by Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
In but a few days, the CFL off-season halts for a minute as we get another taste of Canadian Football by way of the 2014 national combine in Toronto (with regional events having already opened yesterday in Edmonton). For many athletes across Canada, this is a step towards their ultimate goal in being drafted by one of the 9 teams watching intently as the new crop moves through; drills, skills, and interviews.
With 2013 being one of the most memorable draft-classes in recent history, we thought that reaching out to a few of them in hopes of getting some advice for you; the future CFL athletes, might provide you with some insights that could help you when the lights are on. Should you be present at the 2014 combine, or are on your way to pick up your first pair of cleats, what these CFL’ers had to say just might help you break into the world of professional football.
“My advice to any athlete going through the draft process is to believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities and to take advantage of your opportunities.”
– Kyle Norris, Edmonton Eskimos
“Be humble but social with any CFL staff, the more they know you the more you stick in their mind. Keep your mind clear and be yourself you will perform your best.”
– Matt McGarva, BC Lions
“Be yourself. The coaches want to get to know who you are, the football drills are just as much if not more important than the testing itself, so make it count! You have to stand out in any way you can, be it; your intensity, your cardio, your speed or your strength. Most importantly have fun, and enjoy the moment because it’s not given to just anybody and it doesn’t last forever!!”
– Nicolas Boulay, Montreal Alouettes
“Show how bad you want it. No matter if you’re drafted 1st or not drafted at all. Just show them all the hard work you put in and good things will happen!”
– Brett Lauther, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
“Being off the radar, my whole university career, the CFL combine gave me the opportunity to showcase myself so that on draft day I got a phone call!”
– Mike Klassen, Montreal Alouettes
“Good luck to all the athletes participating in the CFL combines this week. Don’t stress the little things and enjoy the experience! #hardworkpaysoff “
– Carl Fitzgerald, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
“Going into the CFL combine I felt a great variety of emotions; Stress, excitement, confidence, pride and a sense of accomplishment. No matter what happens to you this weekend, remember that you were selected among thousands of aspiring amateur football players who seek an opportunity to showcase their ability, and in turn earn a pro-contract. The fact that you are here is amazing all in itself. Just remember, not all 9 teams have to like you. It just takes one to make your dream come true. Make it happen.”
– Steven Lumbala, Montreal Alouettes
“The combine is only the result everybody sees, but the process was years of hard work, love and passion. Remember where you started. Have fun!”
– Seydou Junior Haidara, BC Lions
We wish all 2014 combine athletes the very best of luck in what is certain to be one of the most memorable experiences of your lives! As all of our 2013 draft class has said in one way or another; Be yourself. That’s what has gotten you here.