Vancouver,BC- Little by little, U SPORTS football is having its effect on the National Football League. Less than six months after Laurent Duvernay-Tarif, formerly of McGill won the Superbowl with the Kansas City Chiefs, two more U SPORTS players have joined NFL organizations. 

Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Carter O’Donell were both overlooked through every round of the NFL draft, but the two U SPORTS athletes have signed professional contracts with the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts respectively. 

Coming from the University of Montreal Carabins, Duqoy is a sizeable, measruing in at six-foot-two, 198 pounds, nine-inch hand measurement, 32-inch arm length with a 75 and six-eights wingspan. Through his years with the Carabins, he has become known as a very athletic defensive back who can be trusted to tackle when called upon. He participated in the NFL combine and finished in the top six defensive backs in every scouting exercise. 

Although he was not selected in the initial rounds of the draft, signing as a free agent is a common route for the U SPORTS athletes who find themselves in an NFL picture. Before signing with Green Bay, the Philadelphia Eagles had also shown interest in him but did not end up pursuing the former Carabin after watching him at various scouting events. 

Montreal's Dequoy crushing expectations ahead of draft day -
Dequoy with the Carabins (University of Montreal)

In speaking with Three Down Nation, Dequoy’s agent Sasha Ghavami described the franco-Canadian as a plug and play defensive back, and a physical specimen that you don’t see very often. The agent also went on to speak about how Dequoy has learned to be a versatile player, and could very well find his way into the Packers 53 man roster come NFL kickoff. 

Joining Dequoy in heading south of the border for pro football is Carter O’Donnell, who comes from the Alberta Golden Bears in the Canada West conference of U SPORTS. The native of Red Deer, Alberta has turned heads with the University of Alberta, where he strung together a good enough resume to earn a spot at the East-West Bowl in Flordia, an event which put him right in front of NFL eyes. At that time, he was approached by a number of the NFL’s top teams, including the Ravens, Falcons, Patriots, Bills and eventually the Colts where he has now landed.

Alberta head coach and former CFL offensive lineman Chris Morris played the same position as O’Donnel and spoke to TSN’s Dave Naylor prior to the NFL Draft, where he said, “I’ve seen so many offensive linemen play. He has everything he needs and, if he stays healthy, I can’t see him coming back here anytime soon.” 

O’Donnel is the first offensive lineman from U SPORTS to enter the NFL since the aforementioned Duvernay-Tardif. He is also a highly rated prospect ahead of next week’s Canadian Football League Draft, but after being selected south of the 49th parallel, the likelihood of a CFL team selecting him in the high rounds is exceedingly low. 

If the Canadian duo is to play in the NFL, they will become the 37th and 38th U SPORTS  football players to participate in the league. Although U SPORTS may not provide the NFL with anywhere near the amount of talent that the NCAA does, the fact that players from Canada are able to work their way into one of America’s largest sporting ventures is a victory in itself.

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