IK Enemkpali

Ikemefuna Chinedum "IK" Enemkpali (born July 3, 1991) is a former American football defensive end. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisiana Tech.

IK Enemkpali
No. 51, 75
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1991-07-03) July 3, 1991 (age 28)
Pflugerville, Texas
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:261 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Pflugerville (Pflugerville, Texas)
College:Louisiana Tech
NFL Draft:2014 / Round: 6 / Pick: 210
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics as of 2015
Forced fumbles:0
Player stats at NFL.com

Enemkpali is most known due to his altercation with quarterback Geno Smith, when he punched Smith in the jaw over a $600 plane ticket. The punch broke Smith's jaw and led to the release of Enemkpali.

Early yearsEdit

Enemkpali was born in Pflugerville, Texas, on July 3, 1991 to Igbo Nigerian immigrants.[1] He attended Pflugerville High School in Texas, where he played for the Panthers football team. Enemkpali was selected to the All-District 25-5A first team and all-Central Texas third team by the American Statesman.[2] He had 64 tackles and 14 sacks in his senior season in high school.[2]

College careerEdit

Enemkpali attended Louisiana Tech University from 2009 to 2013. He was selected to the 2012 First Team All-WAC and All-Louisiana First Team in his junior season. He was named as the 2012 Fred Dean Defensive Player of the Year in junior season. He was selected 2013 First Team All-Conference USA and All-Louisiana First Team following his senior season. He was selected as the 2013 Willie Roaf Lineman of the Year in his senior season.[2]

Professional careerEdit

New York JetsEdit

Enemkpali was selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round (210th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.[3] In his rookie season, he appeared in 6 games, making 3 tackles and defending 2 passes.

On August 11, 2015, Enemkpali got into an altercation with quarterback Geno Smith in the locker room regarding $600 Smith allegedly owed Enemkpali. Enemkpali punched Smith in his face, fracturing his jaw. The Jets released Enemkpali shortly thereafter.[4][5]

Buffalo BillsEdit

On August 12, 2015, one day after being waived by the Jets, Enemkpali was claimed by the Buffalo Bills, who had hired Rex Ryan (the Jets' head coach in 2014) as their head coach that year.[6] He was released by the Bills on September 4, 2015, but signed to the practice squad a few days later.[7] On September 10, nearly a month after attacking Smith, the NFL suspended Enemkpali for four games.[8][9] On September 11, 2015, the Bills promoted Enemkpali to their 53-man roster;[10] he was placed on the reserve/suspended list on the following day.[11] He played 11 games in 2015 with 13 tackles.

On August 12, 2016, another issue arose as Enemkpali got into an altercation with offensive lineman and teammate Cyrus Kouandjio during training camp.[12] One day later, Enemkpali suffered a knee injury during the first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, which was eventually revealed to be a torn ACL, putting Enemkpali out of playing for the entire 2016 season.[13] He was granted free agency following the season.

Oakland RaidersEdit

On August 4, 2017, the Oakland Raiders signed Enemkpali.[14] The team waived him on September 2, 2017.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Enemkpali's sister, Nneka, played basketball for the Texas Longhorns from 2011 until 2015. The Seattle Storm selected her with the twenty-sixth overall pick in the 2015 WNBA draft.[16]

2011 arrestEdit

When Enemkpali was 19, he threw a punch at a security guard and was tasered by a deputy.[17] Enemkpali was later charged with simple battery, placed on 13 months of probation, and ordered to undergo 32 combined hours of community service and anger management classes.[18]


  1. ^ Nawrocki, Nolan. "Draft 2014: Prospects". National Football League. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Louisiana Tech Profile". latechsports.com.
  3. ^ "Jets Draft: Get To Know Round 6-7 Selections".
  4. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (August 11, 2015). "Geno Smith out 6-10 weeks after being punched in jaw". National Football League. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Inabinett, Mark (August 11, 2015). "New York Jets altercation creates roster opening for Javier Arenas". AL.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "Bills claim IK Enemkpali". WGRZ. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  7. ^ Sessler, Marc (September 7, 2015). "Buffalo Bills sign IK Enemkpali to practice squad". NFL.com. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  8. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Enemkpali suspended 4 games for punching Geno". Official Site of the National Football League. NFL. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "Ian Rapoport on Twitter". Twitter.
  10. ^ Ortega, Mark. "Enemkpali added to Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster". Official Site of the National Football League. NFL. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Chris Brown". Twitter.
  12. ^ Hendricks, Jaclyn. "IK Enemkpali tries to punch teammate, exactly 1 year after Geno Smith". New York Post. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "Enemkpali tears ACL, out for 2016 season". NFL. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Raiders Announce Transactions". Raiders.com. August 4, 2017.
  15. ^ "Raiders Announce Transactions". Raiders.com. September 2, 2017. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "Nneka Enemkpali's Texas Profile". The Official Website of UT Athletics. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  17. ^ Ben Shpigel "Raised to Be Respectful, Ikemefuna Enemkpali Lets a Dispute Get the Better of Him". nytimes.com. August 14, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  18. ^ Michael O'Keefe "Before punching Geno Smith, ex-Jets LB IK Enemkpali attacked a police officer in 2011". nydailynews.com. August 12, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.

External linksEdit