Courtesy: Harvey Levine-FOS/247

John Metchie’s long journey to national recognition

When you think of an area that produces great football talents rarely do you think of Toronto, let alone West Africa. Yet when his family moved from Nigeria to Canada when he was just 6 years old, John Metchie was introduced to the game of football and he has loved it ever since.

Growing up in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, Metchie’s first interaction with football was when he saw his older brothers playing the sport. However, before starting high school, Metchie’s family realized that he was a special talent, who should go to the best place possible to develop his talents: the United States.

Metchie and his family decided to attend St. James School, a small boarding school in Hagerstown, Maryland, about 70 miles northwest of Washington.

While St. James does not have a reputation for football, or athletics in general, Metchie has not let that get in the way of showing that he is one of the best two-way talents in high school football.

“He’s the most talented kid I’ve ever coached or even seen play in person,” said John Root, the head football coach at St. James. “Athletically, he’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime kids.”

At 6 feet tall and 197 pounds, Metchie has great size for his position, especially considering that his main asset as a receiver is his speed.

With a 40-yard dash time of 4.55 seconds, Metchie is dangerous weapon out wide, in the slot or even returning kickoffs; however, Metchie thinks he can run a better time given the opportunity.

“I ran that at a camp earlier this year, but I think I’d be able to get it down to around 4.45 to 4.5,” said Metchie.

Along with his pure speed, Metchie’s route running also stands out when you watch him play.

“His route running is second to none,” said Root. “His ability to change direction at speed is unbelievable.”

Along with being a speedy threat on offense and special teams, Metchie also lines up defensively at safety, using his speed and size to make open field tackles look easy.

While Metchie admits that he prefers playing receiver over safety, the four-star recruit does notice how playing on the defensive side of the ball has improved his offensive game.

“I’ve definitely gotten better at blocking,” said Metchie, “just from getting stronger, especially because I’m also making contact on defense.”

Metchie’s two way ability and high ceiling at the wide receiver position makes him one of the most sought after recruits in the 2019 class, with offers from top programs such as Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Alabama.

However Root believes that Metchie’s talent is only part of the reason why he is a Division I athlete.

“He’s a high character kid and a hard worker,” said Root. “If you tell him to work for 20 minutes he’ll work for 40.”