DE Veilleux never settles for mediocrity

CFC INSIDER

OUA & AUS options already in the mix for Flames standout.

St. Thomas Aquinas Flames lineman Alex Veilleux is always aiming higher when it comes to his career.

Alex Veilleux

Positions:
Defensive Line (End), Offensive Line (Guard)

Height/Weight:
6’1, 235 lbs

Teams:
Saint Thomas Aquinas Flames (high school:TVRAA)
Forest City Thunderbirds (OFC)
London Panthers (LMFA)

Commitment:
None

Official Visits:
None

Consideration:
Carleton, St. FX, Open

Class:
2018

Alex Veilleux has been battling on the gridiron since he was in Grade 4, and it was his larger stature that led him to football.

“I originally started playing because I was a bigger kid and I wanted a chance to succeed at a sport that suited larger guys,” he says. “I immediately fell in love with the sport, the team mentality and how challenging it was for me physically.”

He has played for a few different teams throughout his career, including five seasons with the London Panthers of the LMFA, three seasons with the Forest City Thunderbirds of the OFC and two seasons of junior football with my high school, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Flames. Also, he was selected to Team London in Grade 8 for the LMFA All-Star game, and also took part in OPC this year.

Alex has an impressive track record when it comes to winning awards as well. He won the Forest City Thunderbirds Outstanding Defensive Rookie in 2013, Forest City Thunderbirds Outstanding Lineman in 2014, Forest City Thunderbirds Defensive All-Star in 2015 and Saint Thomas Aquinas Jr. Football MVP that year too. He has also captained both his high school team and the Thunderbirds.

He had a memorable moment with his high school team last season.

“When our junior season ended, I was called up to play in the Catholic City Championship with our senior team,” Alex says. “I saw action on the punt and punt return teams, and played about half the game at nose tackle. Though we sadly lost to our rivals and nationally ranked team, the Catholic Central Crusaders (CCH), it was a great experience and was an amazing memory for me. The experience of playing against CCH top-notch OL forced me to reach a new level in order to compete with them. The loss also drove me to train harder than ever. Watching them celebrate as we sat in defeat made me hungrier than ever to one day hold a championship ring high for our school.”

Alex has enjoyed the recruitment process so far.

“I’ve found it very rewarding to be finally recognized for my years of grinding on and off the field to become better at football,” he says. “I find it’s an exciting experience to speak with CIS scouts and coaches, and I’m glad my hard work is finally getting noticed. However, I feel that it is important to keep a level head and not think too highly of yourself. I actually like being at the “bottom of the food chain” and working my way up, so I convince myself that everyone is doubting me and my abilities and that fuels my passion and my training.”

He’s keeping his options when it comes to CIS schools.

“I’ve been most involved with Carleton University and Saint Francis Xavier University, though I’ve spoken to many more scouts,” Alex says. “I look forward to continue communications with the schools I’ve already been talking to and initiate new contacts in the CIS community.”

Alex is most influenced by his teammates and opponents.

“I have a competitive fire inside me and I hate to be beat by anyone, regardless of age, size, athletic ability, etc,” he says. “If I see someone working hard, I need to work harder. If I see someone get three sacks in a game, I’ve got to get four. I’m always comparing myself to others, which makes me a better player in the long run. As well, my parents are always there to support me no matter what I do, no matter what my output on the field is, I’ll always know they’re backing me up.”

He is a prime example of a student-athlete who achieves great success in the classroom and on the field.

“I believe deeply in the student-athlete idea, strictly in that order,” Alex says. “I had a 98.25% average in semester 1 of Grade 10, which is something I’m very proud of. I’m also a great public speaker, and I’ve volunteered as a coach with my old team, the LMFA Panthers, for the past two years, giving back to the team that helped kick-start my career. I’m a fiery, vocal player and I love to compete. Passion is never in question for me, as there are very few who are as dedicated to not only being a great football player, but a great person, as I am.”

As for training, Alex goes to the Combine 360 training facility in London six days a week and Ryan Tremblay is his personal trainer.

“We work on strength, speed, conditioning and mobility all in one amazing place that also works with a number of CIS and CFL athletes,” he says. “The program also has a strict meal plan that I’m following to help prepare my body for the coming season. At Combine, I’m pushed to be the best I can be, and a mediocre performance is never acceptable. I have made the decision not to play summer football this year, as this is a huge transition year for me from junior to senior football. Our high school is planning on making a run for the city championship, and I want to do all I can to keep my body in top shape, while preparing myself for an intense Grade 11 year of playing both sides of the ball. My training program is very aggressive and I believe it will be great for me to increase my level of athleticism rather than my technical football skills this year, especially as a lineman.”

He wants to improve his footwork and speed for next season.

“I will be working on both of these throughout the summer, in order to dominate in my Grade 11 season,” Alex says. “I also would like to be the most well-conditioned I’ve ever been to start my Grade 11 season, as playing both ways requires a high motor and stamina.”

Alex also benefitted from the OPC experience, as he gained lots of valuable knowledge.

“I love competing against others who are at a high level, and OPC provided me with a venue to do so,” he says. “The amount of knowledge the experienced coaches passed on to me in such a short period of time was amazing. Succeeding at such a high level of football was a real confidence booster for me as well, and it made me realize that I can indeed compete at a high level. In fact, I crave it. I’m glad opportunities like OPC exist for players like me who are trying to develop and gain exposure.”

It was extremely beneficial from a recruiting perspective as well.

“Before OPC, I had limited contact with universities, but once I had a real chance to show what I could do in front of scouts and coaches, a lot changed for me,” Alex says. “I got a lot of interest due to OPC and I can’t thank the organizers and coaches who ran it enough for the amazing opportunity. It’s an amazing tool for young players, and I’m 100% glad I took part in it.”

Alex has a certain criteria that he is looking for in a university, and he won’t settle for anything less.

“I need a school that understands the responsibilities of a student-athlete, but also takes their football very seriously,” he says. “To me, it is very important to have a close bond as teammates. I’d rather lose as a team than win as individuals, and a good, inclusive atmosphere is of utmost value to me when looking at schools to consider my academic/athletic career. Eventually I plan on doing something with the sciences, perhaps an ecologist or veterinarian. However, nothing is set in stone for me, and I keep an open mind. My plan as of right now is to just keep my grades very high, so that I don’t close any doors, so that when it comes time for me to select a career, marks won’t be a concern.”

Alex Veilleux 2

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