ELON, N.C. – Elon University offensive lineman Ikenna Nwokeji was one of 13 players to sign rookie free agent contracts with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Nwokeji will report for rookie mini camp which begins on May 11.
Said Nwokeji, “I’m still in shock by the opportunity laid out before me. I have a chance to play football professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers. When I think of all the ways that God has blessed me, I get overwhelmed because He keeps providing for me, and there is more to come. Elon University has been essential to my growth as a man. I had the opportunity to get my bachelor’s degree, and now I’m working on my MBA. I’ve developed outstanding lifelong relationships. The pride that I have for this school and its football program is unmeasurable. We’ve fought through tough times on this team as brothers, and that’s the most important part. We fought. We grinded day in and day out and even though some of the results weren’t desirable, we knew that success was in our future. I am able to support the new era of Elon football with pride, knowing that all other former players and I gave the program everything we had to offer. Because of this, I am ready to take on my next challenge as a professional football player.”
Nwokeji, who is 6-6 and 284 pounds, started all 11 games in which he appeared in during the 2017 season. Prior to his senior season, Nwokeji had started 34 consecutive games along Elon’s offensive line. The Randolph, Mass., native was a third-team All-CAA Football selection in 2017. He served as a team captain during his junior year. As a sophomore, Nwokeji was honored with the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player award, while he claimed the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award as a red-shirt freshman in 2014.
Nwokeji’s play along the offensive line helped the Phoenix to an 8-4 overall record and an FCS Playoff appearance in 2017. The Phoenix defeated four ranked opponents and made its first appearance in the national polls since the 2010 campaign. The team won eight straight games during the 2017 season, the fourth longest such streak within a season in the history of the program.