South Ottawa-born linebacker/defensive end for the Penn State Nittany Lions, Jesse Luketa, has declared for the NFL draft. Jesse spent 4 years at Penn State improving every season stat-wise, building his draft stock.
Humblest beginnings, to achieving what they told me was too far unattainable.. Be Uncommon! pic.twitter.com/kK1GHfcPcN
— Jesse Luketa 🇨🇦🇨🇩 (@OttawasVeryOwn) January 1, 2022
Before playing in the Outback Bowl, Luketa put out a tweet declaring for the 2022 NFL draft and that he’s accepted his invitation to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on February 5th. In 2021, 106 players who went to the Senior Bowl were drafted, and 36 went in the top 3 rounds.
Following the Senior Bowl, Jesse will then be a part of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis from March 1st-7th, and then the 2022 NFL draft, which runs April 28th-30th.
So what do we know about the South Ottawa defender? Here are 5 fun facts about Jesse Luketa:
- The 6’3 – 251 LB/DE had 151 total tackles, .5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and an interception returned for a touchdown in 4 seasons at Penn State. He played in 38 games – twice competing in bowl games, winning one (2019 Cotton Bowl).
- Jesse grew up speaking 3 languages: English, French and Lingala (Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
- He’s the youngest of 8 siblings (5 sisters and 2 brothers).
- Close friends and grew up with Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Neville Gallimore (3rdround draft pick in 2020). He’s also best friends and former roommates with Cowboys rookie pass rusher Micah Parsons.
- His favourite food place to eat when he’s in Ottawa is The WORKS.
According to The Draft Network, Jesse currently has a 3rd round draft grade and can certainly improve with solid outings at the Senior Bowl and Combine. We reached out to Jesse for a comment, and this is what he has to say:
“Throughout my journey, I’ve been blessed to have a strong ‘village’ of supporters. Without them believing in my aspirations, none of this would have been possible to come to fruition. I’m a firm believer in manifestation and speaking things to existence. To the young kids around the world and particularly South Ottawa, never allow anyone to belittle your dreams & aspirations because I’m proof that no dream is too far unattainable. Be uncommon!” – Jesse Luketa. @OttawasVeryOwn
By Steve Bunda