Stingers linebacker among those chosen to participate in official CFL combine
On Wednesday, March 18, Concordia held the Canadian Football League (CFL) regional combine at the Loyola campus. It was a chance for Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football players to show off their skills to CFL team scouts and representatives for the upcoming summer draft.
They arrived at the Stinger Dome bright and early. Forty-four hopeful players arrived in different colours from different backgrounds. Whether it was in Concordia maroon, McGill red or Sherbrooke forest green, soon enough, they were all equals fighting for the scouts’ attentions.
Concordia was well represented on Wednesday. Among those invited were Stingers linebackers Travis Brent and Eric Noivo, defensive lineman Shaquille Armstrong, offensive lineman Frederik Landry-Simard and wide receiver Michael Harrington. Although they are no longer a part of the Stingers team, Concordia alumnus, defensive lineman Jonathan Langma and defensive back Nathan Taylor, were invited to the combine as free agents.
“They don’t have film of me playing this year but they still thought enough of my athletic abilities to invite me again. It gave me the chance to train harder and improve on the numbers that I need to improve on,” said Taylor. “It means the world to me that they still think highly enough of me to invite a free agent that hadn’t played last year.”
The day started at 8 a.m. for the players, as they had to register and weigh in. For the rest of the morning, they went through a series of individual tests such as bench press, vertical and broad jump, 40-yard dash and other standard tests for a professional combine.
“It’s different when you get into that [weight] room,” said Noivo. “Our gym isn’t the biggest to begin with and there are 15 chairs and it’s packed with guys watching you, plus there are cameras. That was the only thing I was really nervous for.”
For the rest of the afternoon, players participated in one-on-ones and special teams drills. The off-field testing can only tell the scouts so much about a player. The on-field tests were what everyone was waiting to see. On the sidelines, scouts, players and even family members watched with excitement.
“When we got on the field and in pads, I felt really good. I’m happy overall, it was a fun experience, long day though,” said Noivo.
At the end of the day only five players were chosen to go to the official CFL combine in Toronto this past weekend, but just to be invited to the regional combine was a great accomplishment for the players.
“It was an honour and it ended up being a pretty good experience. I [was] just trying to come out of this with positive thoughts and see what happens in the future,” said Harrington. “I did alright, I always feel like I can do a little bit better but that’s just the competitive side of me. Overall I did what I could and hopefully I impressed some people.”
Among those chosen to participate in the official combine in Toronto was Concordia’s Travis Brent. He will join 50 other players in Toronto, including former Stingers linebacker Max Caron, defensive lineman Quinn Smith, quarterback Reid Quest and wide receiver Kristopher Bastien.