Tosan Agbeyegbe Joins the ToT-cast


Canada Prep defensive back, Tosan Agbeyegbe (Brampton, ON), joined the ToT-cast last week to talk about his journey at Canada Prep, his decision to commit to Yale, and what it’s like playing a US only schedule.

Canada Prep defensive back Tosan Agbeyegbe joined us on last week’s ToT-cast. Here’s what the Brampton, ON native had to say:

Natey Adjei (NA): What do you attribute to your hard work?

Tosan Agbeyegbe (TA): Other than my parents and my background in general, it’s my brothers. I have three older brothers, one’s 22, one’s 23, and one’s 25. I see how hard they work, I see how much everything they do has a meaning to it, and that’s kind of how I always wanted to live my life. Everything I do, I always wanted to have a meaning to it, and a purpose.

That’s why I work so hard. Me playing football, I wanted to have a purpose, I wanted it to be able to take me somewhere, and that’s where it has right now.

NA: I know the things that football can bring you, and I’m living proof of that having gone through some of the things you’re going through now. Can you tell me about some of the mentors you’ve had, whether it be guys like Jordan Younger or Anthony Cannon, and the impact they’ve had?

TA: Coaches like Jordan Younger and Anthony Cannon, they both have professional experience, so they’ve taught me a lot about their experiences in the CFL and NFL, and handling other kids in general. They got me ready with football skills, and off-the-field skills, things like what would happen in university, and what would happen on the field as well.

I attribute a lot of things I know to them.

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NA: You’re known as a hard-hitting safety. I want to know other facets of your game. What are some other things that you’re good at that other people might not recognize?

TA: I would like to think I’m very good in coverage. I’ve actually been asked by a couple of schools whether I could play corner, which is more of a coverage position. I don’t know if the casual bystander would notice that from my highlight tape.

NA: You’re committed to Yale and having done that you’ve secured yourself a very bright future. What’s the significance of that to you?

TA: My parents are very all about academics. The first thing they ask, before I make any decision about school, is how are the academics? So academics has always been in the back of my mind in terms of schools, and making decisions like that.

Having the chance to go to from a young boy in Nigeria, to now having the chance to go to Yale is almost like a dream come true.

Chris Okrainetz (CO): What’s it been like playing with a guy like Neville Gallimore last year? I know all the attention he got, he was one of the most highly touted recruits to come out of Canada.

TA: Neville is a very fun and funny guy. You would never know it just by let’s say looking at his Rivals profile, but he is a very chill guy and a hard worker. He kind of taught me how to play freely. I came in here thinking like, okay, I need to be serious, I need to get these highlights and try to impress all these coaches. But I saw him play all freely, play to have fun, and I was like maybe this how it’s supposed to be and how it works.

CO: Does that take after how coach McArthur is with the program? How does he run things at Canada Prep?

TA: It is kind of a reflection of him. He is a very relaxed guy, but when it’s time to get work, work will be done. But he’s a very relaxed guy, otherwise. He’s not a drill sergeant or anything.

CO: I understand you left St. Augustine here in Brampton to go play at Canada Prep. Obviously having a coach like coach McArthur is a huge, huge advantage because he’s done it all. He’s a PAC-12 record holder, he played with Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch. What kind of day-to-day advice does he give you guys in terms of dealing with the recruiting, dealing with the letters, the academics, it’s a lot for you guys to deal with at a young age.

TA: He gives us templates of like emails to send out to coaches every now and then. He’ll give us the contacts to email as well, and he’s obviously taught us a lot about football, in terms of reads as a receiver, and as a defensive back as well, because like you said, he’s the leading receiver in Cal football history.

He’s very knowledgeable I’d say, if you sit down and talk to him, he’s very chill. He’ll tell you some life stories about how he was in university as well, so just by hearing those things, it helps you, and it helps you use that for your experience as well.

CO: Having him being an American, and taking you guys on this US only schedule, he’s been through the whole process of high school, where playing in front of the big crowds every Friday night [is normal]. Here in Canada we don’t really have that. But you guys are getting to experience that through this US only schedule, are there any memories that have really stuck out for you so far throughout this journey you’ve been on?

TA: I go to our last game of last season, Steubenville high school, it was a Halloween game, there was almost a 1,000 plus people there. That was something that as a Canadian kid, you never see those kind of crowds. It was very enlightening.

CO: You guys run a little bit of a different schedule at Canada Prep. Can you tell me about a typical day-to-day life?

TA: As of this semester, I personally wake up around 7 am. We catch the 7:25 bus to get to school. Have breakfast and then we start school at 8:30. Our periods go for an hour and a half and our last period finishes at 3:15. Practice starts at 3:30, we finish practice around 5:30/6, most days. Then we have dinner, back to the hotel, then we start study hall at 7:30 and finish up at 9:30, and then we have our free time. So it’s set up for us to have that university feel almost.

NA: Tell me a little bit about your experience going from the speed of Canada to the speed of Canada Prep. When I played high school ball up here, I thought things were fast, I thought I was moving well, then I got down to junior college in California and it was nothing like here, and there was nothing that could prepare for that.

TA: One of the big things about Canadian and American football is that the field in Canada is much bigger, so you can afford to be slower, for example. But when you’re in an American field, if you’re slower, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb, so you have to be faster, you have to be bigger, you have to be flying around.

NA: What have coaches at Yale asked you to work on, so you can compete when you come into camp?

TA: They told me to work on my academics, get bigger, faster, stronger. They saw me at camp and they told me to improve my footwork and things like that, but aside from that, I’m good to go.

CO: Since you said that coaches are asking if you can play some corner, you sound like a pretty versatile player. Who do you emulate your game after in the NFL, or who would you say you model after.

TA: One of the players I guess you could say I model after, or idolize and want to be like, is Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety for the Green Bay Packers. I’ve been following him ever since he was a safety at Alabama. I like his game and I’ve always tried to model myself after him.

CO: As a die-hard Tide fan, that brings a smile to my face like you would not believe.


But since you are going to Yale, has fellow Canadian Tyler Varga reached out to you at all?

TA: Yes, Ive actually been in contact with Tyler Varga. I’ve called him and texted with him a little bit. He was actually at the camp when I went, so it was cool to see him in person.

CO: What kind of advice did he give you in terms of transitioning to Yale?

TA: He told me that Yale is a family setting, so that if you ever need help there is somebody by your shoulder, or right next to you to help. I’ve known about the rigorous schedule an Ivy league school may have, but like he said, if you never help, or have a difficult time handling it, there is always somebody there.

NA: DBs and receivers are different. There kind of just off. What’s your relationship like with some of the receivers at Canada Prep? I know when I was at Buffalo, I lived in a house that was all DBs, so it was all fights, it was all competition, it was things brothers go through. So what’s your relationship like with some of the receivers at Canada Prep.

TA: Ironically, I actually room with two DBs as well. DBs here are a tight group. As for our relationship with receivers, when it’s time to compete, we compete. We’re not friends or anything like that. But off the field, we’ll be good, having dinner and all that, but on the field we’re always competing.

NA: Thanks Tosan, I just wanted to say thanks and keep representing us. Keep doing your thing, you have a fan in me, and if you ever need anything hit me up. We’re all really proud of you.

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TA: Thank you so much, that’s very valuable to me.

CO: Before we wrap this up, is there anything you wanted to touch on at all?

TA: I just want to tell everybody to follow your dreams. I started in Brampton, Ontario, which is a place that has produce some athletes, but most people wouldn’t look to Canada for football. But we have produced more guys this past two years for football than anybody. It’s [Canada Prep] a rising stock, and follow your dreams because you never know what could happen.

CO: There are a lot of players out here that get overlooked. For guys that are overlooked, what kind of advice would you give them to get seen?

TA: One of the main things I did that helped me was put yourself in front of coaches. There’s always a saying that if you’re good, coaches will find you. But it’s hard for an athlete in Canada to be found, so if you put yourself in front coaches, and you’re overlook at that point, you only have yourself to blame.

CO: To build off what you were saying, when I was in high school playing with Natey, we used to go to all these Nike combines, and the SPARQ camps, and we kind of didn’t really know how to get ourselves out there more and we just frantically went to all these camps. Is that kind of a similar thing you had to do prior to Canada Prep, or is there an alternate way you’d suggest to other athletes?

TA: Before I went to Canada Prep, I actually went to a Nike combine. Those are good, but the main thing you want to go to is the university camp. Schools aren’t allowed to go to those Nike camps, so they won’t be able to see you face-to-face, and that’s what schools want. They want the coaches to be able to interact with you, and work with you, and see what kind of player you are. But if you go to a Nike camp, they won’t be able to do that.

CO: With most of the camps being in the summer, when it’s a dead period for recruiting, you have to go to the schools. Did you play OVFL football at all growing up?

TA: No. As soon as I went to Canada Prep, I stopped playing OVFL football.

CO: I find that a lot of players up here feel that the only way they can be seen is by playing OVFL, when it’s actually the opposite.

TA: Don’t get me wrong, OVFL is good, it’s a fun league if you want to play football for fun. But if you want too, I guess you could say, save money, and save your body, and want to go to camps, OVFL is good if you still need tape, but if you’re trying to get camps and be seen by coaches, it’s not helpful.

CO: That’s great advice because I find a lot of guys up here feel that they need to keep playing, but if you keep playing and nobody sees you play, it’s only going to take you so far, like you’re saying.

TA: And it’s just wear-and-tear on your body as well because all the hitting, and then you have to go to camp. You’re hurting yourself and the team because you won’t be there for practices per se.

CO: Yes sir, especially when you’re a hard-hitting guy like yourself, you’ll wear down real quick.

Next: Canada's No. 1 Ranked QB, Nathan Rourke, Joins the ToT-cast

Fans can follow Tosan on Twitter, @TosanA_7, and on Instagram, @Tosan_7.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking on the link above. As always, thanks for listening and be sure to follow us on Twitter @TipoftheTower, and like our Facebook page @Tip of the Tower.