Two City Section football players with Nigerian roots commit to SMU

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All-City linebacker Mark Iheanachor of Narbonne said he has known All-City defensive end Chinedu Onyeagoro of King/Drew since they were 7. Both have Nigerian parents.

Iheanachor played youth football while Onyeagoro focused on basketball. Onyeagoro finally started playing football in 2022 and recorded 40 sacks over two high school seasons.

On Monday, Iheanachor announced he had committed to Southern Methodist, then went to King/Drew to watch Onyeagoro make his commitment to SMU. The two visited the school together last year and now they are going to be teammates in the fall of 2025.

Onyeagoro, 6 feet 3 and 225 pounds, had to convince his parents to allow him to play football. His mother was afraid of injuries. His father was concerned about academics. In the end, Onyeagoro told his mother, “Mom, I think I can do this.”

The rest is history.

King/Drew coach Joe Torres has only had a varsity program since 2022, and Onyeagoro’s development has made him the program’s top player since its debut.

Iheanachor is set to be a four-year starter at Narbonne, which has been showing improvement after the Gauchos hit rock bottom when its former coach, Manuel Douglas, resigned in 2020 and players abandoned the program.

Iheanachor said SMU’s culture and coaches made a positive impression, along with Dallas’ reputation for barbecue food.

The two good friends will get to face each other this fall when Narbonne plays King/Drew in a September nonleague game.

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