Draft blows Coehoorn north
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
|Eskimos first-round pick in the CFL Canadian Draft, Nate Coehoorn, was in Edmonton to meet the team's administration on Wednesday.
EDMONTON - Nate Coehoorn has come to Edmonton in hopes of accomplishing something he wasn’t able to in Calgary: win a championship.
A first-round pick in Sunday’s draft, the Eskimos receiver went to a pair of Vanier Cups during four seasons with the University of Calgary Dinos.
“I thought for sure with the type of athletes that we had at the University of Calgary, that we’d be able to get a championship before I made the next step, so it’s definitely a hard thing to know that I came up short twice,” said Coehoorn, who was on the wrong end of a 33-31 score against Queen’s in 2009 before suffering a sound 29-2 loss to Laval in this year’s CIS championship game. “That’s life, I guess.”
But to live, you’ve got to eat. And Coehoorn’s amateur appetite has only grown now that he’s turning pro.
“I’ve never won a championship as an athlete,” he said. “After losing those two Vaniers, I’m definitely really hungry.”
The six-foot-two, 220-pound prototype spent Wednesday touring Commonwealth Stadium and meeting his new coaches and team staff before returning to Calgary until rookie camp opens here June 1.
“I’m just excited to be here. I’m amazed at the facilities here and I’m just ready to get things going,” Coehoorn said. “I got my equipment picked out.
“Meeting them, they seem like class guys, just amazing coaches to be playing for. We haven’t really gone over the offence yet, just a bit of the structure of it. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit into it yet.”
But his new head coach has an idea.
“Nate, in the film that we’ve watched, has all the attributes that we’re looking for: speed, toughness, precise route running and he’ll catch the ball at any area on the field,” said Kavis Reed, who traded the 10th and 13th overall picks last Sunday to Hamilton in order to get Coehoorn fifth overall.
But Step 1 will be converting the Calgary player onto the other side of Alberta’s rivalry.
“We told him red is not allowed around here. That’s the first thing he has to learn, is that he can’t wear anything red,” Reed joked. “He’s apologized for his backpack already. I think we’re assimilating him and brainwashing him very fast.”
His friends and former teammates back home have been forgiving, for the most part.
“I actually work out with Anthony Parker every morning, so it’s interesting. There’s a bit of beaking back and forth about the Calgary-Edmonton thing,” Coehoorn said of his fellow Dinos receiver, who went third overall to the Calgary Stampeders. “Mainly they’re all excited for me, they’re just realizing that my dreams are coming true.”
If Coehoorn picks things up in the classroom as fast as he covers real estate on the field, he should have no problems.
“I gotta go work out,” Reed said of his own first impressions after meeting his new player. “Probably minus-2% body fat and he’s going to make a lot of us look bad. But the young man is very intelligent. His football acumen is off the charts. His passion is seething from him.
“I always said I hate comparisons, but he’s so eerily similar to Jason Clermont that I have to use that one. Hopefully he’s as productive as Jason.”