2016 NFL Combines: Canadians on scouts’ radars

In the coming days and weeks, NFL Scouting Combines will be held in different citiies south of the border.  Several Canadian prospects will try to gain scouts attention during this time. CanadaFootballChat.com has gathered up information on the Canadians attending the main NFL Combine in Indianapolis this upcoming week as well as Regional Combines in the coming days:

Trent Corney

TRENT CORNEY: 6’3, 255 LB – DE Virginia Cavaliers (Brockville, ON)

Back in February 13th, Corney participated at the Regional Combine in Houston, Texas and gained a lot of attention by being one of the standouts of the event.

In Texas, Corney clocked in one of the quickest 40 yard dash times at 4.69.  NFL.com’s John Harris gives his assesment of the Brockville, Ontario defensive end:

“There’s little question that his athleticism is off the charts and he sees himself as a hybrid 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB,” said Harris.  “Consequently, one key aspect of being a 3-4 OLB will need some work.”

During 12 games this fall with NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team, Virginia Cavaliers, Corney registered 36 tackles (19 solo and 17 assisted), nine tackles for a loss a forced fumble and two sacks. Throughout his four year stint with the team, the defensive end played 34 games where he amassed 51 tackles (24 solo, 27 assisted), 13 tackles for a loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

This past winter, the defensive end was ranked eighth in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s Winter Rankings.

Previous to the Cavaliers, Corney played north of the border for the Ottawa Sooners of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) where he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year even though he played half of the season.  Additionally, he suited up for Thousands Islands Pirates of the Leeds and Grenville Secondary School Athletic Association (LGSSAA).  In the 2011 season, he scored 16 touchdowns on 35 carries.

Corney’s athleticism shined through early in his career.  Not only was he successful on the gridiron but, he excelled in other sports.  Corney was an OFSAA record holder in the javelin event, a gold medalist at the Canadian Championships, and racked up eight more medals (four gold, two silver, two bronze) for various OFSAA Track and Field performances. He also played hockey, basketball, and beach volleyball.

Up next for the defensive end is his NFL Pro Day which is scheduled for March 15th.

Tyler Nickel

TYLER NICKEL: 6’4, 220 LB – SIMON FRASER CLAN (CALGARY, AB):

Nickel participated in an NFL Regional Combine in Tempe, Arizona this past Saturday.

The 6’4, 220 pound quarterback from Calgary, Alberta has played for NCAA Division 2’s Simon Fraser Clan. Previous to the Clan, Nickel suited up for Northern California’s College of the Siskiyous Eagles.

Moreover, the pivot played at the high school level for Lord Beaverbrook as well as for the Winnipeg Rifles of the Prairie Football Conference (PFC) in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL).

NCAA Football: Boston College at Southern California

MEHDI ADBESMAD: 6’7, 297 DL Boston College (Montreal, QC)
Adbesmad arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana to take part in the NFL Scouting Combine from February 23rd-29th where all 32 NFL teams will be evaulating, interviewing and observing prospects.

The  6’7, 297 pound defensive lineman from Montreal, Quebec was ranked fourth in the CFL Winter Scouting Bureau’s rankings.This past season, he capped off his career with NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team, Boston College Eagles. He helped the Eagles defence to league the FBS in yards allowed (3,053) . Moreover, Abdesmad registered 49 total tackles including 35 solo, 15 tackles for a loss and recorded 5.5 sacks in 12 games during the 2015 season.

Abdesmad appeared in 39 games during his time at Boston College finishing with 98 total tackles (58 solo), 21.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks.

For his part, the 2015 season was a silver lining after a couple of seasons of disappointment.  Abdesmad’s season ended prematurely in 2014 as he tore his left patellar tendon in the team’s loss to Florida State earlier in the season.  In four games that season with the Eagles, Abdesmad ranked third on the team for sacks (2.0).  Up until his injury, he registered 17 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss.

He also missed the bulk of the 2013 season with a knee injury.

Previous to the Eagles, Abdesmad played with CEGEP Division 1 team, Vieux-Montreal Spartiates. During his time with the Spartiates, Abdesmad was honoured with Division 1 Defensive MVP Award in 2010 as well as an All-Star selection. He led the Spartiates to a 2009 Bol D’Or championship and got the team to the finals in 2010.

Abdesmad also represented Canada on international fronts.  The Quebec defensive tackle participated in the Team World versus Team USA 2010 game that was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Moreover, Abdesmad led Team Canada to a silver-medal finish at the 2009 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Junior World Championships in Canton, Ohio.

TYLER NICKEL: 6’4, 220 LB – SIMON FRASER CLAN (CALGARY, AB):

 

 

Shayne Gauthier- credit Yan Doublet (7)

SHAYNE GAUTHIER: 5’11 218 LB, LB – Laval Rouge et Or (Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC)

Gauthier will be attending the NFL Regional Combine on February 27th in Baltimore.

The 5’11, 218 pound linebacker from Dolbeau-Mistassini, Quebec has received numerous honours during his career including CIS Second Team All-Canadian (2015), RSEQ Defensive All-Star (2014, 2015) and a selection to the CIS East-West Bowl (2015).

Prior to the Rouge et Or, Gauthier played for CEGEP team, Beauce-Appalaches Condors.

Félix Faubert-Lussier - crédit Yan Doublet (2)

FELIX FAUBERT-LUSSIER: 6’0 215 LB, REC – Laval Rouge et Or (Montreal, QC)

Faubert-Lussier will be taking part in the NFL Regional Combine on February 27th in Baltimore.

The 6’2, 215 pound receiver from Montreal, Quebec was selected as a RSEQ Offensive All-Star in both 2014 and 2015.

Previous to the Rouge et Or, the offensive standout suited up for CEGEP Divison 1 team, Vieux-Montreal Spartiates.

Roman Grozman

ROMAN GROZMAN: 6’4 310 LB, OL – Concordia Stingers (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Grozman will be participating in the NFL Regional Combine in Baltimore on February 27th.
The 6’4, 310 pound offensive tackle was born in Tel Aviv, Israel but has called Montreal, Quebec home during his CIS career with the Concordia Stingers.
Back in 2011, Grozman was a member of the World Team that participated in the  IFAF Under-20 Championship in Austin, Texas.
Other teams, the offensive tackle has suited up for during his career include Newmarket Storm of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) and VIllanova College Knights of the Conference Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA).
Jean Philippe Bolduc
JEAN-PHILIPPE BOLDUC: 6’1 210 LB, DB – Laval Rouge et Or (Montreal, QC)
Jean Philippe Bolduc will be attending the NFL Regional Combine in Baltimore on February  27th.
The 6’1, 210 pound defensive back from Montreal, Quebec has played for the Laval Rouge et Or at the CIS level.
Before the Rouge et Or, Bolduc completed a stint with CEGEP Division 1’s Champlain-Lennoxville Cougars.
Maiko Zepeda
MAIKO ZEPEDA: 5’8 200 LB, DB – Montreal Carabins (LaSalle, QC)
NICOLAS NARBONNE BOURQUE: 5’10, 225 LB, FB – Montreal Carabins (Saint-Jerome, QC)

Montreal – Montreal Carabins defensive back Maïko Zepeda and fullback Nicholas Narbonne Bourque will try their luck on the other side of the border while they take part in the NFL Regional Combine in Baltimore on Saturday, February 27th.

The two Carabins have come a long way since the first games they played together with the Polyvalente Deux-Montagnes Centurions. After all these years on the field and in the training room, they want to seize this opportunity.

“I played football since I was six years old and all the effort I put in, it was with the hope of playing in the pros one day,” said Zepeda, selected as a CIS First Team All Canadian last season. “I have been anxious over the years, because I want to show what I’m capable of.”

“I talked to Nicholas and he’s ready too! ”

Both players have completed their fourth season with the Carabins and will live this experience together. In addition to being on the same flight, they will count on each other during their preparation. They have trained to go through the same evaluation exercises.

“Maiko and I have known each other a long time and it’s good to have a friend to support each other and give each other advice,” recalls Narbonne Bourque. “When we want to relax, the other is there to make a call to order.”

Their teammates are behind them. Zepeda and Narbonne Bourque follow a different path and will not participate in Carabins spring camp from February 29 to March 5, but will remain in the team’s entourage.

“The guys sometimes make jokes because we do not have the same level of training with them, but they respect it,” said Zepeda. “Sometimes they try to fight for our exercises.”

“A little competition is always good. ”

Narbonne

In recent seasons, former Carabins such as David Foucault and Byron Archambault attended the camp. This year, while Foucault lived the Super Bowl experience with the Carolina Panthers, Archambault, part of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, remained close to his former teammates at CEPSUM.

“I talked a lot with Byron, David Ménard, Anthony Coady (all former Carabins evolving in the pros) stressed Narbonne Bourque. I tried to get the most possible information about their experience. What I remember among others, is that there, it will be every man for himself. This will be the highest level of competition. I want to do well and not disappoint. This is the kind of opportunity that comes once in a lifetime.”

For both Zepeda and Narbonne Bourque, it will not be their first experience in front of scouts. Last spring, they participated in the CIS East-West Bowl. This event brought together the top prospects for the 2016 Canadian Football League (CFL) Draft.

If selected, the two Carabins will then be invited to the NFL Super Regional Evaluation Camp. They also participate in the CFL Evaluation Camp at the end of March.

(With files from Mathieu Dauphinais)

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