A perennial high school football all-star, Akbal was a star rusher with the Notre Dame Jugglers. He was part of their AAA championship team in 1989 and led the province in rushing in 1990 while being named a provincial all-star.
After graduating from Notre Dame Regional Secondary, he went on to play three seasons with the Renfrew Trojans of the BCJFL where he was a 3-time Canadian All-Star. He then went on to a prolific career with the UBC Thunderbirds helping the team win the 1997 Vanier Cup while leading the Canada West in rushing in 1998 and 1999, leading the Canada West in scoring and touchdowns in 1998, setting the Canada West record for most yards rushing in a season (1,417), as well as twice being nominated for the Hec Crighton Award in 1998 and 1999.
With UBC, Akbal was also a Canada West All-Star and an All-Canadian in 1998 and 1999. He set the team record for most rushing yards in a season with 1,787 as well as set the record for longest rushing touchdown at 85 yards in a game against Saskatchewan in 1996.