Concordia linebacker shoots for NFL

MIKE KOREEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:06 PM ET

KINGSTON — Cory Greenwood is going down south in hopes of earning a job in the National Football League.

The Kingston-born linebacker, who was rated second for the 2010 Canadian Football League draft by the CFL amateur scouting bureau last month, is heading to the Parisi Speed School in New Jersey this month to train alongside other aspiring NFLers.

The Concordia Stingers star who signed this week with Washington-based agent Johnathon Hardaway, will enter a Parisi program that claims to have been the choice of 127 NFL draft picks — including defensive lineman Chris Long, selected second overall by the St. Louis Rams in 2008.

Greenwood will be at the training centre for the next two months.

“My goal is to try to make it to an NFL camp,” said Greenwood, named the top defensive player in Canadian Interuniversity Sport in 2009 following his fourth year in Montreal with the Stingers.

“I don’t want to leave any stones unturned. I’m not saying I’m going to play in the NFL, but I want to give it a shot.”

While it’s tough for CIS players to earn NFL jobs, there have been some recent success stories.

Western Mustangs defensive lineman Vaughn Martin was a fourth-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 2009 and cracked the squad out of training camp.

Sherbrooke Vert et Or receiver Sam Giguere, who played against Greenwood in the Quebec university league, could make his NFL debut with the league-leading Indianapolis Colts tomorrow in Buffalo against the bumbling Bills after being activated from the practice roster this week.

And Manitoba Bisons graduate Israel Idonije, in his sixth season with the Chicago Bears, sees regular time on the defensive line with that team.

“It’s good to see guys breaking that barrier and sticking (on rosters),” the six-foot-two, 235-pound Greenwood said. “They are helping open the door (for others).”

The Regiopolis-Notre Dame graduate has a bit of a chip on his shoulder after not being selected for the East-West Shrine Game, a college all-star event this month in Orlando.

The game invited two CIS players — one for the East and one for the West. Windsor Lancers centre Matt Morencie got the East nod.

Greenwood said he’ll use that bad news as motivation.

“For sure, that’s the only way you can take it,” Greenwood said. “It gives me that much more to prove.”

Greenwood is aiming to earn an invite to the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge on Feb. 6 in El Paso. That game pits Texas natives or college football players from Texas against players from the rest of the United States and Canada. Running back Jamall Lee of Bishop’s played in the game in 2009 and then was invited to Carolina Panthers training camp.

Greenwood also hopes to attend the 2010 CFL Evaluation Camp March 12-14 in Toronto.

“He’s one of the best, if not the best, Canadian players,” Hardaway said of his client. “Anybody (who gives Greenwood a chance) is going to get a high-calibre guy on and off the field.”

mkoreen@thewhig.com


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