Four veteran Stingers were given the chance to impress CFL scouts
On Wednesday, March 25, Concordia hosted one of the three Canadian Football League (CFL) regional combines. Some of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) top football prospects descended to the Loyola campus Stinger Dome in front of a plethora of pro scouts, team representatives and league executives. Each of them showed off their skills and tested their physical limits with the high hopes of improving their draft positions.
The upcoming rookie draft will be held on May 12 in Toronto.
The event was an all-day affair, starting with the players filing into Concordia’s PERFORM Centre by 8 a.m. After registration and weigh-ins, each athlete completed a series of standard tests in the gym that measured their physical strength. After everyone was done, the afternoon sessions were devoted to on-field testing and one-on-one drills.
A select few of draft-eligible Stingers prospects took part in the 2015 Montreal regional combine. The Stingers bunch was headlined by the presence of their star receiver, Jamal Henry. Despite the chatter suggesting that the Stingers standout may be back this fall for his fifth and final year of CIS eligibility, Henry, like all in attendance, didn’t want to miss the chance of playing in front of professional scouts. Other Concordia student-athletes participated, including fellow receiver Shayne Stinson, defensive-back Jovan Deschenes-Cober and place kicker Keegan Treloar.
“I never really saw myself getting this far with football,” said Deschenes-Cober.
When asked about how he felt among the other top prospects in in attendance, Deschenes-Cober was confident in his performance.
“I feel like I had a really good day, I’d definitely say I was among the top tier of the defensive-backs.”
Despite his well-intentioned optimism, the scouts in attendance declined to invite Deschenes-Cober or any of Concordia’s prospects to the final CFL combine. The second leg of the scouting process will bring together all the selectees from the three regional combines and give prospects one-on-one interviews with pro-team representatives. Despite the disappointing end to the day, the minor setback hasn’t broken Deschenes-Cober’s spirit.
“I’m just going to keep training, stay in the best shape as possible and hope for an invite to a [CFL team’s] training camp,” he said.
Looking ahead, Deschenes-Cober understands the reality of the situation and that patience and hard work will extend his football career to professional ranks.
“Training camp will be my best shot. They have to bring a certain amount of Canadian players, which will hopefully be an opportunity [for me],” he said. “Realistically, it’s a numbers game. I’m just going to keep training and make the most of it.”
With CFL training camps settled to open for the end of May, Deschenes-Cober and the rest of Concordia hopefuls will aim to earn an invite, in order to flip their pro dreams into a living reality.