Contained within the CFL: Coaching and keenness for the game drive Als’ Micah Awe

“Soccer to me is a microcosm of life and in addition you get plenty of life courses from soccer which you’ll be able to educate of us,” linebacker says.

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Micah Awe, perhaps most likely essentially the most attention-grabbing participant on the Alouettes, most probably on no account received right down to make skilled soccer a career.

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Born in Nigeria and raised in a Dallas suburb, he was relegated to the D workforce — the underside of low inside the football-mad state of Texas — when he began participating in in seventh grade. He started as a fullback and was shortly promoted two ranges sooner than finally discovering his calling at linebacker at Texas Tech, the one school that supplied him a scholarship.

Nonetheless that’s solely a small part of Awe’s essence.

Coaching received right here first at dwelling — not gorgeous, considering Awe’s mother has a grasp’s diploma in molecular pathology, whereas his father has his grasp’s in authorized justice and is now discovering out for his PhD. Thought-about one in every of 4 youngsters, Awe’s sister works in finance, whereas his brothers are discovering out chemical engineering and laptop science.

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To counsel television was frowned upon until homework and school assignments have been achieved will be an understatement.

“I can let you recognize tales about every report card,” Awe knowledgeable the Montreal Gazette this week. “I obtained too many Bs and Cs. It was accountability on the end of the day. I was good in school, nonetheless I was ingenious and wanted to truly focus and work on it. My dad and mother made (education) a important issue.”

All through his 4 seasons at Texas Tech — definitely one in every of his teammates was Kansas Metropolis quarterback Patrick Mahomes under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who now guides the Arizona Cardinals — Awe amassed 171 tackles, along with 77 as a senior, when he was named a defensive captain.

Nonetheless Awe moreover graduated with a stage in petroleum engineering — oil and gas having some significance in Texas — a career which, if pursued, would pay handsomely and dwarf his CFL wage. Whereas Awe may however flip into the president of Exxon, spending higher than half of each 12 months participating in soccer has meant inserting his diploma to utilize solely as quickly as. He lasted decrease than 4 months on the Faculty of Illinois, ostensibly attributable to spending 5 hours every day driving to and from work.

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“If I wanted to generate earnings, there’s totally different points I would do,” the 28-year-old talked about. “Soccer to me is a microcosm of life and in addition you get plenty of life courses from soccer which you’ll be able to educate of us. You be taught to endure getting decrease for no motive, or working in 99 diploma local weather.

“This isn’t in regards to the money; it’s one factor deeper than that,” Awe added. “I’ve realized lately I must make an affect on of us. I do know soccer’s not going to supply me the simplest money correct now, nonetheless whenever you’re writing about me, what variety of kids will that encourage? It sounds corny, nonetheless that’s your value on this world. Any youngster who hears my story or is undersized…”

It wasn’t easy combining athletics and education at school — Awe’s GPA was a modest 2.85 — nonetheless he missed only one comply with over 4 seasons.

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“I’m not a genius, nonetheless I perceive the way to make points barely simpler,” he outlined. “Every play’s straightforward in soccer and, whenever you simplify it, it’s best to make the most of your athleticism. My athleticism’s through the roof, nonetheless linebacker’s such a troublesome place to utilize it on account of there’s plenty of contemplating. In case you could make it straightforward, chances are you’ll’t be stopped.

“Whether or not or not I flip right into a petroleum engineer on the end of the day or not, it’s how I found. I found learn to take good notes, learn to get plenty of knowledge and categorize it in my ideas.”

Awe’s nomadic soccer journey has taken him to Tampa Bay and the New York Jets inside the NFL — no video video games have been carried out — along with three stints at BC and stops in Toronto and Ottawa. He carried out one recreation this season with the Lions sooner than requesting his launch in late June, suspecting he was a sufferer ratio who would solely see the sphere sporadically.

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Awe signed with the Als on July 6 — the similar day head coach Khari Jones and defensive co-ordinator Barron Miles have been fired. Having to shortly adapt to new DC Noel Thorpe would hardly disconcert the 6-foot, 216-pound; he had 5 utterly totally different co-ordinators at school.

“He’s great good and actually bodily,” regular supervisor and interim head coach Danny Maciocia talked about. “He can run and may run to the ball.”

Firmly entrenched as a result of the Als’ heart linebacker, Awe has carried out three video video games with Montreal, recording 11 defensive tackles and one different on specific teams. He recovered a fumble at Ottawa on July 21, returning it 68 yards.

Whereas soccer stays Awe’s life, a minimum of for now, he wouldn’t must be outlined utterly for that. When COVID-19 canceled the 2020 CFL season, he launched an app, PurpleShift, providing athletes a shot at recruitment. It empowers and connects them, serving to them purchase publicity through the power of data.

Nonetheless, for as long as he’s with the Als, Awe’s determined to make a distinction no matter this season’s struggles.

“I must be good,” he talked about. “In every other case, why am I participating in soccer? I consider I’m good. I consider I’m good. However when I’m not in the marketplace and different individuals aren’t talking about me … I’m not doing correctly adequate.”

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