OL April set to bring size to the SFU lines (VIDEO)

The young standout will be part of the SFU Clan next season.

The recruiting process is a little bit like a sweepstakes for both the university and the player and both Alex April of the Spruce Grove Panthers (Alberta School Athletics Association) and NCAA’s Division 2 Simon Fraser Clan won when April chose SFU as his new school.

Alex April

Offensive Line (guard, tackle), Defensive Line

6’1, 300 lbs

Spruce Grove Panthers (high school: ASAA)

Simon Fraser (NCAA Division 2)


While April had a total of 14 offers from both NCAA and NAIA schools, he made his choice after visiting 7 universities.

“It’s [recruitment] a bit like Dragon’s Den,” April said. “They’re trying to understand if they want to invest in you and what you’ll bring to the team. You’re trying to find the right combination of team, school and city where you’re going to be spending the next four years.”

He added that, “SFU was that great fit. That said, it was hard to call some of the coaches that I’d developed a really strong relationship with and let them know I won’t be joining their teams. It’s amazing how many great football programs there are out there.”

The young football player began his career in 2010 where he won Rookie of the Year for the peewee level. He played both peewee and bantam football with the Stony Plain Bombers (Capital District Minor Football Association) and midget with the Parkland Predators (CDMFA). In 2012, he won the Tier 2 CDMFA City Championship with the Bombers and finished as a silver medalist in the province.

He was a member of Team Alberta North in the Senior Bowl. April will be rounding out his high school career with a major game this May long weekend.

Last season, April helped his injured high school team make the list as one of the top ten football teams in Canada. With a shortened bench, the young guard had to play both on the offensive and defensive lines. “We were still seeing this incredible success,” he said. “It was even more exciting because the year before we only won one game our whole season.”

With his future set with the SF Clan, April said he will decide whether he would like to pursue economics so he can solve complex problems or computer science so he can go into digital forensics in first year. He will be attending training camps at SFU on August 15.

However, none of this may have been possible without help and guidance. April has a long list of coaches who have played an important role in his football career. He has had the opportunity to learn from coaching legend Coach Bill McDermott of the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

In high school, April was a student of head coaches Yakimchuck, Fricker and Jackson. “I’m really grateful for the amazingly coached teams that they were able to provide for us,” he said.

The young player has also had the chance to learn from such coaches as Aaron Fiacconi, Jed Roberts and Gord Hinse through the Kamau Peterson’s PlaymakerU programs. He said he would also like to thank Coach Brett MacNeil for the time and energy.

April’s list is not only exclusive to coaches, though. Joe Hollimon, a former Edmonton Eskimo player from the 70s and 80s, and current Eskimo players Calvin McCarty (running back), Grant Shaw (placekicker) and Ryan King (long snapper) are also among his list inspirations.

Alex April (#56) lines up on the line. Courtesy of Alex April.

Alex April (#56) lines up on the line. Courtesy of Alex April.

Much like how April can play both on the offensive and defensive lines, he can also fully navigate through both French and English as he attended a French Immersion program. He currently trains four days a week with the Elite Athlete Training System in Spruce Grove. He said he has also attended every football camp and offensive lineman program that was offered in the Edmonton region.

This off-season, April wants to work on his technique, power, explosiveness and speed.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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