Over the recent years, there has been a clear growth of talent in the city of Ottawa when it comes to the game of football.
With Ottawa’s Very Own, Jesse Luketa getting drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft and Luiji Vilain signing with the Minnesota Vikings, joining Neville Gallimore, and Eli Ankou in the NFL, the city can be seen at the highest level, and will only continue to be seen there moving forward as well.
A few players from Ottawa to keep eyes on over the next couple of years to go to the NFL would include University of Miami’s Akheem Mesidor, Rutgers’ Wesley Bailey and Rene Konga, Penn State’s Jonathan Sutherland and Christian Veilleux, Robert Morris’ Shakespeare Louis and many more. Among the players that you can say are next up is also high school athlete Justin Rowe.
Rowe has been playing football on the west side of Ottawa, in Nepean with NCAFA’s Nepean Eagles over the recent years so his name hasn’t really come up in the conversation too often with the vast majority of talent coming from the east in the Orleans area, but Rowe has always excelled in football. Having started in grade seven playing running back, he was able to outperform a lot of the competition, eventually being moved to quarterback where in youth football in Ottawa he had the opportunity to use his athleticism more, and really show-out for himself in Ottawa.
Last season he led his Nepean Eagles team to a NCAFA championship and played against the Essex Ravens in the OFFL Championship.
The success he had last year, and the film he was able to provide for himself over the coarse of the 2021 season, he goes back to thank his coaches for. Just before the COVID-19 Pandemic he was able to meet Iseah Montgiraud and Coach Jean Guillaume, who both have had a major part in his growth as a football player but also a young man. Iseah Montgiraud, with Limitless Era has trained Rowe, while Guillaume, as a well known high school football coach and recruiting advisor in Ottawa has helped him understand the game of football more, and open the doors for him in football. In an interview with JZ Media’s Jordan Zlomislic Rowe said, “Meeting coach Jean opened my eyes, and my family’s eyes as well to the future that is possible with football. I’m grateful for everything he has done for myself, and also all of the other players too. A lot of the university guys that played for him before have helped me during trainings and stuff too which has made a difference, and Iseah at Limitless has really gotten me better, and is preparing me for the next level.”
For Rowe, the next level, and the next step he is taking to one day be in the same conversation as the stars in the city like Jesse Luketa, Luiji Vilain, Eli Ankou and Neville Gallimore, is at Asheville School in Asheville, North Carolina.
As a class of 2025 athlete, Rowe really is in a perfect situation. To be able to be where he is right now athletically, training and being coached with some of the best in the city of Ottawa, and to have the opportunity now to cross the border with 3 seasons of football ahead of him at Asheville School is great, and it will not only set himself up to be great on the field but off of it as well.
Rowe is extremely excited to be able to be on campus at Asheville and get to work. “It’s a great feeling.” he said, “It is easy for people to get comfortable in this kind of situation. When you’ve worked this hard already and you’ve gotten some success, but this is time to work harder for me. I’m going to be around better football players, and there will be better football all around so I’m going to have to adapt to that. It’s time to lock in.”
This next step is a step that has already been taken by many from Ottawa. With the number of players from the nation’s capital entering the NFL growing each year, it has become more popular to have paths like Rowe’s shown at that level. The majority of players from Canada that have made their way into the NFL have taken a similar path, where they go to high school in the USA to get exposure, coaching and competition to go to the next level, and eventually the NFL. It is a big gamble, leaving your home country for something that is not guaranteed, but for Justin Rowe, it’s a risk he’s willing to take. No matter what, he believes the plan from the man above is going to set himself up for a beautiful future.
A bible verse that he goes by, Jeremiah 29:11 says everything you need to hear regarding the path he is taking to be successful on and off of the field. It reads, For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
With interest off of the field in technology, and most specifically cyber security, and hobbies like video editing, and graphic designing, Rowe is also focused off of the field, and has a good head on his shoulders for the future he has not only in the field but off of it as well. Rowe will be spending the summer training, and preparing for the opportunity he has in front of him at Asheville. Keep all eyes on him as he takes this next steps to one day play in the NFL.