manitoba Bison to hold a pro day later this month.

The second-ranked prospect in CFL Scouting Bureau, Onyemata will work out on March 14 at the University of Manitoba, where at least 12-16 NFL scouts are expected to attend.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work out for NFL scouts,” said the 23-year-old defensive lineman. “I appreciate Coach Dobie and his staff and the support they have shown me.

“It is a privilege to represent the University of Manitoba football program as I pursue my dream of playing in the NFL.”

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University of Manitoba

The workout takes place the day after the conclusion of the CFL Combine week, during which approximately 165 of Canada’s top amateur football players will put their talents on display two months ahead of the 2016 CFL Draft. Onyemata will not be participating in the weekend’s events.

Instead, scouts are invited to Winnipeg to watch Onyemata take part in measurements, vertical and broad jumps, the bench press, the 40-yard dash, the pro agility and three-cone drills and other defensive line-specific drills.

Standing at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, Onyemata is coming off his fourth season at Manitoba after being selected as the 2015 J.P Metras Trophy winner, which is presented to the Outstanding Down Lineman of the Year in CIS Football. He was also named a 2015 CIS First Team All-Canadian at the defensive tackle position, along with earning a Canada West All-Star Team selection.

In addition, the Lagos, Nigeria native was selected and played in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in January 2016 and received praise before and after the Shrine Game from numerous NFL scouts and media.

“This is a first Pro Day in the history of our Bison Football program and one of the few ever across the CIS,” said Bisons head coach Brian Dobie. “We are excited that a significant amount of NFL teams will be present and are, of course, very proud to showcase our University, our program and represent the deep talent pool that is Canada West.

“Above all,” he added, “is the pride and excitement all of us at Manitoba have for David and the tremendous opportunity that lies in front of him.”

In his last CIS season, Onyemata recorded five sacks, a forced fumble and 38.5 tackles in eight games, leading Manitoba to a 5-3 record and a third-place finish in the Canada West. The Bisons’ season ended on Nov. 7 with a 52-10 loss in the Canada West Semi-Final to the eventual Vanier Cup Champion UBC Thunderbirds.