Several athletes from the AUS champion X-Men football team have been busy as of late participating in various NFL and CFL professional combines.
Defensive lineman Kay Okafor participated at the CFL National Combine and the Minnesota Vikings Regional NFL Combine. Receiver Christian Ridley and defensive back Nate Fermin were at the CFL Eastern Regional Combine, while offensive lineman Vernon Sainvil participated in the New Orleans Saints Regional NFL Combine.
Although sidelined with an injury late in the 2016 season, Kay Okafor has been on the Top 20 prospect radar for the CFL for quite some time. He was the lone X-Men and one of two AUS athletes at the National CFL Combine held in Regina, Sask. March 23-25. Okafor is a 6'3" 270-pound defensive lineman from Enugu, Nigeria who recently wrapped up his fourth season with the X-Men.
At the combine players underwent medical examinations, performance, strength and speed tests, on-field football drills and team interviews in front of general managers, coaches and scouts from all teams. The Combine serves as key showcase for the country's top amateur football players before the 2017 CFL Draft on May 7th.
Okafor tied for fifth overall in the bench press with 30 reps. The complete individual results are available at http://www.cfl.ca/2017-cfl-combine-roster/.
The CFL hosted regional combines for the fifth consecutive year leading up to the National Combine. Locations were Montreal for the Eastern Regional, Toronto for the Ontario Regional and Regina for the Western Regional.
Ridley and Fermin participated at the CFL Eastern Regional Combine on March 10th.
Christian Ridley is a 6'1" 206-pound wide receiver from Dubai, UAE who completed his fourth year eligibility this past season. He averaged 70.4 receiving yards/game for the X-Men and received AUS all-star honors.
Nate Fermin, a 5'11" 177-pound defensive back hails from Pickering, Ont. and has been with StFX for the past three seasons. He had 33 tackles on the season, averaging 4.1 tackles/game.
Each CFL regional combine attracted between approximately 40 to 45 football players. Physical testing included vertical and broad jumps, bench press, 40-yard dash, short shuttle and three-cone drill. Complete individual results are available at www.cfl.ca/2017-cfl-eastern-regional-combine.
X-Men offensive lineman Vernon Sainvil, the 2016 AUS outstanding lineman of the year, continues to pursue NFL opportunities. The 6'4" 330-pound native of Malden, MA native is not eligible for the CFL draft.
Sainvil most recently participated in the New Orleans Saints Regional NFL Combine on March 12th.
The National Football League launched the NFL Regional/Super Regional Combines program in 2012 to serve as a supplement to the League's National Scouting Combine. They are designed to provide an opportunity for participants to display their pro potential and are specifically for athletes eligible for the 2017 NFL draft that are not participating in the National Scouting Combine.
The NFL Regional Combines are held in NFL club facilities and participants are tested and reviewed by experienced NFL scouting personnel.
Earlier this year Sainvil was a competitor at the 2017 Tropical Bowl all-star game, a premier Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Division I level college football all-star game played in Daytona Beach, Florida on January 15th.
StFX's Kay Okafor was busy prior to the CFL National Combine, having also participated in an NFL Combine – March 4th at the Minnesota Vikings Regional NFL Combine.