Jesse Luketa, who grew up in Ottawa, found himself spending the majority of his childhood at the Heatherinton Community Centre and attended St. Patricks High School off of Alta Vista Drive in Ottawa has officially accepted his invitation to play in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Luketa played football in Ottawa with the South Ottawa Mustangs in NCAFA and then with St. Patricks High School. He also attended McMaster Catholic School in Ottawa where he found his love for football in the 5th grade prior to leaving the country at the age of 15 with help from former Ottawa Redblacks’ defensive back Jovon Johnson and Ottawa coach Jean Guillaume to attend Mercyhurst Preparatory School in Erie, Pennsylvania to explore his football opportunities.
Those opportunities then included the opportunity to play at the division one level with the Penn State University Nittany Lions which he has been doing for the past 4 years, dating back to 2018 when he was a true freshman. Over the 4 seasons, with games still left in his senior season in 2021 he has made 138 tackles, 7 tackles, 1 sack, received one fumble recovery, broke up one pass and scored a pick six according to the PSU Athletics website. He is now well on his way to be drafted into the NFL, accepting his invitation to play in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl which will be played in Mobile, Alabama in January, prior to April’s NFL Draft. Luketa will be following in the footsteps of fellow Ottawa-native, South Ottawa Mustangs and St. Patricks alumn Neville Gallimore going through this process. Gallimore having played in the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl and getting drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. The only other Ottawa-natives to be drafted into the NFL are both Jesse Palmer and Christo Bilukidi. Luketa being drafted in 2022 would make him the fourth, and would then be among 3 in the NFL in 2022 alongside Gallimore and Eli Ankou, as well as anyone else that may be drafted in 2022, with other Ottawa-natives Luiji Vilain, Patrice Rene, Chris Fournier, Liam Dobson and Jonathan Sutherland all eligible for the draft too.
Luketa is also on the 2021 Dick Butkus Watch List for the NCAA and with this news should be watched even closer as he leads into his NFL Draft process.