Determined, modest, and admirable. These traits describe a Timber Creek High School junior who is currently the only player from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to make the Maxpreps 2016 Junior All-American Team, has 88 catches which totals to just under 1,500 yards, and 20 touchdowns – along with 29 rushes and 358 additional yards. He is also named Associated Press all state, District 3-6A Offensive MVP and is selected as a part of the Star Telegram super team.
Yes, this is none other than Erik Ezukanma. This year alone he has received an outstanding amount of recognition, and currently has two Division 1 scholarships, one from Texas A&M University, and the other being from Kansas University. He has also been invited by coaches at University of Texas and Texas A&M to sit-in and experience the excitement of college football. With all these accolades, Ezukanma has felt extremely motivated to achieve greatness.
“In five years, I see myself as a senior in college furthering my education to get my degree, or making my dream come true by making my run in the NFL,” he beamed.
How can a junior create such a high pedestal for himself, while still staying this humble?
“I’ve been playing football since the second grade and still, to this day, I can’t explain how it feels to be on the field. My mind goes blank when the adrenaline rush starts to kick in…” Ezukanma said, “I could have had an injury all week, but when I’m on the field, all those worries go away.”
His grace on the field has certainly caught a lot of attention of the local Keller area, with parents, students, and staff knowing his name. With that in mind, however, Ezukanma reminds himself to stay focused.
“Next season I’m looking forward to getting back on the field and representing my school,” Ezukanma said, “as well as bringing more trophies on our shelf.”
Yes, he is good. Like everyone else, Ezukanma acknowledges his weaknesses, too. He has mentioned working on improving his physical strength and width to help him play. He also talked about shying down to new people and putting himself out there. Every success, however, comes with a downside.
“The biggest obstacle that I’ve endured so far, being a big name in TXHS football, is bring a lot of attention to myself from other teams and a lot of double teams,” he explained, while still remaining positive, “but, we had so many weapons on our team as a whole that it was difficult to just double-team me and still be able to beat us.”
Ezukanma is also very excited about his recruitment process. As mentioned before, he already has offers from Texas A&M and Kansas University. However, he is still being very patient about what will come to him in his near future. He favors being open about the schools he faces a chance at attending because he feels that his friends and family play a role in choosing the right school for him – gaining insights and advice is what he has been doing, and will continue to do.
“Academic studies play a huge part to my football career,” he begins, “the first thing college coaches look at are your grades, other than football itself. The classroom can determines if that college wants you or not… which makes me work harder in my classes. I feel like I’m doing better than ever.”
Being a part of his very big family is what drives him to success. He beamed about his mother and commented, “She is such a hard worker – having to work day in and day out, with six children, putting food on the table, and putting a roof over our heads. She gives me life, and her hard work gives me that desire to work harder to make it to the next level.”
It doesn’t stop there. Towards the end of November Ezukanma received the NBC DFW Bobblehead Player of the Week title, and got a customized bobblehead of himself. It was featured live on NBCDFW on Nov. 26, 2016. which can be viewed below: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports/Inside-HS-Sports–SEG-3–112616_Dallas-Fort-Worth-403167056.html
Through his grit, amicability, and perseverance, there is no telling what Erik Ezukanma will do next. It is very evident that many people are quite excited to watch him play his senior season in the 2017-2018 school year. Whether one is a student-athlete, or a part of theatre productions, or any other student organizations, Ezukanma replied,
“The advice I give [to students] is to put yourself around the right people that will bring you up, not down. Create a brand of yourself, put in a lot of work on and off the field, and last but not least, take advantage of every opportunity you get, because you will never know if you will get it again.”