Draft day a waiting game

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

The anticipation is like nothing they've experienced before.

David Hewson and Scott Mennie are two members of the University of Manitoba Bisons football team who are expected to be picked in tomorrow's CFL Canadian college draft.

Hewson, a defensive back who can dabble as a linebacker, and Mennie, a linebacker, both performed well at last month's CFL evaluation camp and have a good crack at getting scooped up by one of the league's nine teams.

Hewson, a 23-year-old Winnipegger who played his high school ball at Kelvin, is fearful of the unknown.

"For me, this is one swing of the bat, and if I miss, that's it," said Hewson, whose five years of university eligibility are over. "Maybe that's why I'm so anxious as well, because this is my only opportunity to make it.

'ALMOST SCARED'

"In that sense, I'm almost scared, because real life's coming in quick, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. To be honest, I don't want a desk job for the next 45 years of my life right now. I just couldn't see myself doing that. For that reason, it's a little nerve-wracking."

Mennie, a 25-year-old from Victoria, said the next 24 hours are going to be tough.

"My stomach's going nuts, actually," said Mennie, who still has a year of university eligibility remaining.

"It's just a waiting game. There's nothing more I can do about it. I can't train anymore, I can't do anything.

"I can just wait by the phone on Thursday. It's a rough feeling."

The way Bisons head coach Brian Dobie was talking yesterday, the duo has nothing to worry about.

"I would be shocked if those two guys weren't drafted," Dobie said.

Most CFL clubs complimented the players' performances at the evaluation camp, but neither has heard anything about specific teams being interested in him.

In fact, a third member of the Bisons who didn't attend the evaluation camp -- offensive lineman Tye Smith -- has garnered the most attention in the days leading up to the draft.

"From what I understand," Dobie said, "the (evaluation camp) was a disappointment in the offensive line area."

Hewson and Mennie will get together tomorrow morning, fire up the Internet and wait for either their names to appear on the CFL website or a call from their agents.

Hewson will be a bundle of nerves.

"Technically, I may never play football again in my life," he said.

"That's scary, especially when it's been such a big part of my life for at least the last five years. Every single day of the week you're practising, you're training, you're watching film.

"To go to doing nothing, I can't see myself doing that right now."

At least Hewson has a sense of humour about the situation. If his name isn't called tomorrow, he still has a plan.

"I'd just go to the gym and do arms and chest (exercises), I guess," he said. "I wouldn't have to do anything else. I'd just be one of those beach hunks."


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