Canadians Advance

Canadians Advance

Several Canadians attended recently NFL regional combines in Miami, Houston, Denver, Baltimore and two in Chicago, but only two received invitations to the league’s Super Regional Combine in Arizona.

Ron Omara, a six-foot-two, 241-pound linebacker from St. Francis Xavier University, and University of Calgary lineman Sukh Chungh performed well enough to earn invitations.

In four years of Canadian University football (26 games) Omara recorded 158 tackles, six sacks and four interceptions. The Aylmer, Quebec native was a CIS Second Team All Canadian in 2013.

Chungh, a six-foot-four guard, is also a four-year CIS star. The Coquitman, BC native played high school football with the BC High School Football Association Terry Fox Ravens. Chungh’s parents immigrated to Canada from India.

The Canadians are hoping to follow in the footsteps of compatriots David Foucault (Montreal – Carolina Panthers) and Stefan Charles (Oshawa – Buffalo Bills) who used regional combines to earn invites to bigger, ‘Super Regional’ combines. Performances there then led to both players being signed as NFL free agents after the draft.

The Winnipeg Sun’s Kirk Penton reported that University of Manitoba tailback Nic Demski attended an NFL regional combine in Houston on Valentine’s Day, and while it didn’t earn him an invitation to the super regional in Phoenix, it also didn’t dampen his desire to play south of the border.

“I gotta run a good 40 time, and then hopefully I’ll get a little bit more NFL interest,” Demski told Penton. “Just playing football at the highest level I can possibly play is what I want to do. I’m a pretty confident player, and if I get that chance I can maybe make that happen, but at the same time there’s a lot of hard work ahead of me.”

Universite Laval fullback Christophe Normand attended the NFL’s regional combine in Baltimore in an attempt to impress NFL scouts. Although his performance did not earn him an invitation to Arizona, he told the Journal de Montreal’s Richard Boutin that he was satisfied with the results.

“I’m pretty happy with my tests,” the Rouge et Or running back told Boutin. “I fit in with the other players at my position. I felt in my place. We always feel that the caliber of American players is high. . . . . but the guys from Quebec are able to rival. I showed up with the attitude of fun.”

The Canadians most talked about in NFL Draft circles are Tyler Varga, Brandon Bridge, Brett Boyko and Christian Covington (all from NCAA schools). All four attended the NFL’s main scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Ron Omara, credit St. Francis Xavier University

Ron Omara, credit St. Francis Xavier University