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2017 Player Profile: David Njoku

We’re taking a look back at the 2016 season that was for David Njoku

NCAA Football: Russell Athletic Bowl-West Virginia vs Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

High School Career

David Njoku was a solid three-star wide receiver coming out of high school. His home base was the New Jersey area where even though he may not have played against the high level competition seen in the south Florida area he showed flashes of athleticism that are rarely seen, even at the college level. Besides having solid stats as a senior (40 catches, 981 yards and 11 TDs) Njoku also was a budding track field athlete. Before enrolling at Miami he took home the distinction of being the boys high jump champion in the 2014 New Balance Outdoor Nationals.

Freshman Season

Due to playing wide receiver in high school, Njoku needed to learn the position of tight end from scratch when he arrived on campus. Couple the learning curve with the fact that he was weighed in at a measly 216 pounds (for a tight end that’s very light) and it was clear that Njoku needed to take a redshirt season.

Redshirt Freshman Season

After one full season and another offseason Njoku was ready to unleash hell on opponents. Even though he only started four of the thirteen games in 2015 he was one of the main deep threats for Brad Kaaya in the passing attack. Previous Offensive Coordinator James Coley lined Njoku up on the outside as a wide receiver, in the slot and as an inline tight end next to an offensive tackle. The main goal was to cause matchup nightmares due to Njoku’s now larger size at 6 foot, 4 inches and roughly 230-pound frame. Njoku may have gained weight but he didn’t lose a milli-second of his gazelle like speed and was set loose on opponents to the tune of 21 catches and 362 yards with one touchdown to boot. Now, that may not seem like eye-popping numbers but keep in mind, even though he only caught the 21 reception his 17.1-yard average per reception was tops on the team.

Redshirt Sophomore Season

After making highlight reel plays in his first season on the field, Miami fans were giddy about what Njoku could accomplish in his second season of work. They weren’t disappointed. New head coach and game planner Mark Richt used Njoku in similar positions as previous coach Coley had but made the larger than life tightend a more vocal point of the offense. Njoku started only four games this season, just like last year but almost doubled his receptions (38) and yardage (654). In the redzone Njoku was the main man through the air as he piled up seven touchdowns on the season. Even though Njoku may not have put up a 50+ catches or 1,000 yards on the season, the plays he did make an impact on were just special to watch. You can see in the highlights below at times he was really a man among boys when it came to athletic ability.

What’s next for Njoku

As most of you know, Njoku promptly declared for the draft right after the successful bowl game concluded against WVU. Most draft pundits rate Njoku as either the top one or two players at his position and have “graded” his draft stock anywhere from the first or early second round. As a Miami fan I wish nothing but the best for Njoku at the next level but I do take pause when it comes to pass catching tight ends at the next level. Will he be a Jimmy Graham-type player or possibly an Austin Sefarian-Jenkins-like player? Neither player likes to block all that much but one player is extremely successful in the league and the other is…. Where again? We’ll have to see in the coming years!

What did you think about David Njoku’s career at Miami? Where do you see him getting drafted come April? How do you think he does in the NFL? Leave your comments below!