A select group of Canadian pro prospects will attend the up-and-coming College Gridiron Showcase.
The event takes place January 6 to 10, 2018 in Addison, Texas and provides exposure for top college senior football players from around North America. Players are selected by a panel of football experts and will be evaluated by professional league scouts.
The College Gridiron Showcase is the first all-star event to implement an “OTA-style” format which showcases players through practices and a controlled scrimmage while also making them available for personal interviews with the scouts and executives from NFL and CFL clubs.
Eight Canadians will attend in 2018:
David Knevel, OL, Nebraska
Snapshot: Knevel, the Brantford, Ontario native, has played in 31 games at Nebraska. The mountain of a man – six-foot-nine, 315 pounds – Knevel entered the 2017 campaign as the Cornhuskers starting right tackle, but injuries limited him to eight games in his senior season. However, he is healthy now.
Ryan Hunter, OL, Bowling Green
Snapshot: Hunter made 37 career starts at Bowling Green up front. Hunter started all 14 games at left guard in 2015 when Bowling Green won the MAC Championship and set school records for points (519), total yards (7,655) and passing yards (5,135). Then in 2016, he started all 12 games at right tackle and he followed that up with 12 starts as a senior. Experience, versatility, size and strength have made scouts take notice of the North Bay, ON native.
Andrew Pickett, OL, University of Guelph
Snapshot: Pickett is the lone USports blocker going and representing the Gryphons. When Pickett landed with the Gryphons many believed he was CFL quality. He’s dressed since day one and been a starter at guard the last three seasons. He’s as strong as they come.
Julien Laurent, DL, Georgia State
Snapshot: Laurent, the redshirt senior, has started for two seasons on the interior of the Panthers defensive line. In 2016 he started nine games and made 28 tackles. The Toronto native saw action in every Georgia State game this year, Laurent made 24 tackles, 6.5 for loss and blocked a punt too. The six-foot-four-, 295-pounder has been compared to Georgia State alum and fellow Canadian defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi who was a sixth-round NFL selection in 2012 and spent parts of five seasons with the Raiders, Bengals, Ravens and Redskins making 16 tackles and one sack.
David Mackie, FB and LS, Western University
Snapshot: Excellent long snapper who will be able to do that right away for a CFL team. That adds to the abilities Mackie has on offence. He’s physical and catches the ball out of the backfield smoothly. CFL scouts are high on the six-foot-two, 252-pounder. Mackie was a key blocker in a dominant Mustangs ground game that has galloped all over defences in 2017 to a Vanier Cup title. As the draft process plays out, Mackie will rise up boards.
Tyrone Pierre, REC, Laval University
Snapshot: Pierre is ultra-athletic at six-foot-two, 201 pounds he has a 38-inch vertical, 10-foot broad jump, 4.58-second 40-yard time and 3.99 shuttle time. Those are eye-popping numbers. Pierre could very well reach his potential in the pros.
Jackson Bennett, DB/LB, University of Ottawa
Snapshot: Ultra-athletic defender who has return ability too. 4.68-second 40-yard and 4.05 shuttle times at the USports East West Bowl in 2017 prove Bennet can run and change direction quickly. Pro scouts just need to figure out which position he’ll fit best at the next level.
Godfrey Onyeka, DB, Wilfrid Laurier University
Snapshot: Onyeka the three-time first-team all-Canadian cover man is long and rangy. He has intriguing traits – six-foot-two and 203 pounds. Top end speed needs to improve, but Onyeka has the potential to play corner or safety in the CFL and some feel even move down into the box.
Knevel (1), Hunter (3), Laurent (5), Onyeka (6), Bennett (13), Pickett (15) were ranked in the CFL’s latest scouting bureau.
Eskimos linebacker Christophe Mulumba and Bombers offensive lineman Qadr Spooner went to the College Gridiron Showcase in 2017. Both players were selected in the CFL draft.
All attendees are looking to improve their draft stock on both sides of the border.
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