Commits enjoy uOttawa’s academic, football opportunities

Two local commits and one Toronto-area commit join the Gee-Gees Class of 2017.

A common theme among James Peter, a linebacker from Mother Teresa Catholic High School, Daniel Oladejo, an athlete from Colonel By Secondary School and Shareef Tucker, a defensive lineman from J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate, was “education” as in, their new school, the University of Ottawa, provides them with a chance to get a good education on and off the field.

James Peter

Courtesy of James Peter.

It didn’t take long for James Peter to feel right at home at the University of Ottawa. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of his hometown teams.

“uOttawa has an amazing facility, which I fell in love with. On the day of my visit, I was introduced to some members on the football team and I was welcomed like a brother even though they weren’t aware of who I was,” the product of Ottawa, Ontario, said.

It was Nathan Taylor, the team’s special teams and recruiting coordinator, who first reached out to Peter. Peter said Taylor, who is “one amazing guy,” messaged him after witnessing one of his in-game performances. After that, Peter has had the chance to meet most of the Gee-Gees coaching staff.

“They’re all great people and they all really know what they are talking about when it comes to the sport,” Peter said.

As a student athlete, academics also plays a major role. uOttawa didn’t come up short in that category either. “Not only do they have a phenomenal football team, they also provide outstanding education for people and I’m glad to be apart of the Gee-Gees community,” the potential health science or human kinetics student said.

Starting at the age of ten, Peter hasn’t quit for seven years. The 5’10, 200lbs outside linebacker began his career with the Nepean Redskins (now called the Eagles) in the National Capital Amateur Football Association. He has also played with the OVFL Myers Riders. His high school team is the Mother Teresa Titans (National Capital Secondary School Athletics Association).

Peter has played in three AiA all-star games from grade ten to 12. In grade 11, he was the AiA all-star game MVP (2015) and was also recognized with the honour the following year (2016). This past season, he was named the Titans’ team MVP.

High school awards aren’t enough to satisfy Peter’s hunger, however. “I can’t wait to get onto the field and start playing with my new family,” Peter said. “This is the next chapter of my story and the first couple of pages have yet to be written.”

Daniel Oladejo

Courtesy of Daniel Oladejo.

There’s a good chance that Peter has already encountered fellow Ottawa citizen, Daniel Oladejo, on the field. Oladejo has spent the last three years playing with the Colonel By Cougars (NCSSAA). Now, the two will be teammates.

“The fact that uOttawa is in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, made it a more ideal fit that would allow me to make connections that can advance me in the future and to learn in an environment that I’m already comfortable and familiar with,” Oladejo said.

Oladejo will be taking Management at the Telfer School of Business.

Alongside academic opportunities, the 5’11, 170lbs football player is also staying in town for the sports. “The uOttawa coaching staff strikes me as a very knowledgeable group,” Oladejo said.

“Having had a few conversations with Coach Barresi, I could tell immediately he knew what he was talking about. His experience was also appealing seeing as he has coached and, successfully at that, in U Sports, the CFL and the NCAA.”

It wasn’t just Barresi who impressed him. He said that Coach Taylor, Coach Roberts and Coach JV provided him with great advice on things other than football during recruitment. “These guys are great people as well as great, qualified coaches,” Oladejo added.

In his 11-year career, he was won a NCSSAA Tier 2 championship in 2016, which he was the game’s MVP. He is also a three-time AiA all-star.

Having a chance to play for a hometown team is not lost on Oladejo. He said, “I look forward to being a Gee-Gee for the next four years and representing my school and city on the football field.”

Shareef Tucker

Courtesy of Shareef Tucker.

Shareef Tucker is not from Ottawa. No, he is heading to the capital from Ajax, Ontario, in the Greater Toronto Area. “I chose Ottawa because even though Ottawa is a fairly big city, going on campus and experiencing the facilities, stadium and just overall living experience (made) it feels like a small town because of how close-knit everyone is,” Tucker said.

Entering into the Criminology program, Tucker understands the balance needed between school and sport. The Gee-Gees coaches do as well. “I believe they are one of the most talented and experienced groups throughout U Sports. They do not care only about your development and progression as a football player, but they care about your progression as a student athlete,” he said.

“That was a huge factor that drove me to attend uOttawa because the coaches will push you to become the best student and the best athlete you can be,” he added.

Standing at 6’1, 270lbs, Tucker has played with the Durham Dolphins, the GTA Rising Stars, the GHT Current Stars and the J. Clarke Richardson Storm (Lake Ontario Secondary School Athletics Association). Even with the season a few months away, he plans on training four to five days a week to become bigger, faster and stronger before August.

“I’m grateful to all the people who have helped me along this road,” Tucker said. “I would like to thank my football coaches over the years for helping to develop me into the player I am today.” He would also like to thank Richard Karikari and the entire Complete Performance Centre family.

“I’m excited to join a school with such a rich academic and football history,” Tucker said. “I can’t wait for August to start going to work with my brothers for the next four to five years.”

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