Marauders impressive defense attracts commit

McMaster adds an commit from the nation’s capital to their 2018 class.

Nana Yaw Serbeh, a defensive back from Notre Dame Catholic High School, has found himself a home with the McMaster Marauders.

While there is a lot to like about McMaster, Serbeh said he first and foremost committed there because of the academics. The potential business student said, “There’s not a better school that has the right combination of football and academics.”

While Serbeh lives five hours away in Ottawa, Ontario, he said that during his visit, he felt like he was home and that there was a sense of family. He called his official visit an eye-opening experience.

“Head Coach Knox and his staff are truly coaches that players want to play for…(they’re) one of a kind. Many of their coaches have deep ties within the university, such as Mike Daly, Joey Cupido and Kyle Quinlan, who were also All-Canadian during their time playing at McMaster,” he said.

He added that what was also very appealing was Knox’s defense and “how smart he is with the Xs and Os of the game.” In the first eight games of the season, McMaster’s defensive backs recorded 12 interceptions. Despite having several first and second year players, the team posted a third-place standing in the OUA.

“If you’re a defensive back and are looking at the stats and film, you want to be a McMaster Marauder,” Serbeh said. “These coaches want to bring a Vanier Cup back to McMaster and I know the team will bring at least one Vanier Cup back to the city during my time there.”

What greatly impressed Serbeh was the resumes of the coaches. Mike Daly, for example, is a current member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Serbeh said, “I saw (this) as one of the biggest pros during my recruitment process. Learning under Coach Mike Daly and Joey Cupido will only help to improve my skillset.”

Serbeh was also in awe with the involvement of Knox in his recruitment. “It’s not very often that the head coach is so involved because they have so many other things to do,” he said. “You usually get a recruiting coordinator or assistant coach, but it felt right when I realized how involved he was in it. He’s a man of honour and respect. He was straight-up and honest with me during my time there.”

Knox graduated university with a business degree, which Serbeh said was another big positive for the staff.

Standing at 5’11, 175lbs, Serbeh plays as a hybrid defensive back. Since 2011, he has played for the Bel Air Lions (NCAFA). He is a four-time rookie of the year at each age level with the Lions. He is a two-time MVP in 2012 and the 2016 defensive MVP. Out of three NCAFA championship showings, he has helped his team win one.

While with the Ottawa Myers Riders (OVFL), Serbeh was the team’s comeback player of the year in 2016. He has won three championships with the Riders. Last season, he was the Ottawa Sooners’ (OPFL) rookie of the year. The team made it to the finals, however they didn’t win.

“I want to give a big thank you to everyone who has helped guide me through my journey,” Serbeh said. “I want to say thank you to Coach Frank Gesztesi for being the first coach to see the talent I have. I wish him nothing but success and I will always remember the wise words and wisdom you have installed in me.”

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