This week was years in the making for Temple linebacker William Kwenkeu, in more ways than one. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker posted the game of his life in the Owls 28-3 win over Florida International in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday, recording the first two sacks of his career.
But far more important than that: a day before, Kwenkeu became an American citizen.
A native of Cameroon, Kwenkeu moved to the United States in 2012, and eventually graduated from St. Charles High School in Waldorf, Md. He earned a scholarship at Temple, where he has made an impact on special teams before an injury to fellow linebacker Shaun Bradley led to his breakthrough performance in Thursday’s game.
However, a day before the game, Kwenkeu flew to Baltimore, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, to take the U.S. citizenship test, which he passed. He will be sworn in as an American citizen this Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Which made his performance in the Gasparilla Bowl even more special than it would have been otherwise.
“It was exciting,” Kwenkeu told the Inquirer. “It was a five-year long wait and when it finally happened it, there were tears on my mom’s face, she was smiling and it was making her proud. That is what she wanted for me, the America dream happening for me, so it was a very warm moment.”