Prior to the 2021 NCAA Football season, ESPN’s Mel Kiper named Alabama Crimson Tide receiver John Metchie, who is originally from Brampton, Ontario the 21st best player in the 2022 NFL Draft class and with the regular season officially wrapped up for the NCAA, Metchie was able to live up tp the hype. Over the 2021 regular season the Canadian caught 90 passes for 1,045 yards and 7 touchdowns, and he finished the year off strong on Saturday in the 86th annual Iron Bowl between the Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.
Against Auburn Metchie caught 13 passes, a career high for 150 yards. While he did not score a touchdown on the outing, he did indeed catch two 2-point conversions in overtime, including the game winning 2-point score on an incredible bang route which has been seen across the internet already, but he’s not the only Canadian getting praise on the south side of the Canada-USA border.
Among the Canadians that made their respective impacts in the final week of regular season NCAA football was Ottawa defensive end Luiji Vilain who made 4 tackles and 2 sacks for Wake Forest in a win over Boston College, putting them into the ACC Championship against Pittsburgh. Vilain has 31 tackles and 7 sacks on the season. North Carolina State defensive tackle Daniel Joseph made 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks in their 34-30 win over UNC, giving him 36 tackles, 6 sacks and a forced fumble in his senior season. Akeem Mesidor, Ottawa-native for the West Virginia Mountaineers made 5 tackles and a sack in his final regular season game of his sophomore season in which he had a total 4.5 sacks, putting himself in 10 sacks over his two seasons with WVU coming out of Clearwater Academy International in Florida. Running back Chase Brown, originally from London, Ontario ran for 112 yards and a score on 14 carries with Illinois on Saturday, giving him 1,005 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season. With 142 receiving yards also to his name, in the 10 games played in 2021 Brown has averaged 114.7 yards. His brother Sydney Brown also made quite the impact for Illinois, making 6 tackles in the season finale and a total 69 tackles, sack, two forced fumbles and three pass deflections over the season.
Also making a difference for his team was Jesse Luketa, the Ottawa-native is set to play in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl and is on the Dick Butkus Award watchlist for what he’s done with Penn State. During his senior season Luketa made 52 tackles, a sack and had one pick six, of those stats 4 tackles and 2 tackles for loss came in Saturday’s regular season finale.
There are other Canadians that have made big plays of their own over the 2021 regular season who will be talked about once the season is officially wrapped up, bowl games included, but now is the time to look forward to NCAA bowl season!
Next weekend there will be conference championships, and followed by that will be the bowl games, where you’ll be able to see more Canadian content.