Malik Mega, a wide receiver at St. Jerome, scored his first NCAA touchdown on Saturday in Penn State’s 28-0 win over Rutgers. The pass came from French quarterback-Antarian Christian Velo, who was jumping into the fray for the first time.
Prior to the Big Ten Conference duel, the Nittany Lions virus infected 21 players. Starting quarterback Shaun Clifford was part of the group and after a difficult start to the game, he succumbed to a first-quarter injury that set the stage for Filho.
The 19-year-old pivot starred with 15 completed passes in 24 attempts for a 235-yard gain and three touchdowns.
His third touch pass came when he spotted Mega late on his own. The latter ran into the end zone for 67 yards. It didn’t take more than American journalists to give this duo the nickname “Air Canada.”
Image source: AFP Photo
“It was a great moment and a great match. Christian came into the game and got the job done. I had the opportunity to shine. It’s good to see him succeed. We’ve worked together for at least two years in Canada to live days like these,” Megan cheered, Tuesday, during a video conference. .
For his part, Veilleux was unable to make his comments, in accordance with the program’s policy that first-year players should not be given interviews.
For Meiga it was the third reception as he began to see the ground in his second season. The fact that the ball came from Veilleux on his first touchdown on the college stage made this moment unforgettable.
“It’s unbelievable, it was the best feeling of my life,” said the former Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. I had a “crossing road” and when Christian threw the ball towards me, I saw that there was no one around and I went to score. It feels so good to start the adventure with Christian.
Image source: AFP Photo
“Since pledging to come to Penn State, it has been a shared dream to play together and get the job done. We hope more similar moments happen in the future. Coming from Canada, it is often more difficult to get chances. We don’t have all of those,” said the wide winger. People who come to our games and notice us.”
Recently, Veilleux stole the second place finish from Ta’Quan Roberson in training.
Canadian quarterbacks are a rare commodity in the NCAA, more specifically within the “Power 5” program. In this group of top five conferences, he last saw Matt Hill, with Syracuse in 2005 (two passes only) and Jesse Palmer of the University of Florida, in 2000.
Image source: AFP Photo
Therefore, the Ottawa-area native has had valuable rehearsals and could potentially play a leading role in 2022 if Shaun Clifford chooses not to take advantage of his additional year of eligibility (due to COVID).
“Christian is very relaxed. He’s a very hardworking guy, but he’s very cool. We’ve only seen a tip about what he can do on the pitch,” Mega said.
Good guides at Nittany Lions
Malick Meiga feels like a fish in the water in the environment of the Penn State Nittany Lions, as he takes advantage of the rich background from his mates to shape his course.
Just think of receiver Jahan Dotson, who will be one of the most prominent players in his position in the upcoming NFL Draft. He’s claiming 83 receptions for 1,045 yards and 10 touchdowns this season
“It really helps a lot. After rehearsals, we stay together and spend extra time. I learn a lot from him and from other receivers in the group like Parker Washington (53 receptions, 662 yards, 3 touchdowns),” he said.
Meiga also cites two Canadian players on defense. Marauder and defense chief Jesse Sutherland of Ottawa first intercepted him in the Canadian victory over Rutgers.
Marauder Jesse Lukita, also from Ottawa, helped Mega acclimatize because he also speaks French.
Image source: AFP photo file
“My English wasn’t very good when I arrived and it was reassuring to be able to count on a player like him.
“Last year was mostly a growing season. I got used to the differences between Canadian and American football. Since then, I’ve felt more comfortable. I train every day like it’s a game and it shows in my game,” said the 6’4″, 200-pound receiver.
From soccer to soccer
For Mega, football is still relatively new. It was football that devoted his first love to the world of sports.
“I was missing out on football practice to prioritize football. It shows how much of a football fan I was at first. I wasn’t very good at football at first so I had to burn really hard and this attitude gave me a great work ethic. I started making big games And have more fun.”
Now that he gets a taste of the end zone at one of America’s top college football programs, Meiga feels more out of place than ever.
“I wouldn’t say it’s surprising what happens to me because you work hard for it in training and it always pays off.”
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