Benjamin Saint-Juste was produced by Washington in the third round. Pierre-Oliver Lestage and Bruno Label won a deal with the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.
Historic weekend for Quebec football. Canadian athletes are already rare to attract the attention of American teams: three Quebecs are unheard of in 24 hours.
Danny Maciosia, general manager of Montreal Alutes, sees this as a sign that sports are healthy in the province.
As we can see, more players can survive after playing college in the Canadian Football League or the NFL.
The loan goes to trainers of all projects in the province. He hopes the event will speed things up before the steam goes out.
There will be many more in the next few years and they will move to the next level.
Sasha Kawami, an agent for Lostage and Laurent Duvernay-Tardip, speaks with the same enthusiasm about the future.
This is unique. This attests to the quality of work accomplished by the coaches in Quebec. I take off my hat with them.
What I find extraordinary about what happened over the weekend is that it shows the number of possible routes. Benjamin Saint-Justin played in the NCAA and he was drafted. The Bruno label also went to the United States, where he got a contract. Later, after training in Quebec, Pierre-Oliver signed with a team.
Lestage, an alumnus of the Carabins at the University of Montreal, further clarifies a path already taken by some of the pioneers, such as Laurent Duvernay-Dortiff.
Players from Canadian universities have been playing in the NFL since 2010.
- 2012: Akhim Hicks (des Rams de Regina)
- 2014: Laurent Dverney-Dordiff (McGill Redman)
- 2016: David Onimotta (Des Bisons to Manitoba)
He has a handful of players from the Canadian network who manage to convince American teams, Kawami says. Some draft, others sign contracts. Anthony Ackler, Mark-Andre Decoy, yes, but others were in other parts of Canada as well.
In the past, deportation south of the border was considered a necessary step for young footballers in the province. Kawami agrees that there has been an evolution in this regard.
It is true that we rarely hear this text that the NCAA is necessary He agrees.
I have been doing this work since 2013. More teams are more interested in Canadian production today than they were a few years ago.
NFL clubs can no longer ignore talent from elsewhere. This partly explains this small revolution.
But even if they stare at the Canadian window, there must still be some beautiful products!
There are more and more good products. Messikoya, who appointed Lestage to the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Giants, says he has received calls from three teams about him.
The Giants called me, Arizona called me. He showed interest in a lot of teams.
According to him, the big guy can surprise and quickly impose himself among professionals.
I think he might even see some action, and very soon I will be in uniform for a few seconds.
In 2021, four Canadians will play in the NFL
- Benjamin Saint-Juste (Quebec)
- Josh Palmer (Ontario)
- Suba Hubbard (Alberta)
- Jovan Holland (British Columbia)
Also in 2014, four players were selected.
Is it too quick to talk about one?
Durney-Dortiff is one of only three players to have been produced by an NFL club in 11 years from Canada. In contrast, every year 250 or more selected opportunities come out of American schools.
Since the capture of the Super Bowl by Duvernay-Dortiff and the Chiefs in 2020, has Kawami noticed the increased interest of the teams towards the Canadian bed?
Kawami admits that if he was too quick to confirm it, he would have seen the presence of spirits among the recruiters of the Laurent Duvernay-Dordiff story.
Success fosters success. When I discuss young players with teams, Laurent’s example often comes up. Now they know his background. They know where he came from.
Examples of Guami’s two defenders, Laurent Durne-Dortiff and Pierre-Oliver Lestage, may inspire confidence to continue their training in Quebec rather than moving to the United States. But as for the agent, the important thing is that above all young people have different options.
We are not competing with the United States. What is needed is for young players to be able to decide where they are studying, here or there, according to their preferences, their field of study, according to their interests., He concludes.