REGINA, ON – Three members of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team put forwarded their best efforts this past weekend at the 2017 Canadian Football League (CFL) National Combine in Saskatchewan as they made one last impression on league scouts ahead of the CFL Draft in May.
Defensive linemen Kwaku Boateng of Milton, Ont., the top-ranked prospect in attendance, and Jalen Price of Hamilton, along with linebacker Nakas Onyeka of Brampton, Ont., all put on great performances in both the individual tests as well as the 1-on-1 on-field sessions.
For Boateng, who entered the combine as the sixth-ranked prospect in the latest scouting rankings, he put up a time of 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash, as well as a very strong 33.5 inch vertical. He carried that performance onto the field where, despite having the spotlight shining brightly on him, made his presence felt.
“Kwaku will be impressed with his 40 time,” said Laurier head coach Michael Faulds. “All the CFL scouts would have been impressed as it’s a great time for a defensive end. He had some good reps in 1-on-1’s getting around the edge and really used his speed well.”
Onyeka, meanwhile, managed to crack the Top 5 in the vertical jump in testing as he posted 35.5 inches, the best mark among all linebackers at the combine. He also clocked in a 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash and posted 16 reps on the bench press.
“Nakas was very impressive with his testing numbers in particularly in the vertical where he showed well,” said Faulds on last year’s finalists for the U SPORTS Presidents Award. “During 1-on-1’s Nakas was pretty good as well. He’s a versatile guy and can have an impact on special teams in the CFL. Scouts know that when he gets near a ball carrier, he’s definitely going to bring him down.”
As for Price, the defensive tackle performer particularly well during the on-field testing where, according to Faulds, he showed the true value he brings to a team.
“Jalen had some great bull rushes in the interior during 1-on-1’s so he was able to test the depth of the pocket. His strength lies in his ability to eat up multiple blockers and that is what scouts were able to see.”
All three Hawks will now wait and see if they hear their name called at the 2017 CFL Draft set for May 7, 2017. In the last five years, six Golden Hawks have been taken in the annual Canadian selection draft, joining the 122 total that have been selected since 1970.