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Chase Arseneau and Nate Edwards along with four other Marauders have accepted their invitations to the 2022 CFL combine

The 2021 football season is over but preparing for the next one is underway. For six Marauder graduates, this next season could be completely different from anything they have ever experienced.  

These six Marauders are Nate Edwards, Chase Arseneau, Justice Allin, Mario Alyas, Max Guy and Enoch Penney–Laryea. They have all accepted their invitations to the Canadian Football League combine this upcoming spring.  

The CFL is the highest level of professional football competition in Canada. The combine is the athletes’ first step to being drafted by a CFL team.  

All the invited athletes from Canadian universities are given the opportunity to show off their skills and impress as many of the nine CFL teams as possible before the draft. Some events include measuring height and weight, bench press and vertical jump. As for Edwards, his goal is to make a good impression in the 40-yard dash.  

Edwards is a defensive linebacker on the football team, one of four Marauders selected for the 2021 East-West Bowl roster which identifies standouts for the 2022 CFL draft and in the CFL’s Top-20 prospects eligible for the 2022 CFL draft.  

“[I’m] just trying to put everything I can right now into showing myself the best I can into the combine and seeing where it kind of goes for there . . . Everyone in the CFL is a really great athlete and the general speed is quite a bit faster than in the USPORTS league and in order to show coaches that I can play at that level, I really want to showcase that speed,” explained Edwards.  

Arseneau is a wide receiver, tight end and full back for the Marauders. Like Edwards, he is one of the four Marauders selected for the 2021 East-West Bowl roster

Although they grew up and came to McMaster in different ways, Edwards and Arseneau both attribute a lot of their success to the McMaster Marauders. Edwards grew up playing youth football with the Hamilton Junior Tiger-Cats whereas Arseneau was recruited from the United States. However, both are excited to be at this stage of their football careers and have their coaches and team to thank for that.  

“I would say the person who has the greatest impact on me today would be Scott Brady, our defensive coordinator. He’s a very, very hands-on defensive coordinator when it comes to not only calling plays, [but] preparing us week-to-week on what our individual roles are going to be to help the team win . . . I think the way he makes you treat every day and kind of try to get better one day at a time was the biggest mentality shift for me that allowed me to kind of start to really grow and develop as a player and believe in myself,”

Nate Edwards

For Arseneau, not only did the coaches make a huge impact on his career, but alumnus tight end Blake Reason did as well. He was able to maintain a strong influence through his veteran experiences and advice that strongly helped Arseneau become the player he is today. 

“I would say just having good mentors and role models in my life that kind of showed me how to properly prepare and be my best self. [Reason] was a great veteran; I had someone that really showed me how to work and prepare and do the right thing and make sure that I was competent in terms of knowing the playbook and knowing my plays and he showed by example every day what it’s like to work hard and be a leader on the team and execute to the best of their abilities,” said Arseneau.  

Another similarity between the offensive and defensive players was their favourite Marauders memory and greatest athletic achievement — winning the Yates Cup in 2019.  

“You’re grinding with your teammates, tensions get high, but we all want the same thing. We all strive for that goal and to have it actually come to fruition and be able to lift the Yates Cup — that was [the] greatest,” said Arseneau. 

While this may be the end of the university chapter for these two Marauders, their experience, hard work and dedication to the sport of football will certainly help pave the way through these new experiences. The upcoming draft is a daunting prospect, but by continuing their training, supporting each other and their fellow Marauders and taking it one 40-yard dash at a time, great things can be expected from all six players. 

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