Ben Ijalana

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Ben Ijalana
No. 71 New York Jets
Position: Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-08-06) August 6, 1989 (age 27)
Place of birth: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 322 lb (146 kg)
Career information
High school: Mount Holly (NJ) Rancocas Valley
College: Villanova
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 49
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • 2009 FCS All-American (Walter Camp)
  • 2× All-CAA First Team (2008, 2009)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016
Games played: 23
Games started: 13
Player stats at

Benjamin Ijalana (/ˌəˈlɑːnə/ EYE-jə-LAH-nə; born August 6, 1989) is an American football offensive tackle for the New York Jets 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.

Early years[edit]

Ijalana's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria.[1] A native of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Ijalana attended Willingboro High School in his freshman and sophomore year, before transferring to Rancocas Valley Regional High School, where he was a two-way lineman, and district champion in wrestling.

College career[edit]

He started every game at left tackle since his true freshman year at Villanova.[2]

Ijalana was named to the 2010 Outland Trophy watch list as the only Football Championship Subdivision player.[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

2011 NFL Draft[edit]

The Sporting News listed Ijalana as one of the five most "intriguing small-school prospects".[5] 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.

Indianapolis Colts[edit]

Ijalana played four games in his rookie season before tearing his ACL and landing on injured reserve.[6]

A few weeks after being cleared to play, Ijalana tore his ACL again during training camp in 2012.[6] Ijalana was eventually declared out for the 2012 season.[7] He was waived/injured on August 1, 2012, and he was subsequently placed on injured reserve on August 5.

New York Jets[edit]

Ijalala was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets on September 1, 2013.[8] On April 9, 2016, Ijalana signed a one-year contract extension with the Jets.[9] On March 9, 2017, Ijalana signed a two-year, $11 million contract extension with the Jets.[10]


  1. ^ Fernandez, Bernard (April 27, 2011). "Too big for soccer, Villanova's Ijalana may be ready for NFL". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ijalana tackles task of being top lineman at Villanova". Delaware County Daily Times. September 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ "2010 Outland Trophy Watch List Announced". FWAA. June 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Villanova's Ben Ijalana named to Outland Trophy Watch list". Philadelphia Inquirer. June 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Dillon, Dennis (February 20, 2011). "Five sleepers to watch at NFL Scouting Combine". Sporting News. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Josh. "Ben Ijalana waived, injured - Colts sign Ty Nsekh". 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Lange, Randy (1 September 2013). "3 Arrive Via Waivers; 7 Added to Practice Squad". New York Jets. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Smith, Michael David (April 9, 2016). "Jets re-sign offensive tackle Ben Ijalana". Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  10. ^ Wyatt, David (March 9, 2017). "Jets To Sign Ben Ijalana On 2 Year $11 Mill Deal". 

External links[edit]