Jeshrun Antwi was drafted in the sixth round by the Montreal Alouettes in this year's CFL draft.
Antwi wrapped up his University career in style: he and the Dinos won the 2019 Vanier Cup. Beating Montreal 27-13 in November.
Even though Antwi didn’t get to play in the big game because of injury, he says it still meant everything to him.
That’s because it wasn’t an easy journey for him to get there.
Antwi and his family came to Canada from Ghana was he was 12.
He grew up in the community of Raddison Heights. Antwi says even thought they didn’t have a lot, his mom made sure they had everything they needed.
“My mother worked day and night to make sure that we didn’t feel like we couldn’t get a whole lot," he says.
Antwi didn’t know anything about our style of football when he arrives. He played soccer.
He started playing football in Grade 10 at Father Lacombe High School. Antwi says coach Ian Couture thought he saw something in him.
“I walked into the school for high school orientation and he goes, you should play football," he says.
"I said no," he adds. "I’ve never done it and to be quite frank with you I’ve seen it on TV and it’s way too violent. I told him I was going to play volleyball instead. But he encouraged me to come out and the rest is history.”
While Antwi excelled on the football field, he struggled in the classroom. But his principal Kate Miller and her husband Kevin believed in him. They taught him the importance of education. Antwi says he ended up living with them in high school.
“When the U of C started recruiting me, they told me I needed to be as good in school as I was on the football field,” he says.
“So they took me in and gave me the blueprint and guidance and helped me get into University and showed me the ropes.”
And all of that paid off. Antwi will graduate this summer with a bachelor of education degree. The 22-year-old wants to be a teacher. And he says he wants to help less fortunate kids just like he was helped by so many along the way.
“My goal is definitely to come back here and wherever it may be, whichever school that I’m able to give these kids hope," he says. "Inspire in them some kind of change.”
Antwi says he’ll try to earn a job on the football field with the Alouettes whenever the CFL gets its 2020 season going.
But at some point, he definitely wants to get into the classroom to teach - where he feels he can make a big difference in the lives of kids trying to overcome the same sort of odds he did.