Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The first overall pick from the 2017 CFL draft is calling it a career.

Faith Ekakitie announced his retirement today on his Instagram page. The 26-year-old suffered a torn Achilles with the Montreal Alouettes last season and has not been on a CFL roster since January.

Ekakitie played in 14 games with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a rookie in 2017, recording five tackles. He was cut following training camp in 2018 after failing to meet draft day expectations.

The University of Iowa product signed with the Alouettes four days later but soon suffered his season-ending Achilles injury. He never dressed for Montreal.

Ekakitie hopes to pursue coaching and teaching in the future.

An excerpt from his retirement can be found below. The post is not linked because Ekakitie’s Instagram page (faith_joseph) is private.

With that being said, this same kid would like to thank every single person that’s been with me on this journey. Every family member, coach, mentor, freind, teammate, and most importantly God for guiding my footsteps this entire time. We we’re all that “kid” who had no clue at some point in life. I can’t wait to help inspire the next generation of athletes. Better yet, help them realize the kind of potential they have to not only become great athletes, but even better human beings.

And for my fellow athletes out there who are still deep in it, keep doing your thing! For the ones that haven’t realized they are done and are still struggling with it, I’m here to tell you that there is something to look forward to on the other side. You’re not alone in this even though it may feel that way. I thank God for my beautiful wife. Thank you for being the tiny light I needed in that dark place. Athletes, don’t be afraid to lean on your support system in your times of need.

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John Hodge
John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist in the Jon Gott lookalike contest.