Calling All NFL Agents…Diamond in the Rough
Chris Ekwueme is a very talented, but largely unknown football player. Chris is a special player with tremendous size, strength, quickness, and versatility. He can play on either the offense or defensive line. His talents have gone unnoticed because he played his college ball at the D-II level. He has had limited professional exposure at the ArenaFootball2 (“af2”) level. In my opinion, if Chris were given a shot, he could play in the NFL. You can watch a highlight reel of Chris playing in the af2 here:
Chris is currently looking for an agent to represent him. If you are a certified NFL agent and you are interested in talking to Chris, you can contact him through his AccessAthletes profile. All you have to do is go to www.AccessAthletes.com and sign up as an agent first. You can also email me at email@example.com. Serious inquiries only.
INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS EKWUEME
Describe your educational background and playing experience?
I graduated from Baltimore City College High School in Maryland and Bryant University in Rhode Island. I’ve been playing since I was 12 years old. I started as a RB, but grew so much every year that I had to convert to a lineman. I was a 4-year starter in college at Center, Guard, and Tackle. I only gave up one sack in college. I made All-Conference and All-ECAC. After not getting any NFL attention, I’ve been playing Arena Football since 2004. I played af2 for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers in 2004-05. In 2006, I played 7 Games for the Everett Hawks. This past year, I started out playing on the Practice Squad for the New Orleans VooDoo and after 2 games of not playing, I was released. Following this, I played 1 game for the New York Dragons at TE, and then they deactivated me and cut me. (For what reason, you would have to ask them because I have the film and I played great.)
What made you choose football over other sports/professions?
I’ve always loved football and dreamed about playing in the NFL. Since I have yet to get a real shot at playing professional football other than Arena2, I will not quit. The bottom line is that I work hard and act like a professional. I have my whole life in front of me to work a regular job. I can only can play ball for a little while.
What were your college and Arena stats?
From 1999-2002, I started every game at either Center, Guard, or Tackle as a college football player. As a freshman in 1999, I made All-ECAC at Guard. In 2004, I started 14 games at Center/Nosetackle for the Arena Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers. For the Pioneers, I had around 13 tackles, 1 sack, 1 blocked kick, and I didn’t give up a sack the entire season. In 2005, as the team captain, I led the Pioneers in sacks (3.5) and TFLs (8), and I never gave up a sack in 14 games. I played mostly Center for Everett Hawks and one game at Linebacker, in which I registered 3 tackles and a sack.
How often are you in the gym or training for football?
I’m always on the track and in the gym. I’m usually hitting the iron for at least 2 hours, 4 days a week.
At 6’1, 317 lbs, you can put up 225 lbs 35+ times with a 5.0 second forty time. What are your other stats?
My vertical leap was 35″ inches, but it is probably around 28 or 29″ inches now because I can still dunk. My other drill times are a 4.67 shuttle and a 7.88 L drill.
What is your greatest talent on the field?
My strength. I have a 500 lb. bench. More importantly, I have the natural strength to play on the line. I have never really been over-powered before. I pick things up on things quickly and go all out for 4 quarters. At whatever level I play, I will do my job and consider myself to be a consummate professional.
What do you see your biggest weakness being?
My height and only because people perceive it to be one. Personally, I believe it keeps me lower than the taller linemen out there. Whatever negative my height is perceived to be, I’m very strong and mostly muscle, so it makes me impossible to over-power.
Who has influenced you the most along the path to becoming a professional?
My mother because she instilled in me that I’m not a quitter. Until I go to training camp and they prove that I can’t play in the NFL, then that is when I’ll quit. But that won’t happen because I know that I can help somebody win.
What is the greatest hurdle you have had to face in your efforts to make it to the NFL?
Just my humble beginnings. I didn’t get any help as far as finding a college program to play for while I was in high school. I basically did my own recruiting because regardless of what people said, I knew I could play at the college level. If I would have gone to a bigger school, I would have gotten the attention and recognition for doing my thing.
You are a player that has been under the radar as a Division II/af2 player. What assets do you think you could bring to the table for an NFL team? What position would be most ideal fit for you?
I think at center I could play right now for an NFL team. I’m fast enough, strong enough, and smart enough to learn how to play at that level. The right situation would end up with me playing.
If an agent were trying to get you a workout with an NFL team, what things would you like him to promote the most about you?
My athleticism, my upper body strength, and my intelligence. It is only a matter of time before somebody discovers my talent and ability to play. I’m a diamond in the rough. It all boils down to who is going to find me so I can have the opportunity to prove that I belong in the NFL.
In your search for an agent to represent you and get you a NFL contract, what sort of qualities are you looking for in your future agent? That person would have to believe in me genuinely and really feel my desire to play on that level. That person would also have to be willing to put in the work just like I’m willing to.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5 years, I would like to be playing in the NFL. In 10 years, a retired NFL player who owns my own mortgage company and goes to the Bahamas 3 times a year.