By Mike Still
Fourteen Team Canada alumni were selected to compete in either the CFL’s regional or national combines this year. Due to COVID-19, the combines are being conducted virtually, with athletes completing and submitting their testing at various times. Below is a bit of information on each player. Results from the combines can be found here.
Kyle Borsa, running back, Regina (2016 International Bowl)
Borsa, a 6’0”, 200-pound ball-carrier, is one of just 13 players in Rams history to record over 2000 all-purpose yards, a feat he achieved in only 16 games. He made a serious statement at Regina’s pro day in late March, running a blazing 4.38 40-yard dash, a time that is considered elite on both sides of the border. He also ran a 6.95 three-cone and 4.19 shuttle, along with 22 reps at 225, a ten-foot, three-inch broad jump and 35-inch vertical leap.
Pier-Olivier Lestage, offensive lineman, Montreal (2016 International Bowl)
Lestage has been busy over the last year, despite not playing any U SPORTS games due to the pandemic. The 6’3”, 295-pounder was invited to all three American Bowl Games – the East-West Shrine Bowl, Tropical Bowl and College Gridiron Showcase. He participated virtually in the Shrine Bowl and Gridiron Classic, but participated in the Tropical Bowl on Jan. 17 in Orlando in front of NFL and CFL officials. He’s was an All-Canadian in 2019, and is capable of playing multiple spots on the offensive line, as evidenced by his reps at guard and centre during the Tropical Bowl.
Nick Cross, linebacker, UBC (2016 International Bowl, Junior National Team)
Cross is a former Canada West Rookie of the Year as a member of the Regina Rams. He played high school ball at powerhouse Dr. Martin LeBoldus in Regina and is incredibly fast and agile. He was all over the field with the T-Birds in 2019, leading a young squad with 75 tackles (topped Canada West) and a sack. He was a standout during the 2016 World Championship, earning Player of the Game honours against Mexico as well as All-Star status.
Ben Hladik, linebacker, UBC (2018 International Bowl)
Hladik also accepted an invitation to the College Gridiron Showcase. A standout at UBC, he had eight tackles during the 2018 International Bowl and has been a force for the T-Birds ever since stepping on the Point Grey campus in 2017, earning All-Canadian status and Canada West Defensive Player of the Year honours along the way. He was a standout at Vernon Secondary as a two-way player and is also capable of playing defensive end.
Tyler Packer, offensive lineman, Calgary (2018 International Bowl)
Packer was another invite to the College Gridiron Showcase. The hulking 6’6”, 330-pounder has been a consistent presence on a strong Calgary offensive line over the years, earning Rookie of the Year status in 2017 as well as a Vanier Cup in 2019 as a starting right tackle for the Dinos.
Kean Harelimana, linebacker/defensive back, Laval (2015, 2016 International Bowls)
Harelimana was a captain for Team Canada at the International Bowl, recording a sack in a 25-9 win over USA in 2015. The 6’1”, 217-pound RSEQ All-Star completed his pro day at Laval this week, recording a non-official time of 4.75 in the 40-yard dash, as well as a 6.99 in the three-cone, 4.25 shuttle, nine-foot, three-inch broad jump and ten reps at 225. His brother Brian was drafted by Montreal last year, and he’s capable of playing right away due to his special teams abilities.
Glodin Mulali, receiver, Acadia (2018 Junior National Team, 2018 International Bowl, 2017 North American Championship)
Mulali is a versatile threat who can make plays in the pass, run and return game. He led the AUS in all-purpose yards in 2019, with 1,314 and was the lone played from the Atlantic conference to earn U SPORTS First-Team All-Canadian status.
Josh Hagerty, defensive back, Saskatchewan (2016 International Bowl)
Hagerty, a safety, has professional level size at 6’3”, 205 pounds, and is one of the conference’s hardest hitters. The 2018 Hardy Cup champ posted four interceptions over the last two seasons and recently completed his pro day at the U of S, along with teammates Nelson Lokombo and Connor Berglof.
Shae Weekes, defensive back, Bemidji State (2018 International Bowl)
The 5’11”, 185-pound Weekes transferred to Bemidji State in 2020 due to COVID-19. Prior to his time with the Beavers, he was as Two-Time All-Canadian at the University of Manitoba, where he was an impact player as both a halfback and returner for three seasons. He holds the Canada West record for punt return yards in a playoff game, with 189, set in 2019, and had five combined interceptions between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Cole Hepburn, defensive back, Carleton (2018 International Bowl, Junior National Team)
Hepburn, a former linebacker, was an impact player in the Ravens’ secondary, recording 29 tackles, five pass breakups and an interception over the last two seasons. Capable of starting right away on special teams, he’s a physical player who suits the safety position well, but can also line up in man coverage.
Isaiah Joseph, linebacker, Hamilton – CJFL (2018 International Bowl)
Standing at 6’4”, 225 pounds, Jones is a ferocious tackler with high upside. He most recently played for the Hurricanes, where he showcased his coverage abilities and range, but is also a great pass pusher with plenty of experience coming off the edge. Jones has also played for UBC, where he made an impact at linebacker as a freshman in 2017, recording 22 tackles, three sacks and two pass breakups.
Andreas Dueck, quarterback, McMaster (2017 North American Championship, 2018 World Junior Championship, 2018 International Bowl)
Dueck led the Marauders to a Yates Cup title in 2019, throwing for 2431 yards and 15 touchdowns while cementing himself as QB1 for the program. The MVP of the OUA championship game is calm under pressure and wants the ball in his hands in big-time situations.
Mathieu Robitaille, receiver, Laval (2016 World Junior Championship)
A 6’0”, 187-pound playmaker, Robitaille ran an exceptional time of 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Laval’s pro day. He also recorded a time of 4.12 seconds in the shuttle and 6.75 seconds in the three-cone, tallied 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and had a nine-foot, four-and-a-half inch broad jump.
Danny McWhirter, defensive back, Carleton (2018 International Bowl, 2018 Jr. National Team)
McWhirter, a 6’1” defensive back, led the OUA in interceptions in 2019, with five. He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands, as evidenced by his 55-yard pick six against Laurier.
This content was originally published here.