Omar Fattah was a swimmer growing up. He hated swimming for sport. He wanted to be aggressive and hit something.
His mother was against the idea of him playing football at first but let him get out there and play.
“…I was a star from the start I guess. Whatever team I played on I was flying around and I gave 100 percent effort in everything I did. I just loved it. I grew a passion and started a fire in my heart and it has been burning ever since,” he said.
Omar Fattah is motivated by his own legacy and wanting to be great. He wants to be the best he can possibly be for himself and his mom. He has grown up in a single parent household with older siblings and times have been tough at certain points. This is why he wants to one day be able to take care of her and give her everything she needs and deserves.
“Oh yeah, 100 percent. My mom she’s my best friend. She’s been my biggest motivation, she’s been my coach, she sacrifices so much so that I can have a good life and so that I can be the man that I am today. She’s my everything, there’s not a woman on this earth that’s more special to me,” he said about why his mom is a very important part of his life.
It was his mother who gave him a lion moniker in the fourth grade because he would attack whoever had the ball.
“…That was me. Ever since then, that’s just been carrying me all the way through middle school. Now, here I am in high school, that same thing just carried on. The thing that separated me the most, with every year I’ve developed as a player, I worked harder and harder. I think that’s what separated me the most. No one my age works as hard as me. I train two-three times a day,” he said.
Omar Fattah is a senior varsity linebacker for the St. Edward High School Eagles of Lakewood, Ohio. On the field, the 5-foot-10, 230 pound 2018 recruit was named a D1 All-State linebacker honorable mention, D1 First-Team All-District linebacker and recorded 135 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, four sacks and two forced fumbles in 2016.
“When it comes to leading, I know there was a situation in one of our playoff games, coach had called the play and I think it was fourth and 10 and the [opposing offense] was really close to the goal line. If they scored they would’ve won the game. I made a play call change. I changed the blitz scheme of it. I managed to get through the offensive linemen, I sacked the quarterback and caused a fumble and we recovered the ball. Just that kind of leading ability and my ability to fly around the football field are my [best] characteristics I think.”
At the moment he has high interest in Youngstown State University, Air Force and Notre Dame College, the first school to offer him.
Here is what St. Edward Eagles Head Football Coach Tom Lombardo had to say about his linebacker.
“Omar is a consummate football player. From his sophomore year on [the] scout team, all the coaches could tell he loved the game and contact,” he said.
Lombardo also said that Fattah is an excellent run filler and blitzer who made huge plays for the Eagles when he blitzed. Lombardo added that Fattah has a great knack for getting to the ball.
When asked about what college coaches like about Fattah, Lombardo said that they love his leadership in the weight room and passion for the game and life.
“…He is a 3.5 student, has a vibrant personality, and clearly is our team leader.”
That passion for the game and life for Omar Fattah didn’t come without a fair share of obstacles and sacrifice.
Sacrifices made for religion:
“Not only just that, the sacrifices that I’ve made, especially me being a Muslim athlete. Going through Ramadan where you’re in summer heat at football practices, where you can’t drink water or have any food sunrise to sunset. That type of discipline and toughness that helps you become a man. That and other things that other kids aren’t willing to give into. Not drinking, staying away from girls, that’s all a part of my religion and kids now a days, they can’t really handle that. So I think I have an edge on everybody. I’m willing to do so much more to be great.”
“…My biggest passion is my religion. Being a Muslim now a days in society, it can be difficult, especially, these days with Islamophobia. A lot of people now a days don’t know what it means to be a Muslim. The meaning of Islam itself, it derives from the word peace. That’s why I’m so passionate about it. I pray five times a day being a Muslim. People just don’t understand now a days. They don’t know enough about what it means and how it is. That’s my passion. There may be times during football practice where I have to stop and fulfill my prayer and that’s the biggest thing to me.”
Growing up without a father:
“In life I would say growing up without a father. I have older brothers but they themselves, they didn’t learn anything either so I’ve had to learn everything myself when it comes to being a man. My mom tries her best every single day but when it comes down to basic life skills on the football field and off the football field, I just teach myself everything. How to carry myself, take care of myself, provide for myself, and basic manners overall. My family life has been a little bit tough the past few years financially because I’ve seen my mom struggle a lot to give me a good life. It’s been sad and it’s been tough but that’s what gives me the inner drive I would say.”
Challenges he faced and maybe is still facing on the field:
“On the football field, it has always been a challenge, especially, being a shorter guy. Only about 5-foot-10, 5-foot-11, I’ve talked to some huge colleges after my football season. They were really impressed with my highlight tape, the way I played, my character but they all said the same thing. They thought I was too short to play college ball. I’m here and I’m going to prove them wrong. I felt I’ve defeated every single odd I’ve been placed with.”
“This past junior season, I had four seniors on my depth chart. I was a fourth stringer before the season started and I beat every single one of them out for a starting position. That’s just the kind of character I want to impose on people that coaches don’t really understand. The amount of effort I put into my game, the amount of effort I put into my life. I try to carry them out and [succeed]. In the game of football, we use it as a tool to get somewhere bigger in life.”
Fattah believes he can bring great character and positive energy to a university on and off the field. He loves helping people whether it’s making other people happy, his teammates smile and laugh or helping out in the classroom.
“…This stuff goes both ways, you build that connection with one another as teammates and even as regular classmates who go to the same school just looking out for each other trying to benefit each other in any way we can. I’ll bring a little diversity too. Some people, they haven’t met…I’m one of the few Muslims at that school and I’m a great Muslim for anybody to meet. So being that in someone’s life, I enjoy that and hope to open more eyes for more kids,” he said.
What Omar Fattah said he will miss when his time is all said and done at St. Edward High School is the culture and brotherhood there. He sees it as unreal and something you can’t get anywhere else.
“…You’ll talk to guys that graduated 15 years before you, they won’t even know you but they’ll have a 30 minute conversation with you just because you went to St. Edward’s. That’s something you can’t just go and get anywhere else. We all look out for each other, we all care for each other, we all love each other and that’s something I’m definitely going to miss when I leave off to college. Hopefully, when I do leave, people will remember me as a guy that was always willing to help [another person], that always worked his hardest and just a great guy I guess. That’s the goal for everybody. Everyone wants to be a great guy you know?”