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‘Top defensive back in the city,’ Farhan Imtiaz commits to play football at Queen’s

April 26, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

As Farhan Imtiaz took a seat Friday before the news conference that would introduce him as one of the latest crop of football freshmen at Queen’s University, there was something familiar about the chap beside him.

“Coach Sheahan said, ‘A Frontenac guy next to a Lorne Park guy? I don’t know how that’s going to work,’” Imtiaz said.

The fellow recruit was Adam Black, a running back from Lorne Park, the Mississauga team that whipped Imtiaz’s Frontenac Falcons in their OFSAA Bowl football game last fall. Imtiaz smiled when he was asked if he feels like the token Falcon in a recruiting class that now includes four members of that Lorne Park team.

“Seeing the kind of team Coach Sheahan is putting together, especially with this recruiting class, I think we have a real chance to do something special.”

In his presentation to the gathered parents and media representatives, Pat Sheahan reiterated the team’s need to focus its recruiting efforts on defensive players, in anticipation of heavy losses to graduation from the incumbent group.

“Farhan was the top defensive back in the city and we’re delighted to get him,” Sheahan said, adding that despite his involvement not only with his high school team but the Limestone Grenadiers and his familiarity with Queen’s, convincing Imtiaz to stay in Kingston wasn’t something he took for granted.

“His family is well travelled so the whole idea of whether to stay in Kingston was something that he evaluated. It wasn’t automatic.”

Indeed, candidates with marks to get into Queen’s can pretty much go wherever they like to play football. “I got a lot of attention from a lot of schools,” Imtiaz said, “but at the end of the day, Queen’s just felt right for me. I’m really excited to be here.”

He spoke of the legacy of the Queens program — “they’ve graduated a lot of great players here” — and how he likes the thought of being a local recruit.

“Being in the community, playing for a few years, you’re kind of known for what you do, and it’s helpful, for sure. It feels nice to be able to stay at home and play in front of people that you know.”

Imtiaz has been accepted for both engineering and life sciences. Though he is leaning toward studying chemical engineering, he says he would like to explore studies that combine engineering with biology.

“I would like to do something chemical or something biomedical,” he said.

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