A few days before Christmas, Quebec linebacker Armiel Mockam confirmed his intention to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, and signed an agreement with the team.
He added his name to the list of Quebecers who have registered with the NCAA team this year. It includes Tunde Toluanemi (Connecticut), Dominique Di Filippo (Harvard), Nicholas Roy (Buffalo) and Vincent Derolet (Duke).
The 19-year-old has had a verbal agreement with Notre Dame since August. When he was younger, the La Prairie native had dreams of one day playing in the NCAA, in Division 1. Having received a full scholarship for his studies in accounting or taxation, Mukam has no intention of stopping there.
“Now that I’m going to fulfill my dream of going to Notre Dame this summer, I’m starting to think about the NFL,” he said over the phone. Not many Quebecers go there. However, I am not ready to say that I am satisfied. I still have a lot to get done, but I’m really grateful.”
Mukam initially made an oral commitment to Stanford University before backing out a few months later.
“Notre Dame is a ‘safe’ program,” he said. A team is always in the top 25, and if they don’t finish in the top 10, it’s a bad year. That’s what I was looking for. […] I also wanted my loved ones to be able to come and see me play.
I received about 25 offers. […] At first, I didn’t realize it. I’ll go to college for free, but my dream is the NFL and I haven’t accomplished anything yet. When I got back to Quebec I realized it was a big thing.”
Stop in Virginia
After interrupting the season due to COVID-19 at Magdeleine High School, Mukam made the decision to head to Virginia to continue his journey for two seasons at Woodberry Forest High School, a prep school. He was accompanied by another player from La Belle Province, Emile Beaulieu.
Lots of learning. Academically, his teachers showed him understanding to facilitate his adaptation, while he also had to adjust to the job.
“In Quebec, I didn’t learn any techniques. I was just using my strength to get to the quarterback,” said the 6-foot-4, 260-pound giant. I didn’t even know what a “range play” was. I remember, in my first game, I was done Caught three times while I was offside. I never set a wrong pace. I was able to adapt really well. This year, I’ve upped my game. Going to the States has really benefited me.”
Armel Mukam will return to Virginia shortly after New Year’s Day, after spending a few days in Quebec with his family.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”