Boylan’s Ongtengco commits to NIU as a preferred walk-on

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:38 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Sometimes the best things in life are the things we work the hardest for, and Boylan’s C.J. Ongtengco loves a good challenge. The senior prepares to do things the hard way at Northern Illinois University next fall.

“Ever since I started playing football, at seven years old, it was a dream to play at that highest level, D1 on Saturdays,” said Ongtengco. “Nothing is as surreal as that. "

Ongtengco prides himself on having a motor that never stops. Because of it, his motor got him a preferred walk-on spot at NIU.

“As soon as I went to NIU, met the coaches, seeing what they’re all about, there’s just no better place I wanted to be,” explained Ongtengco. “It really felt like home.”

“He’s excited because NIU was high on his list,” said Boylan football head coach John Cacciatore. “I don’t have any question that they will fall in love with him the way we fell in love with him very early on in the process.”

But as a PWO he knows he’s going to have to work twice as hard to earn playing time.

"For an athlete, there's no better thing, to give them an opportunity to compete and show that they can play at that level."

Cacciatore said C.J. reminded him of Green Bay Packers defensive end and Boylan grad Dean Lowry, because of his work ethic. He said he’s not surprised Ongtengco landed a Division 1 offer.

“(C.J.) is one of those kids that makes you stop and go back and watch all the film all over again,” explained Cacciatore. “Just to watch and see how he did, because he is so relentless.”

Ongtengco believes it’s not ideal to have high school football in the spring this year, but he and the team are going to roll with the punches.

“We’re going to go until they tell us to stop. But, it’s important to keep the safety of the players and students, that should be a top priority and not just the sake of having a football season.”

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