#CFCOPC PLAYERS TO WATCH: Team East Varsity DT & #CFC100 Dobson highly sought after

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com Ontario Prospect Challenge 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.

When you’re a big man playing in some major games on North America’s grandest fields, you’re hard to miss, but when you’re like Liam Dobson of Team East Varsity and you have raw skill and talent, you’ll be unforgettable.

It was the coaching staff that brought Dobson back to the OPC, having played in it the year before. “I know they have a lot of football knowledge that they want to share to make me and the team better,” he said.

“Also, I just really enjoy the game and want to play as much as I can,” he added.

While the OPC has a lot to offer, Dobson said the highlight has been the Top 100 tryouts. “That is where the best players are so you really get to compete,” he said.

Dobson has played football for the St. Mark’s Lions (National Capital Secondary School Athletics Association), Canada Prep Academy, which teaches American rules football and competes against American teams, and Team Canada. Standing at 6’3, 305lbs, he currently plays as a defensive tackle.

“I like the physicality and the system you must follow to be successful,” he said.

When asked about his inspirations, Dobson chose probably a lesser known figure in the football world. He said his father, who played football when he was younger, inspires him.

While Tim Hortons Field, the site of this year’s OPC, may be considered a larger stadium in Canada, it pales in comparison to NFL stadiums, such as AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which seats 101,000 people.

“I don’t think that playing at Tim Hortons Field will phase me because I played at the Dallas Cowboys stadium (AT&T Stadium) just over a month ago,” Dobson said.

“During my season at Canada Prep, we also played the number four ranked team in the United States and there was a crown of 11,000 people. I am used to playing in big stadiums so the size of it won’t bother me, but it will be cool to be able to play at one of the elite stadiums in Canada,” he added.

Playing on the big stage is nothing new for Dobson, who, at his time with Canada Prep, played against highly ranked teams with high quality players. During his time with Team Canada U19, he played against Team USA whose offensive line had commits from NCAA schools Clemson, University of Southern California, Texas Tech and Texas Christian University.

In that game, Dobson also squared off against Trevon Diggs, a receiver who has committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“I think I am going to handle the pressure well,” he said. “I have played in some high pressure games on a national level so I think I can handle the pressure this game.”

Set to graduate in 2017, Dobson’s goal is to get a free education out of football and play in the NCAA. If he manages to make the CFL or NFL, that would be a bonus, but he said he knows he needs to focus on his degree first.

While Dobson has a solid idea of his top 10 CIS schools, he currently has many division one NCAA schools looking at him. He has not received a NCAA offer yet and he said he will not release CIS school names until he decides if he is staying in Canada or not.

While high school graduation is getting closer and closer, the OPC is just weeks away. When the game commences, Dobson said he wants to dominate the line of scrimmage and not let the opponents run the ball. He also wants to get some quarterback sacks.

The young player also added that, “Me and the rest of the East team want to come out of Tim Hortons Field with the win. We want to do what the coaches taught us during the practice weekend and execute.”

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