Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No.15

May 6, 2004


Stingers roundup


Two Stingers selected in CFL draft

Canadian Football League teams looked to the Concordia Stingers to shore up their defensive lines, choosing defensive ends Rudy Hage and Troy Cunningham in the annual Canadian college draft held April 28.

Hage was selected by the Montreal Alouettes in the fourth round, 34th overall. He will join Stinger alumni Sylvain Girard (WR) and Brad Collinson (long snap) at the Als’ training camp next month.

With Concordia in 2003, Hage recorded 13 solo tackles and 8 assists in six games. He also picked up 2.5 tackles for losses and a forced fumble.

Before joining the Stingers last August, he spent three seasons with the University of Colorado football program - 2000-’02. The Montrealer, also played football in the Quebec CEGEP system at Vanier College in 1998 and 1999. In his final year in CEGEP he played eight games, recording 64 tackles.

Hage is a six-foot-four, 275-pound Economics student. His younger brother Marwan, a centre who suited up for the Colorado Buffalos in 2003, was also drafted. He was the Hamilton Tiger Cats’ pick in the second round. However, Marwan has signed a free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.

The British Columbia Lions selected Cunningham in the fifth round, 40th overall. It is the first time the Lions have ever selected a football player from Concordia University. Dating back to 1976, 40 Stingers have been drafted by CFL teams and another dozen have signed as free agents - but none have gone to BC.

Cunningham from Mallorytown, Ont., was a commanding presence on the Stingers’ line. Last season, he recorded 20 solo tackles and 12 assists in seven games. He was menacing in the backfield, picking up 7.5 tackles for losses and a sack.

He was named to the QIFC all-star team and earned first team all-Canadian honors. Cunningham was also named the Stingers’ outstanding defensive lineman at the team’s annual banquet in February.

The six-foot-four, 265-pound Exercise Science major was a bargain in the fifth round. He had attracted a lot of attention from the CFL scouts last fall and was invited to the CFL combine last month in Ottawa. Several teams had indicated they considered him a first round draft choice.

Stingers’ Donovan draws NFL interest

Mickey Donovan, a fourth-year linebacker with the Concordia Stingers, has been contacted by several National Football League teams and hoped to be selected in the NFL draft held Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, or to sign as a free agent shortly thereafter.

Several teams have been in contact with Donovan and his agent Dr. Ping. The Cleveland Browns sent scout Chuck Jones to Concordia last October. There has been a lot of talk with Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have shown interest.

Donovan has been a dominant force in the QIFC since transferring from the University of Maine and joining the Stingers in 2002. This season, the Laconia, N.H., native was the top tackler on the Stingers with 63 in seven games, including 40 solo tackles.

He was a CIS first team All-Canadian, the Quebec conference’s nominee for the President’s Trophy awarded annually to the top defensive player in the country, and he was a QIFC all-star. He has been invited to participate in the annual CIS East-West Bowl Game, which will be held May 8 in Waterloo, Ont.

Says Concordia head coach Gerry McGrath, “He’s got a prototypical linebacker’s body - fast and powerful. He has amazing closing speed and a knack for finding the ball. He’s the best linebacker I’ve ever seen in Canadian university football.”

What makes Donovan such a hot prospect is his rare combination of speed and strength. He runs the 40 in 4.60 seconds. He can bench press 225 pounds 26 times and his vertical leap is 37 inches.

As an American, Donovan is not eligible for the CFL draft which will be held Wednesday, April 28.

Stingers NFL history

1995 - Mark Montreuil - CB - 7th Round - San Diego Chargers

1996 - Denis Montana - WR - Free Agent - Houston Oilers

1999 - Sylvain Girard - WR - Free Agent - Cleveland Browns

2002 - Burke Dales - P - Free Agent - Pittsburgh Steelers

Concordia hosts high school all-star game

Top high school football players played in the 18th annual Alouette Alumni Bowl at Concordia Stadium on April 30. The game was organized by the Alouettes Alumni Association, Concordia, McGill and U de M for teams in the Ligue scolaire métropolitaine de football.