For Canadian football players and fans, the month of March is one of the most important months of the calendar year. Canadian university players in their fourth year receive the opportunity to showcase their skills at the CFL Combine.
The combine is an evaluation camp hosted by the Canadian Football League, in partnership with USports. It is here that the best fourth-year football players from all 27 USports teams across the country are invited to showcase their skill and athleticism.
This year, the Warriors will headline “combine season,” as they will be sending five players to the regional combine, on Mar. 12 at the University of Toronto, as well as three players to the national combine, from Mar. 26 to 28 at the same venue. All athletes who participate in this year’s CFL Combines will be eligible for the 2020 CFL Draft in May.
The Regional Combine
The Regional Combine in Toronto showcases some of the top players from each of the eleven OUA schools. This year, the Regional Combine will primarily showcase Waterloo’s lineman power, as offensive linemen Greg Brand (Milverton, ON) and Troy Curtis (London, ON) will be representing the Black and Gold. Brand and Curtis were integral parts of the Waterloo offensive line that blocked for one of the top rushing attacks in the nation, headlined by Dion Pellerin and Tre Ford. Offensive lineman Grant Curtis (London, ON) was also invited to the Regional Combine but deferred his invite due to an injury.
For almost a decade, the Warriors struggled to put together a strong offensive line. To now have three offensive lineman invited to the CFL Combine is a huge achievement for the Black and Gold, a testament how much the program has grown.
On the other side of the ball, fourth-year defensive lineman, Joshuah Brown (Toronto, ON) will be representing UW, as well as Linebacker, Michael Reid (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). Brown has been an integral part of a developing defensive line that has become highlighted by their ability to stop the run. Reid has been regarded as arguably the most underrated linebacker in the OUA over the last two seasons.
All four of the participating Warriors will have the opportunity to advance to the CFL National Combine hosted Mar. 26 to Mar. 28, depending on if scouts are impressed by their performances.
The National Combine
The CFL National Combine is often seen as the gathering of the elite. Draft eligible Canadians from USports and the NCAA compete to reaffirm their value to scouts. Full of conference All-Stars, All-Canadians, and National Champions, the National Combine is truly must-see.
For the first time in a long time, three Warriors have received direct invites to the CFL Combine. Representing the Waterloo defence is linebacker Kurtis Gray (Waterloo, ON). Gray is a two-time OUA All-Star and participated in the 2019 East-West Bowl, a showcase of USports’ best. Gray is a talented player with a unique package of skills that makes him a specimen to scouts. In his four seasons with the Warriors, Gray has had success at the linebacker and defensive back positions, as well as on special teams.
Representing the offence is running back Dion Pellerin (Abbotsford, BC). Pellerin had a breakout season as he led the country with 11 rushing touchdowns, and totaled 977 yards, the third-most in USports. There is no doubt that Pellerin was a top-three candidate for OUA MVP, as he was in the conversation for the best running back in the nation. Expect Pellerin to put his athletic 6’0, 225lb frame on full display at the national combine.
The final Warrior participating at the national combine is receiver Tyler Ternowski from Hamilton. Ternowski is currently ranked 16th on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s Top-20 Prospects List, and it comes as no surprise to anyone. Ternowski is a three-time First Team OUA All-Star and two-time First Team All-Canadian. He is eighth all-time in USports for career receiving yards with 2,949, and fifth all-time for career receiving touchdowns with 26. In his four seasons, he has totaled an impressive 164 career receptions.
Ternowski’s 2018 campaign is regarded as one of the greatest seasons by a receiver in the history of Canadian football. The Hamilton-native recorded 63 receptions for 1,159 yards, second all-time in a single season, and 14 touchdowns, first all-time in the OUA and second all-time in USports. Simply put, Tyler Ternowski is one of the greatest receivers in USports history, but his days as a Warrior have come to an end. This year’s National Combine will truly serve as a culmination of the reign of terror he has produced over four years as a member of the black and gold.