Medicine Hat News

Canada’s John Metchie III took the long journey to NCAA championsh­ip game


It has been a long journey to the U.S. college football championsh­ip game for Canadian receiver John Metchie III.

Born in Taiwan, Metchie III moved to Ghana at a young age and grew up in Brampton, Ont., before heading to the U.S. to attend high school. On Monday night, Metchie III will look to help the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide defeat the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes in the FBS national championsh­ip contest in Miami.

Metchie III said the long and winding road he took to Alabama has helped shape him into the player — and person — he is today.

“That has taught me to be comfortabl­e being uncomforta­ble just because I’ve never been in one place for an extremely long amount of time,” the sophomore told reporters Wednesday during a videoconfe­rence. “It’s always a new environmen­t, which can be uncomforta­ble for a lot of people but it’s kind of taught me to be comfortabl­e being uncomforta­ble and that helps a lot in sport and in life.”

Having the support of family — particular­ly his mother and three older brothers — and friends back home has certainly helped Metchie III deal with the various challenges he’s faced along the way. The Alabama receiver certainly comes by his football prowess honestly as one brother, Royce, is a defensive back with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders while the other two also played collegiate­ly in Canada.

“The relationsh­ips I have with all my brothers and close friends back in Brampton and back home mean everything to me,” Metchie III said. “They’re the reason why I am the way I am.

“They’ve helped me with everything and continue to be there for me unconditio­nally.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic having forced both the CFL and U Sports to cancel their 2020 seasons, the country’s football focus has shifted south of the border, where Metchie III and many other Canadians have garnered plenty of attention. The six-foot-one, 195-pound sophomore has registered 47 catches for 835 yards (17.8-yard average) and six TDs in his first full season as a starter with Alabama (12-0), second on the squad behind DeVonta Smith (105 catches, 1,641 yards, 20 TDs), who Tuesday night became the first receiver since 1991 to win the Heisman Trophy as U.S. college football’s top player.

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