NFL football player Jonathan Kongbo pictured in a Denver Broncos tweet on Oct. 6, 2022. (Photo: Twitter.com/Broncos)

NFL football player Jonathan Kongbo pictured in a Denver Broncos tweet on Oct. 6, 2022. (Photo: Twitter.com/Broncos)

FOOTBALL

Surrey’s Kongbo makes NFL debut with Denver Broncos in prime-time game

Holy Cross grad won 2 Grey Cups with Winnipeg before Broncos signed him

Jonathan Kongbo finally got his shot in the NFL on Thursday night (Oct. 6).

The Surrey-raised outside linebacker was activated by Denver Broncos ahead of their prime-time home game against Indianapolis Colts.

The Broncos lost 12-9 in overtime, but Kongbo scored a personal goal of making his NFL debut five games into Denver’s season.

Kongbo, 26, was in the lineup due to mounting pass-rush injuries for the Broncos.

A graduate of Holy Cross Regional High School, the six-foot-five Kongbo won two Grey Cups with Winnipeg Blue Bombers before the NFL Broncos brought him to training camp last summer.

On New Year’s Eve in 2019, Kongbo signed with San Francisco 49ers but was waived later that year, after training camp.

Kongbo was selected in the first round of the 2019 CFL Draft following a standout career at the University of Tennessee. “Once thought to be a surefire NFL draft pick, Kongbo suffered a torn ACL that lowered his stock south of the border as he worked back to full health,” notes a story posted to 3downnation.com.

“The native of Surrey, B.C., played all 14 regular season games with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021, recording 16 tackles, three sacks, and one special teams tackle. He made three tackles and one sack in the West Final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and helped Winnipeg win a second consecutive Grey Cup title against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.”

RELATED STORY, from 2019: ‘I know where I belong’: Surrey’s ‘King’ Kongbo stoked about CFL pick but still has NFL dreams.

While at Holy Cross, Kongbo was something of an accidental football star, a guy who hadn’t played the game until Grade 12 at the Fleetwood-area Catholic school. He’d been a basketball player at Kitsilano Secondary until transferring to Holy Cross, where the Crusaders’ coaches eventually coaxed him to try football, a game he didn’t embrace at first.

Now he’s in the NFL.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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