2022 NFL Draft
As a Recruit
Ikem Ekwonu was a solid three-star recruit out of Charlotte Providence Day. But he was caught a little in the shadow of his twin brother, Osita Ekwonu. Osita was a four-star recruit and four-year starter who went to Notre Dame. Ikem didn’t become a major varsity contributor until his junior year but was first-team all-state as a senior. He also won a state title in wrestling. He started seven games at left tackle as a freshman and was named NC State’s rookie of the year. He started the first four games at left guard in 2020 before moving to left tackle. He earned AP All-ACC second team honors at both guard and tackle. As a sophomore, Ekwonu had 50 pancake blocks and with 22 knockdowns in 12 games. His given name, Ikemefuna, means “my effort will not be in vain” and his parents chose it after the main character in Chinua Achebe’s debut novel “Things Fall Apart.” His nickname, Ickey, was given to him by a Pop Warner coach who thought he looked like former Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods. He is the son of Amaka and T.J. Ekwonu. He Is majoring in business administration at NC State.