#CFCOPC PLAYERS TO WATCH: Team Central Minor lineman Pusztai’s big heart

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) on the April 29th weekend at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton. In the days leading up to the OPC, CFC will preview the teams and the players participating in the big event.

It is not the size of the man that makes the man, but the size of his heart and Broady Pusztai has a heart as big as his physical stature.

Pusztai is no stranger to the OPC, having played in last year’s game with Team Central Minors in Ottawa. He also has teammates that have played in the Challenge before as well.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to tryout. I had a lot of fun playing last year when we won,” Pusztai said. “I got a chance to play on the same team with guys that I usually play against during our regular season.”

The young player looks back fondly on the opportunity he had to play at TD Place in Ottawa last year. “It was really cool getting to go out on to a field where a CFL team plays,” he said. “I played the whole game at centre on the offensive line in last year’s game.”

Brody Pusztai (#71) walks forward with his team. Courtesy of Leslie Stephens.

Brody Pusztai (#71) walks forward with his team. Courtesy of Leslie Stephens.

Pusztai, who stands at 5’9, 215lbs, has played with the York Simcoe Bucs (Ontario Minor Football League) and the Metro Toronto Wildcats (OMFL). His current positions include centre, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle. He has been playing at centre for three years now.

“I get to be a leader on the offensive line when I play centre. I think I’m pretty consistent with my snaps and blocking for my quarterback,” he said.

The young player may move to guard or tackle so he can use his size more to his advantage. “But I’ll do whatever my team needs me to do,” he added. “They’re starting to use me at defensive tackle in practice. I’m used to protecting the QB and it’d be fun to be able to go after the QB.”

For Pusztai, football is a family affair. His farther played the sport when he was younger and prompted Pusztai to try it for himself. He said he liked the game so he decided to continue playing football. His professional inspiration is Max Unger, the former centre of the Seattle Seahawks.

“My favourite player is Marshawn Lynch who just retired from the Seahawks,” Pusztai added. “He was the heart and soul of the team and never gave up. I’d like to be able to be like that as a player.”

With this year’s OPC taking place on the home turf of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Pusztai is ready to add another CFL field to his list. “I’m excited to play at the new Ti-Cats stadium! I have seen them play at their stadium and I am happy we get to go there and play at another CFL field,” he said.

During last year’s contest, Team Central Minors used three different quarterbacks. Pusztai felt he did pretty well snapping to the different quarterbacks. “This year, I know the guys from last year and I think we’re coming together as a team quicker,” he added. “I’ll just try and do the best I can each time I’m out on the field.”

Set to graduate high school in 2020, Pusztai’s dream is play in the NFL. “My goal is to play for the Seattle Seahawks because they are my favourite team and it would be amazing if I could play there,” he said.

If Pusztai cannot break onto the Seahawks roster, he said he would also like to play for the Toronto Argonauts. “I’ve had a chance to meet some of the CFL players, which is cool, and they always talk about being good in school first,” he said. “They give good pointers about how to play too.”

But before Pusztai can break into the professional leagues, he will most likely end up in university. He said he would like to play for Michigan University because his father always wanted to go there.

“I got a chance to stand on the field at the Big House and throw a football around which was awesome,” he said.

If not Michigan, Pusztai would like to go to McMaster University, which is where his uncle went. He is also considering is mother’s alma mater, Western University, or his father’s old school, York University.

While university is still a few years off, the OPC is just around the corner. Pusztai said he wants to learn from the coaches and improve upon his skills, such as staying low off the snap. He would also like to play defense as well so he can work on his agression.

“Everyone tells me I’m big and strong and I should be more aggressive on the field,” he said. “It’s hard because off the field, everyone tells you to be careful because you’re big. Playing football, I am supposed to be aggressive, but it’s hard to remember that.”

In the end, Pusztai said he and his team are seeking to win again and beat Team East like last year. “With the players on the team, I think we have a really good chance,” he said. “I love being part of a team.”

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