The standard linebacker, we all think, would be a bigger than average athlete, not too fast and his main job is to plug a hole and stop the run while blitzing here and there. Well, that was exactly what a linebacker was at one point in the history of the game of football, though now in modern era football, linebackers can do anything. There are linebackers in the NFL and in the CFL that are as short as 5’8, 5’7 which breaks the height/size barrier at the position and then there is also a group of linebackers who have extended exactly what their roles are as well. Now in the NFL you have linebackers who could easily transfer into a safety, a defensive lineman or even a defensive back all depending on their abilities and their size, some examples would showcase players like Isaiah Simmons or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah who at the division one level with both Clemson and Notre Dame were able to do a lot in coverage almost like a safety and then at the NFL level you see players like Kahlil Mack and Hasaan Reddick who can easily jump on the defensive line as a edge rusher. It is clear that the game of football is changing and changing quickly, though the whole football community, including the youth leagues are adapting to the change fairly well. A great way to showcase that would be looking at some of the better linebackers at the youth and high school level, a large group of them are still run stoppers and fairly big players, but you can tell that there are also a lot of dynamic players that show the ability to play across the board, whether its at edge on the line or going into coverage at safety or even defensive back. One of the better players in the Ottawa area, Josh Sowah has been among the players changing the game, showing how dynamic linebackers can be.
Sowah, standing at 6-foot-3, over 200 pounds is clearly a stud at the linebacker position. Having the ability to stop the run, attack the passer as well as play around the field and be versatile enough to go into coverage but those aren’t all familiar traits you would see in a high school linebacker. Usually in high school you see linebackers that are bigger, and there to plug a hole to stop the run. What sets Josh Sowah aside from linebackers his age is the history he has at other positions. Sowah’s experience at safety with the Ottawa Sooners ties in a lot with his abilities to go into coverage and also a main reason for his athleticism and ability to fly across the field with ease which are all abilities which the University of British Columbia like to see in him and are major reasons why they are bringing him in for 2021.
Mentioning it a little bit with the time he spent at safety with the Sooners as well as the transition to linebacker, Sowah hasn’t been around the game of football really for that long but the time he has spent playing has been very valuable, “I started playing JV (Junior Varsity) with the Sooners, I played there for 3 years and I also played football north a little bit as well.” he said, “I know some guys that have been playing for longer so I know when I say I’ve only been playing for 4 or 5 years it doesn’t sound like a lot but I sure have learnt a lot throughout it all.” Though it wasn’t the longest amount of time, Sowah says he learnt a lot and what he learnt as a football player, whether it was at safety or linebacker, shows on film a lot. On his HUDL, linked to this article, he features film from his time with both the Sooners in Ottawa and Football North where he played against top talent from Canada as well as some in the United States. While looking over his film on HUDL with me, CFL linebacker Christophe Mulamba who is also the founder of Linebacker Prototype said, “This guy is an athlete. You can see that he can play all over the field, showing a lot of versatility and that’s something that coaches like to see.” Being versatile is something that comes natural for Sowah and it’s a great trait to have like Mulamba mentioned. Having been a safety earlier in his football career and now that he’s grown into a linebacker body type he still is quite the fast player but also knows how to use his size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds effectively. “He is aggressive.” Mulamba added to his evaluation, “He has a good mindset, to put the guys on the ground and thats really all that you ask for from your linebacker. I like to see him being physical because that way you’re able to see not only is he athletic but he can hit too.”
In all, watching Josh Sowah on film, you could tell that he is one of the most athletic and more physical players on the field when he is on it but he’s also a great player in coverage. From the time he spent at safety he learnt a lot about going into coverage, both man and zone coverage and you can tell, seeing interception after interception on his highlight tape and film that he is very good in coverage which at linebacker is an awesome advantage and as for the University of British Columbia where Sowah signed to, they’re getting a steal. Talking about a player with speed, strength, a good football I.Q and on top of that an ability to go into coverage and blitz while stopping the run as well, Josh Sowah has a bright future ahead of him and you have every right to be excited about it. Already pumped up about his career at UBC, Sowah said, “I’m excited to go out there and play at the next level. There are some other guys from Ottawa over there, one of my teammates Isaiah Knight from the Ottawa Sooners is going to be playing there with me and we’re going to have some fun there but more importantly we’re there to prove ourselves right.” he continued, “It’ll be tough to adapt to the level of talent since I haven’t played against top talent like I will be but I’m going to go there and show what I can do.”
As mentioned earlier, Sowah can do a lot of things and is an exciting player to watch. An exciting player to watch, and one of the most exciting to watch in all of Canada, being named Canada Football Chat’s number one multi-positional athlete as well as the country’s 13th overall player. The linebacker is easily one of the best in the city of Ottawa and is a steal for the University of British Columbia going on with the future.