Gridiron stars from OUA get tested by CFL


Eighteen athletes from Ontario University Athletics – including McMaster Marauder and Hamiltonian James Edwards and Hamilton’s Michael Cornell of the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Brad Crawford of the Guelph Gryphons – more than any other football conference, have been invited to participate in the Canadian Football League’s annual Evaluation Camp in Toronto from March 6- 8.

The Evaluation Camp serves as the final opportunity for the best draft-eligible players to show their stuff in front of CFL coaching staffs in advance of the spring draft. Players will participate in physical testing, including; the 40-yard sprint, bench press, vertical jump, agility run, standing long jump and flexibility test, as well as participate in individual positional drills and one-on-one drills. In addition to testing their football abilities, players will also go through interviews with prospective teams.

Leading the way for OUA, and topping all schools will be five members of the Queen’s Gaels. Among these athletes will be President’s Trophy winner Thaine Carter (Nanaimo, B.C.), a linebacker, and Metris Trophy nominee Osie Ukuoma (Mississauga), a defensive lineman. Both are ranked in the Top 15 by CFL Central Scouting. Accompanying them will be fellow All-Canadians defensive back Jimmy Allin (Belleville.), defensive lineman Dee Sterling (Kingston), and centre Dan Bederman (Toronto).

The Yates Cup finalist Ottawa Gee-Gees will be well represented with four players participating in the camp. Their top running back duo of Craig Bearss (Kingston) and Davie Mason (Brampton) will show off their punishing styles along with defensive stars Maxime Bedard (Granby, Que.), a defensive back, and Top 15-ranked prospect Cornell, a linebacker.

The Yates Cup champion Western Mustangs, along with the Windsor Lancers, will each be represented by two players. For Western, linebacker Jason Kosec (Mississauga) and offensive lineman Zach Pollari (Billings, Mont.) will represent the Mustangs, while defensive tackle Chad Cossette (Windsor) and third-ranked prospect, offensive lineman Matt Morencie (Windsor), will represent the Lancers.

The Toronto Varsity Blues, Guelph Gryphons, Waterloo Warriors, McMaster, and Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks will also be represented at the combine. Versatile defensive back Matt Morris (Scarborough) will represent the Varsity Blues, defensive back Crawford (brother of former Queen’s running back and current Toronto Argonaut Bryan Crawford) will represent the Gryphons while the nation’s second-leading receiver, Joshua Svec (Blenheim), will represent the Warriors. Versatile defender and long snapper Edwards will represent the Marauders while team captain Peter Quinney (Belleville), a fullback, will represent the Golden Hawks.

Off-field testing gets underway Saturday morning at the InterContinental Yorkville Hotel. On-field testing begins Sunday morning at Varsity Centre. A full schedule can be found on CFL.ca.