The CFL combine rosters have been announced, and once again there are a number of SFU football alumni taking part. Just like last year, a total of seven Clan athletes have been invited — five to the West Regional combine, and two directly to the National Combine. Felix Gacusana Jr., Jordan Pugh, Tyrel Ratich, and Ante Litre will be taking part in the West Regional combine, while Jordan and Justin Herdman will be in the National Combine.
For Ante Litre, this marks the second time in March that he will be tested in front of CFL scouts. He took part in a Pro Day on Friday, March 10, alongside Jordan and Justin Herdman.
“I think I’m going in with a bit of a chip on my shoulder,” said Litre talking to The Peak. “I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove, but that’s nothing new in my story so far. Going to this combine, I got the mindset that I’m going to go there and leave it all on the field like I’ve been doing these last few combines.
“My plan so far is working, I haven’t come out with any regrets. I’ve seen tons of numbers that I’ve liked, so I’m going to keep with that strategy, [just] leave everything out on the field.”
His chances may be helped by the fact that he has already experienced the various drill and tests likely taking place at the regional combine. In fact, at the Pro Day on March 10, he put up the fastest time in the 40-yard dash.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove, but that’s nothing new in my story so far.”
– Ante Litre
“It feels like I’m shocking a few people and the Pro Day helped because it got people talking,” said Litre. “It started creating some buzz and again having the opportunity to go in front of some NFL scouts as far as that goes, maybe my name is travelling somewhere.”
Litre, like many of his teammates, has been helped by the numerous former teammates that have gone through this process.
“At the beginning of the off-season, I was messaging a lot of people trying to figure out what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past,” he explained. “Guys like Casey Chin, [Matthias] Goossen, Michael Couture, Lemar Durant, Tore Corrado — there’s been so many guys who have reached out to me, too, and they’ve been offering help.
“Even from, like, an interview standpoint, some of the guys sent me a list of questions. Michael Couture sent me a list, he did his research such as this is what he knew coming into the combine, he practiced with these questions. The support from the SFU alumni has been incredible as far as the recent alumni go, and the older ones as well.”
One thing all SFU alumni will have to perhaps battle through is the reputation of the program. With the team not having the success on the field as it would have liked, it can be easy for CFL scouts to dismiss players coming from SFU.
Litre said, however, that this just motivates himself and his former teammates further.
“I think if we came from a 10–0 team as opposed to a 0–10, maybe a bunch more guys would have been in the national directly. [. . .] But coming from SFU, I think it more so affects us before the draft. We’ve had great showing, as soon as we get to the combine even historically we’ve had guys go through the regional route, get invited to the national, and end up getting drafted in the CFL.
“Most of the SFU guys have to go out and prove something. We’re proving that the conference is on a whole new level and the football we’re playing is just a different brand, and they guys that are coming from this school are really good and really strong players.”
The West Regional combine will take place on Thursday, March 23. From there, players can be invited to the National Combine which takes place from March 23 to 25. Last year a total of 17 players from regional combines were invited to the national combine, according to CFL.ca.