June 6, 2014 8:38 am

University of Manitoba awards honorary degree to Israel Idonije

Izzy Idonije, left, received an honorary degree at the University of Manitoba on Thursday.

Izzy Idonije, left, received an honorary degree at the University of Manitoba on Thursday.

Nam Y. Huh / The Associated Press

WINNIPEG – Another honour for NFL defensive lineman Israel Idonije.

The 33-year-old from Brandon, Man., received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree Thursday from the University of Manitoba. Idonije, a defensive lineman with the Chicago Bears, played his college football at Manitoba and is the only player in school history to play in the NFL.

Two weeks ago, Idonije received the Order of Manitoba.

Idonije is a native of Nigeria but moved to Canada with his family when he was four years old.

The six-foot-six, 275-pound Idonije is entering his 12th NFL season, 10th with Chicago. He broke into the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 2003 but joined the Bears’ practice squad later that season.

Idonije has appeared in 149 career NFL games, starting 50. He has amassed 273 tackles, 29 sacks, six fumble recoveries and eight blocked kicks. Idonije ranks fourth in NFL history in blocked kicks since 1992 when stat first was recorded.

He appeared in 15 games last season with Detroit before re-signing with Chicago as a free agent.

Idonije has also created his own comic book, “The Protectors.”

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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