Jan. 13, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Georgetown University football player Ataefiok Etukeren (Litchfield Park, Ariz./The Lawrenceville School [N.J.]) was selected to play in the third annual Texas vs. Nation All-Star Challenge. The game will be held on January 31 in El Paso, Texas at the Sun Bowl on the campus of UTEP.
Etukeren, a three-year starter at defensive end and a second team All-Patriot League selection as a senior, is the first Georgetown football player to participate in the game and one of just two players from the Patriot League selected, along with Colgate offensive lineman Nick Hennessey.
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a surprise to be selected to play in the game," Etukeren said. "It means a lot to the program in general, so hopefully I'm able to go out and show people around the country that Georgetown has football players and we can play with the D1 A players."
The 6-3, 240-pound defensive lineman built a solid resume in his final year on the Hilltop, finishing second in the Patriot League in tackles for loss (13), tying for fifth in sacks (4.5) and fourth on the Hoyas with 61 tackles. Etukeren will be looking to prove to NFL scouts that he is capable of playing outside linebacker in the pros.
"I'm going to go out and do a lot of working out with my running and my jumps, but right now I'm focusing on getting my 40-time down and getting ready for the game," Etukeren said. "There is going to be interviews and testing and I'm looking forward to go out and test exceptionally well. In terms of interviews, I want to be able to show I'm smart and can play in the league at the outside linebacker position."
In the classroom, Etukeren was also named to the 2008 ESPN the Magazine All-District 2 First Team, carrying a 3.33 cumulative grade-point average in operations management, with minors in marketing and theology.
"This is a great honor for Ataefiok and I'm really happy for him,"Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. "He has worked very hard over the last four years to put himself in a position for a chance at the next level and this is a great step."
The game features top collegiate players originally from Texas or who play college football in Texas against top players from around the nation. The game will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports Network at 3 p.m. EST on January 31. In the past two years, 30 participants in Texas vs. Nation have been selected in the NFL Draft, including Arizona Cardinal running back Tim Hightower.