Former Hurricane heads to CFL Regional Combine
March 1, 2013
Charlottetown, PE – For the second year in a row, a product of the Holland College Hurricanes Football program has drawn the interest of the Canadian Football League. Last year it was linebacker Marcus Dunphy, who was scouted by the Toronto Argonauts before being invited to an Argos mini-camp for a four-day evaluation. This year, running back Dave Clark has been invited to the CFL Regional Combine in Quebec City in March. The combine is an invitation-only, day-long event that includes a series of tests and drills designed to assess the strength, speed and agility of prospective professional football players.
Clark was a star running back with the Hurricanes from 2010-11. In his final year, Clark helped lead the team to its first-ever Atlantic Football League championship and earned Offensive MVP honours. During the historic 2011 campaign, Clark was the dominant runner in the league as he amassed 1498 rushing yards on 163 carries for an average of 9.2 yards per carry. He also scored 15 touchdowns, which was tops in the AFL.
Clark said that his two seasons with the Hurricanes helped to hone his football skills.
“I learned the basics playing with the P.E.I. Privateers [of the Maritime Football League], but the experience I got with the Hurricanes was invaluable. The team provided a very supportive environment and I really developed as a player.”
Clark is well-known to Islanders as a gymnast. At the age of 11, he was the youngest athlete to compete in the 1999 Canada Games, and received two gold medals, and silver and bronze at the Canadian National Championships. At 5’11” and 179 lbs, Clark finds that his training as a gymnast gives him an edge over larger players.
“Football is an explosive sport, and so is gymnastics,” he said. “In both instances, there’s a lot of stopping and starting, with short bursts of activity. The ability to perform under those circumstances, along with the core strength and balance that gymnastics build, actually gives me an advantage.” Speed is another of Clark’s assets. His 4.42 time in the 40-yard sprint suggests that he will show well at the combine.
Previously, CFL teams only invited draft-eligible and fifth-year players from CIS programs to their evaluation camps. Now, AFL teams may nominate exceptional athletes who may otherwise not have been brought to the attention of the CFL. The camp, which takes place at Laval University’s indoor field house, will give players the chance to perform in front of scouts from all eight CFL teams.
Holland College Hurricanes team president Mike O’Grady observed that “Doors are really opening for our players, which is certainly rewarding for them and for everyone associated with our program, including our dedicated coaching staff. In Dave’s case, he certainly deserves the shot and we know he will give it everything, just as he did on the field. He was unstoppable.”
View Dave Clark’s highlight video here.
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