When it comes to the game of football, there has always been talent north of the USA-Canada border. As the only other country outside of the United States that has football in high school, college and the professional stage, the country of Canada has always produced good football players. But have they produced great, and phenomenal football players too? Yes they have. The CFL has always had some of the greatest Canadian athletes, and we’ve seen a number of players in the past make it across the border to play in the NCAA as well as the NFL, but for the majority of the players that have excelled in football, it has happened in the trenches. Canada has mainly been known for talent on the defensive and offensive lines over the years. It wasn’t common for us to see skill position players come out of Canada and have success down south.
In the last couple of years though, receivers Nkeal Harry, Chase Claypool and Joshua Palmer, running back Chuba Hubbard, defensive backs Tevaughn Campbell, Jevon Holland, Benjamin St Juste and linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga have made their ways to the NFL as skill position players. John Metchie, Jesse Luketa, Chase Brown, Sydney Brown, Alonzo Addae, Jonathan Sutherland, Jared Wayne and so many other Canadian skill position players are already getting ready to enter the NFL as well, and that narrative, that Canadians can only play in the trenches is changing extremely fast. One player that is a great example of that narrative change is Dylan Djete. Djete is a 6 foot, 175 pound receiver originally from Montreal, Quebec. He excelled on both sides of the football, having played both defensive back and wide receiver, and even dabbling at quarterback as well in Canada before finding his calling at receiver across the border at Clearwater Academy International in Florida.
With the Clearwater Academy International Knights in Florida, Dylan Djete made an immediate impact, scoring three touchdowns in his first game across the border. He says, “I knew I was good at football when I went but I didn’t know what I’d be able to do there (in the states). In Canada we look at Americans and American football like its so big but it’s kind of overrated. They all are human, they breathe the same air as us and stuff. When I scored three touchdowns it was a blessing to see that I can do it there, and the rest is history.” As a junior with the Knights Djete caught 31 passes for over 780 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was the team’s number one receiver, and was only getting warmed up for what would be the most productive season in the history of Clearwater Academy International. His totals as a senior in 2021 put him above division one receivers Ajou Ajou, Jared Wayne and Nickolas Tshivuadi with 37 catches for 900 yards and 14 scores. “It was a blessing,” Djete told JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic, “I put in a lot of work and invested a lot of time to get to that point. For it to actually happen was a blessing and I’m only going to keep pushing at it and never give up.”
Just recently it was announced where Djete will be pushing at it next, as he received his very first division one offer from Wofford College in South Carolina and committed to it days later. When he got the offer, Djete said, “It was a relief,” and explained, “It was a long wait. I’ve waited over a year and a half for this. Since my first season in the states I’ve been waiting for it to happen. I’ve been working hard for it, and every hard worker knows that when you work hard for something, and you get it, there’s always that feeling where it’s like ‘finally!’ It doesn’t even feel real yet, I haven’t really realized it yet that it’s happened.”
He’s worked hard to get to this point in his football career, and there will be no looking back. As a dual threat receiver with a number of tricks up his sleeve, Djete prides himself as being a good route runner that is able to create separation with a good football I.Q and good hands. He told Jordan Zlomislic that he is a “playmaker,” and that at the division one level, “they can expect the same kind of production I had in high school, but better. I am prepared, and will only be a better player than I was before. I don’t want to put my goals out there or anything, but (Wofford) is getting someone that is going to work and make the most of the opportunity they gave me.”
With the long list of division one players that have come out of Clearwater Academy International over the recent years, and the success that Canadian skill position players are having, everything points towards Dylan Djete being the next best receiver to make it in the NCAA and soon the NFL. He’s got all of the tools to make it happen, and with his work ethic, it’s a name to remember and keep tabs on.