August means a few things to Canadian Football enthusiasts- recruiting blackouts end, scholarship offers begin to roll out, and the 2021 University Showcase fast approaches. Friday August 13th, the University of Waterloo is hosting an 85 athlete showcase featuring 8 of the top athletes in their respective position from Ontario and Quebec in partnership with MVP Football Academy.
After a single season hiatus USPORT Football will return this Fall after dealing with the COVID-19 cancelled season in 2020. With this comes several dynamic changes that the average USPORT consumer may not think about with respect to recruiting. The athletes who have committed to USPORT programs in 2020 and 2021 form one MEGA class as neither of those groups of rookies have had their chance to put a dent in the depth chart or see any competitive field time (the 2020 class may have some athletes that were able to practice with their teams in 2020, but not in every case). For this year's USPORT class of 2022’s it creates a bottleneck logjam type situation.
On the other side of the coin we have the grandfathered year of eligibility for any athlete who may have aged out in 2020 (typically you have 7 years after high school to use 5 years of eligibility capped at 24 years old). This means we will have more 25 year old athletes than in recent years. As a former USPORT athlete I will say that I agree with this decision as the majority of athletes in this position who have decided to return for one final year have been working at this for their entire lives. Regardless, this will make it even more difficult for athletes in the 2021 recruiting class to find playing time and opportunities.
The 2022 USPORT class has had a lot more downtime over the last two years than any other recruiting class due to COVID related factors. Time will tell which athletes have put the work in to earn their place in the 2022 USPORT recruiting class. On August 13th 2021, 6 athletes from Brockville and area are attending the aforementioned Waterloo hosted USPORT showcase. Before the event takes place in the evening on Warrior Field several members of the Brockville Elite 7’s team are also touring Wilfred Laurier for an unofficial campus visit. Evan Cordingley (Slot), Marcus Ola (DE), Brody Fairbairn (QB), Nathan Mboma (WR/KR), Damien Nickerson (RB) and Ty Biccum (OL) will join 79 of the top athletes in Ontario/Quebec on August 13th.
The event organizer and MVP Football Academy head coach Phil Edworthy had this to say when asked about the upcoming event. “My goal for this camp is to provide all of the players in attendance the opportunity to be coached and evaluated by top USPORT coaches, to help with their exposure and recruiting, and to hopefully provide next level opportunities. A lack of game film due to multiple missed seasons has made it difficult for players to get recruited and University coaches to be able to evaluate them, so this is the perfect opportunity to help both sides after a difficult 2 years.”
To be given the opportunity to compete is a privilege. The 2021 MVP Showcase is slated for August 13th at Waterloo University and Brockville looks to make its mark permanently. The next great Canadian Football pipeline goes through Brockville and I can't wait to see where these kids end up. We are very excited to be able to participate in this event and grateful for the opportunities Wilfred Laurier and Waterloo are extending our local athletes. To all the young athletes in attendance this is your opportunity to showcase what you have spent your time doing over the last few years. For some this may result in a scholarship offer, to others it may be a new connection that leads to a walk on opportunity, but none-the-less this is your shot.