Patrick Arinze grew up in San Diego, California and attended Helix High School. In high school Arinze saw playing time as both an offensive and defensive lineman. Not only did Arinze play football but he was also a member of the track and field, and wrestling programs.
Arinze first started playing collegiate football at Grossmont Community College. Arinze saw playing time in six games in 2010 and four games in 2011. Although Arinze was primarily a blocker, he was able to rush the ball for 21 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Arinze joined the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2013. As a senior in 2014, Arinze started seven of 13 games as a fullback, blocking for now NFL running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams (both rushed for 1,000 plus yards in 2014). Arinze helped block for the Razorbacks as they rushed for 438 yards against Texas Tech, hauled in a seven yard pass against Alabama and captured a season long 10 yard reception against UAB.
After stints with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and being a member of the Jacksonville Sharks, Arinze is currently training to join a new football league called the Alliance of American Football League. I asked Arinze what his thoughts were on the league and is main focus on training and he said, “the Alliance of American Football League which from what I’ve seen looks like it’s going to be the real deal so that’s been my main focus as far as my next opportunity. As far as training, my whole focus is just to drop weight I put on to play the fullback position in Arena Football. In Arena Football, fullbacks are normally athletic offensive lineman. I have the strength to play the position, just put some weight on to benefit myself while blocking some linebackers that can sometimes weigh 300+ pounds getting a five yard running start at you. At my usual playing weight, I can play fullback, running back or linebacker so that what I’m working on getting back to.”
You often see Arinze working out in the gym whether it be lifting weights or doing some position drills. This young man has a special gift and he looks to improve on that each and every day. Arinze is that type of player that gives 110% no matter what is at stake. Seeing the passion that runs through his eyes is inspiring.
I decided to ask Arinze what his biggest goal was coming out of Arkansas and he said, “my goal since leaving Arkansas was to play professional football which I’ve done by signing contracts to a few profession arena teams. Once I did that, I decided that I could use Arena football as a chance to move up and hopefully get a shot in the NFL or CFL. Also, with me being a few years removed from college, it’s important to have updated film of myself playing for scouts to see. Also, playing helps me stay in shape because with all the training I do, it’s hard to simulate actually running plays with shoulder pads and a helmet on.”
I was always curious as to why players play such a physical sport. What continues to drive them every day? That is exactly what I asked Arinze and he said, “my drive to continue to play this game literally just comes down to my love for the game. Once I’m done having fun with it, I’ll retire. Football has also taken me around the country so I do like the fact that I get to experience new places and people whenever I do decide to sign with a team.”
Finally to cap off the interview, I asked Arinze what he enjoyed doing during his off time and he said, “in season when I’m not at practice you can either catch me working out or doing something chill like playing video games (PS4) or watching movies/documentaries and TV shows. During the offseason, I’m pretty busy as a personal trainer and high school football coach as well as working out 5-6 times a week myself.”
Arinze is super talented and you can tell how much he truly loves the game! Training the youth as the next generation of dominant athletes during the offseason as well as improving his own game each year is a lot of work. Arinze will have a dominant season whether it be as a running back, fullback or linebacker. Wherever life takes this young man, I guarantee he will not go unnoticed!