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Who is Ikemefuna Enemkpali?

The New York Jets' Ikemefuna Enemkpali (51) listens

The New York Jets' Ikemefuna Enemkpali (51) listens to a coach during an NFL football training camp in Cortland, N.Y., on July 25, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Uncredited

Ikemefuna Enemkpali played six games in his Jets career. But he'll likely be remembered by Jets fans for a long time.

Enemkpali quickly went from a little-known backup outside linebacker to the infamous player who punched quarterback Geno Smith in a locker room incident Tuesday morning, breaking Smith's jaw. Jets coach Todd Bowles, who revealed news of the incident to reporters, said Smith's jaw required surgery and he would miss 6-10 weeks.

When pressed for more information by reporters about Enemkpali, Bowles couldn't provide much detail other than to say that Enemkpali had been immediately released after the incident. He said he wasn't aware of a prior issue between the two players.

Fellow linebacker Calvin Pace said he was surprised by the incident.

"IK's a really good guy," he said. "Did I see it coming or something like that? No."

Darrelle Revis said he wasn't sure how teammates would have responded had the Jets retained Enemkpali.

"I don't know because I've never been in a situation where there's been a locker room fight or scuffle like this," Revis said.

So who is Enemkpali?

According to his 2014 draft profile on, his full name is Ikemefuna Chinedum Enemkpali and he is from Pflugerville, Texas. His parents were born in Nigeria.

He played collegiately at Louisiana Tech. According to multiple reports, Enemkpali was arrested following an off-campus incident in April 2011. A report in The News Star of Monroe, Louisiana, said that Enemkpali was arrested after an incident at Rabb's Steak House in Ruston, Louisiana. The story said that Enemkpali hit an off-duty officer and that pepper spray and a Taser were used to take him into custody. He was charged with disturbing the peace and battery of a police officer. Enemkpali initially was suspended from the team, but was later reinstated and played in the 2011 season.

In his final season at Louisiana Tech in 2013, he had 12 starts at right defensive end. He finished with 47 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He also had two interceptions, making him one of two linemen in the country that season to have two interceptions, according to

In his draft profile, Enemkpali's strengths included: "Flashes shock and violence in his punch. Highly competitive, plays hard and motor runs hot. Keeps battling to the quarterback."

Enemkpali's profile also included this: "A strong, tenacious, tightly wound leverage-power rusher most ideally suited for a 3-4 outside linebacker role. Will require patience to develop."

The Jets selected Enemkpali in the sixth round (210th overall) of the 2014 draft. Enemkpali was part of the same draft class that produced safety Calvin Pryor and tight end Jace Armaro. The Jets used all 12 of their picks in that draft.

"There's pretty much a common thread with these fellas," former Jets general manager John Idzik said about his draft class in May 2014. "They fit our profile. They're aggressive, they have a passion for our game, they're great teammates. They fit the Jet profile."

Listed at 6-1 and 261 pounds, Enemkpali, who turned 24 last month, played in six games for the Jets last season and finished with three total tackles and two passes defended.


With Ari Kramer


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