Ijalana aboard USS George Washington in 2016
|No. 66 – Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Born:||August 6, 1989|
New Brunswick, New Jersey
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||322 lb (146 kg)|
|High school:||Rancocas Valley Regional|
(Mount Holly, New Jersey)
|NFL Draft:||2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 49|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
Benjamin Ijalana (// EYE-jə-LAH-nə; born August 6, 1989) is an American football offensive tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Villanova and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Ijalana's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria. A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Ijalana attended Willingboro High School in his freshman and sophomore year, before moving to Hainesport Township and transferring to Rancocas Valley Regional High School, where he was a two-way lineman, and district champion in wrestling.
2011 NFL Draft
The Sporting News listed Ijalana as one of the five most "intriguing small-school prospects". He was selected 49th overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2011 NFL Draft, the highest selected Villanova Wildcat since Howie Long in 1981.
Entering draft day, Ijalana was listed as a second round prospect with the possibility of jumping into the first round. He was projected as a right tackle, following his strong showing as a left tackle in college and his good arm length and hand size. Additionally, he had the ability to fall back as a guard. On day two of the draft, the Indianapolis Colts traded their 53rd and 152nd pick to the Redskins for the 49th pick to draft Ijalana.
A few weeks after being cleared to play, Ijalana tore his ACL again during training camp in 2012. Ijalana was eventually declared out for the 2012 season. He was waived/injured on August 1, 2012, and he was subsequently placed on injured reserve on August 5.
New York Jets
Ijalala was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets on September 1, 2013. On April 9, 2016, Ijalana signed a one-year contract extension with the Jets. On March 9, 2017, Ijalana signed a two-year, $11 million contract extension with the Jets.
On February 19, 2018, the Jets declined the second-year option on Ijalana's contract, making him a free agent. However on March 16, 2018, Ijalana re-signed with the Jets on a one-year deal. He was placed on injured reserve on August 15, 2018.
- Fernandez, Bernard (April 27, 2011). "Too big for soccer, Villanova's Ijalana may be ready for NFL". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
- Cosentino, Dom. "Jets re-sign backup offensive tackle Ben Ijalana", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, April 1, 2015. Accessed September 28, 2017. "Ijalana, 25, attended both Willingboro and Rancocas Valley high schools in South Jersey."
- "Ben Ijalana Drafted By The Indianapolis Colts", Villanova Wildcats football, April 29, 2011. Accessed July 18, 2019. "Ijalana, a native of Hainesport, N.J., and a graduate of Rancocas Valley High School, started all 53 games of his Villanova career and helped the Wildcats to a 40-13 record, three NCAA playoff appearances and the 2009 FCS National Championship."
- "Ijalana tackles task of being top lineman at Villanova". Delaware County Daily Times. September 10, 2010.
- "2010 Outland Trophy Watch List Announced". FWAA. June 21, 2010.
- "Villanova's Ben Ijalana named to Outland Trophy Watch list". Philadelphia Inquirer. June 22, 2010.
- Dillon, Dennis (February 20, 2011). "Five sleepers to watch at NFL Scouting Combine". Sporting News. Archived from the original on February 22, 2011.
- "2011 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Wilson, Josh. "Ben Ijalana waived, injured - Colts sign Ty Nsekh". StampedeBlue.com.
- "Indianapolis Star". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- Lange, Randy (September 1, 2013). "3 Arrive Via Waivers; 7 Added to Practice Squad". New York Jets. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
- Smith, Michael David (April 9, 2016). "Jets re-sign offensive tackle Ben Ijalana". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
- Wyatt, David (March 9, 2017). "Jets To Sign Ben Ijalana On 2 Year $11 Mill Deal". GangGreenNation.com.
- Allen, Eric (March 24, 2017). "Jets Re-Sign T Ben Ijalana". NewYorkJets.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
- "Reports: Jets won't pick up Ben Ijalana's option in 2018". GangGreenNation.com. February 19, 2018.
- "Jets Sign Ben Ijalana To One Year Deal". GangGreenNation.com. March 16, 2018.
- Allen, Eric (August 15, 2018). "Jets Place Veteran T Ben Ijalana on Injured Reserve". NewYorkJets.com.
- "Jaguars make roster moves". Jaguars.com. August 11, 2019.
- Oehser, John (August 31, 2019). "Roster reduction: Jaguars move to 53 players". Jaguars.com.