Its proven that the city of Ottawa has some great defensive backs and when you think of the position you would look at guys like Katley Joseph, Patrice Rene, Nate Hamlin, Tunde Adeleke or the CIS guys like AK Ismail just because they’ve already proved themselves and are at a high level, though some of the best defensive backs in Ottawa are still at the high school level. Of course you would go with the division one players and players that have played in the states first like Shakespeare Louis, Josh Baka and Nathan Casimir but behind all of those names there’s Etienne Hachokake. Hachokake stands at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and is easily the tallest defensive back in Ottawa. He’s got the athletic ability to play anywhere on the field, whether its receiver, defensive end, or in this case today defensive back and that’s what makes him so special.
At the defensive back position, you want a complete player. As a coach or a scout you look for a player that can go into coverage, attack the run and blitz on the odd occasion as well, when you look at Etienne Hachokake’s film he can do all of that and with his size, more. When asked about him, a former teammate at St Matthew’s Shakespeare Louis (Robert Morris University signee) had commented, “His length is crazy. When you look at him play against some receivers that are average height, like 5’11, 6-foot he towers over them and the best part about it is that he is just getting started.” By that comment, “just getting started” Louis is talking about how Hachokake is learning more and more about the game of football as the days go by. His first season didn’t come until his 9th grade year when he attended Garneau Catholic High School, the same school that now University of North Carolina defensive back Patrice Rene went to. Touching on the season he played at the school, he said, “It was a good experience, it was my first exposure to the sport.”
It may have been his first exposure, but he didn’t want to make it his last. Hachokake ended up transferring to College Mer Bleue in Orleans where, “I had a coach that took a chance on me and my teammates, (both division one athletes now) Shakespeare Louis and Eben Dibula helped me fall in love with the game of football.” At Mer Bleue, he started to learn more about the game of football and was introduced to some teammates who he’d transfer to St Matthews with later.
“I’ll be forever thankful for (my coach taking a chance on him) and just learning more as I played at Mer Bleue helped a lot. I was mostly (benched) at Garneau so to have the opportunity to play was great.”
Not only did playing at Mer Bleue help him understand more, but he also improved and wanted to keep improving. Heading into his 12 grade year, Etienne Hachokake took a chance on himself, transferring to St Matthews, where he played with his Mer Bleue teammates Shakespeare Louis and Ebenezer Dibula but more importantly, he had the opportunity to be coached by Ottawa legend Jean Sorphia Guillaume.
At St Matthews, Hachokake kickstarter his football career. Of course, he started in Grade 9 at Garneau but playing alongside future division one talent like Louis, Dibula, Alex Vilain, and Nathan Casimir, being coached by the best and on top of that having more playing time going to St Matthews gave him a better look at the sport, a look for the future. The school has been the home of several division one and CIS football players over the last decade, and with help from coach Jean Sorphia Guillaume, being able to go division one or to the CIS level seems reachable. In Etienne’s words he says, “For me the sky’s the limit, I am just now developing as a football player and I’ve got a great group of people around me. If I continue to work, anything is possible from here on out.”
With all of that being said, Hachokake’s goal, without a doubt is to play at the division one and of course to get to that point he has to continue working but he will be a steal for whichever program goes out and gets him.
As you take a deeper look at Etienne Hachokake, of course the height is what sticks out, standing at 6-foot-3 it is clear that he will have the height advantage over the majority of receivers but he also has a lot of great features to add to his length. Starting off, he has the ability to play across the board. He is able to play at cornerback, safety, halfback, and even go into different other positions like on the defensive line, at wide-out if he can adapt and learn them. Along with his flexibility and seeing how versatile he can be, at defensive back alone he can stay being a stud and be a rare player because of his height, “He’s a long and patient defensive back. He is mostly at corner as he uses his height to gain advantage on receivers.” said Katley Joseph, former St Matthews defensive back and current division one athlete, “He’s able to deflect the ball, and attack the ball in the air as well. Etienne can use his size to get physical with the receivers.”
To match what defensive back Katley Joseph, Coach Jean Guillaume had also touched on what Etienne Hachokake can do on the football field saying, “At first I was disappointed. He is the proto-type defensive back and he is the exact player every coach would like to have on their defense but he wasn’t taught the fundamentals. He played at a couple teams before coming to play for us and it was sad to see that he didn’t know the easiest of things, but after a little while of him being with us I was able to coach him up and looking at him today he has improved a lot and he continues to.”
Guillaume also comments, “While he gets better, you can tell just how good of a player Etienne can be and that player is every coach’s dream. He shows up to every practice, every team event and training, he is very coachable and wants to be the best player of his ability.” Though he has only played a couple years of football and still has room to improve he has shown several sparks of the player he can be for a team and Guillaume is extremely happy with that player. He said, “What sticks out the most is his height. He is 6 foot 3, and thats not a 6’2 and a half, nor is it a 6’3 with cleats on, its a real 6’3 and he knows exactly how to use his size on the field. He has improved a lot in going into coverage, and as a defensive back that is a big part of the position, though he also has the ability to attack the corners on runs as well as play across the field as a safety and I’m sure he can also play another position as well. To see glimpses of what he can do has been great and it is clear that wherever he goes, he will be a great player at the next level and if he continues to grow as a player he can be a steal.”