Daniel Adeboboye: Watch This Guy Run


This is part of Northern Notables, a collection of interviews with NSS Alumni who have made an impact in their personal and professional lives.

by Joe Pascucci

Former Northern Red Knight standout running back Daniel Adeboboye is excited about 2023 and what his second season with the Toronto Argonauts will bring. But he’s not about to put 2022 in the rear view mirror. As if being drafted and playing for his hometown team (a childhood dream) weren't fulfillment enough, Adeboboye capped off his CFL rookie season by becoming a Grey Cup Champion when the Argonauts upset the favoured Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24 - 23.
“It was really surreal,” said Adeboboye, “because it’s something that you watched when you're a kid. You know you’ve seen Toronto win it in the past. Then in your first year you get a chance to be a champion with the team you’ve watched on TV. It’s amazing.”  
Drafted in the second round of the 2022 CFL Draft, Adeboboye knows how fortunate he is to be able to call himself a Grey Cup champion; there are Canadian Football Hall of Fame players who never get their name on the Cup. For most of his Argo teammates, like 10 year veteran linebacker Henoc Muamba, this was their first Grey Cup victory. 
Interview continues below
Daniel Adeboboye Argos Running Back
Daniel Adeboboye Grey Cup Champ
Adeboboye:  (1) on the field as No 21 for the Toronto Argonauts  (2) Grey Cup Champion 2022
“During the game I was thinking of all the guys on my team that have been here like once in their career and if we don’t win this then there’s a chance that I might never get to this stage ever again. It really motivated me to seize the opportunity when I was in the game.”

Listed as the 4th running back on the Argos depth chart, the majority of Adeboboye’s playing time was as a member of the Special Teams unit on kickoffs and pun returns. During the regular season, he quickly established himself as one of the team leaders earning recognition as the Argonauts nominee for Special Teams Player of the Year for his team leading 17 tackles. He added two more in the Eastern Final against the Alouettes and had one tackle in the 109th Grey Cup.  
“By mid-season I really started to get a handle on it (Special Teams) and started making more and more tackles every single game. My team nominated me for our special team’s player of the year – amazing to get  recognition for that from my teammates.” 

After winning a Junior Championship with NSS, Adeboboye headed to the United States where he was a standout at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island where he also stood out – Daniel had over 1,800 career rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Daniel's acceleration and speed on display during his freshman year at Northern:

Daniel Adeboboye's acceleration and speed.
With the Argos, last season Daniel carried the football 15 times for 72 yards and caught four passes for another 16 yards. The 23 year old is well aware that he still has plenty to learn before he can expect to see more playing time, eager to learn as much as he can from teammates such as veteran Andrew Harris.
"Going from American football to Canadian football was more of a change then I really expected. Having one more defender on the field completely changes the whole perspective of the game."
–  Daniel Adeboboye
“Andrew Harris definitely helped me. Giving me more insight as to what I should be looking at in terms of understanding blitzes, how to be more patient in the backfield, and reading my blockers and setting up my blocks.”

Adeboboye is just as grateful for the support he received from family and friends. He would have anywhere from 20 to 50 come to his home games wearing their Argo jersey with his name and number on the back. His family would also come to practices and to games when the Argos travelled to Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Calgary, Alberta and Regina, Saskatchewan. “The support I got from them was amazing.” 
As was the encouraging words from the Argos football executives like GM Pinball Clemons, Assistant GM Vince Magri, National Scout Alex Russell and Senior Advisor Jim Barker. All telling Adeboboye that his time at running back would come and that he just had to be patient. “I haven’t head anything negative so far which is good.”

Before the Argos head back to training camp Adeboboye will have his day with the Grey Cup and Northern Secondary School will be one of his stops on what he is calling his city tour.

“I’m definitely going to bring it to Northern and maybe my middle school (Mill Valley) if they remember me and my church Wilmer Heights Baptist Church. It will a pretty busy day when I get the Cup.”  


Interviewer Joe Pascucci NSS'76 is a veteran sports journalist and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2015. With professional roots in Winnipeg, stretching back to 1982 when he was a sports reporter for Winnipeg’s CKND-TV, Joe has freelanced for ESPN and TSN, and was Sports Director for Global Winnipeg from 1986 until 2014. Joe became a CFL historian of note by compiling a celebratory video of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' history, producing videos for Bombers Hall of Fame inductions, and transferring to video key historical moments from the 1930s to '70s, including matching grainy footage of the Bombers’ 1939 Grey Cup victory with a CBC radio broadcast. Joe is a Director of the Northern Secondary School Foundation.