The Dallas Cowboys will be feeling a little more irie this upcoming season, as Jamaican-Canadian Neville Gallimore has been officially drafted to the team. The defensive lineman was the 82nd overall pick in the NFL 2020 draft third round, after he made waves for the University of Oklahoma Sooners.
Though born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Gallimore is open about his pride in his island heritage. Both parents hail from Trelawny as former farmers in the Wire Fence district, before moving to Canada in the 1990s. Gallimore describes a childhood filled with Jamaican culture. “I carry myself like a Jamaican, the Jamaican rules, the culture, the music, the way of talking, everything — they were all around me growing up,” says Gallimore. “And the food! Jerk chicken. Oxtail. Rice and peas. Curry. Bammy. Fried breadfruit. Fried dumplings. I’ve never been able to get enough of it.”
All that home cooking certainly had an impact on the powerhouse player, who attracted the Cowboys with his speed and nimbleness. Gallimore’s sprint time for 40 yards was an impressive 4.79 seconds. His stellar Oklahoma career saw him achieve 147 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and 17.5 tackles for loss.
The road to the NFL has been a labor of love for Gallimore, who began playing football at age 11. In high school, his speed and amazing sprinting talent were noticed by American football programs, and he received a whopping 30 scholarship offers. He also became the first Canadian to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. His exceptional blend of size, speed, and strength earned him the nickname “Canadian Bulldozer.”
To Gallimore, family is everything. His father and mother, Carlton and Merdiva, and his brothers, Garry and Gary, play a very important role in his life. His parents ingrained a can-do attitude in Gallimore and his siblings from childhood. “My parents set the standard for me and my brothers, and the standard was hard work,” he says about his upbringing. “I learned from the examples they set and the guidance they gave. Whenever I was in doubt, I could always look to my parents.”
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