Talented defensive lineman, Alfred Green on his preparations towards the CFL Draft process and his creative skills during the lost season
Despite it being nearly 18 months since the Laurier football team last played an OUA game, the Golden Hawks will be represented well at the national CFL Combine over the next month.
Offensive lineman, Bryce Bell, who was ranked 20th on the latest national prospect rankings received the invite as did fifth-year defensive lineman, Alfred Green.
The combine will certainly look much different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it will take place completely virtually. Both Green and Bell will complete drills, interviews and evaluations through online meetings in April.
“It’s definitely a unique experience for sure. It’s not like other years where the guys would get to attend the combine, they’re on TV, they get the gear,” Green said, while also noting how the process could relieve some pressure from the participants.
“There’s not much pressure to really compete against anyone this year, so it’s really all about preparing yourself mentally.”
The athletic, 6’3, 237-pound defensive lineman, Alfred Green follows a long list of successful defensive players to have been drafted under Head Coach Michael Faulds and defensive coordinator, Ron VanMoerkerke. Over the past four years, 10 of the 13 Golden Hawk players selected in the CFL Draft, have been from the defensive side of the ball.
Green is a multi-faceted and creative defensive lineman who has made the most out of all his opportunities with Laurier. While being held off the field this past year, which took a toll on him, Green stayed home in Ajax and was able to grow his clothing brand, develop skills in graphic design and continue to train.
“There is no amount of words that could really explain how much I miss football.” Green said of the cancellation.
Green played in 24 total games with the Golden Hawks over his three seasons on the team. Although having a career-year in 2019, Green didn’t feel satisfied and was hungry to showcase more of his talent this past season.
“I felt like I was super close to having a real breakout year. 2020 was supposed to be my year where I put the league on notice. I really wanted to make an impact, get an all-star nod or an All-Canadian nod,” Green said.
While capitalizing on the free time this past year and honing down on his skills off of the football field, Green moved back to Waterloo once he heard he was selected to the combine. Finding a room with his teammate and fellow combine invite, Bryce Bell.
The two of them have helped each other prepare for the draft process, which Green is incredibly grateful for.
“There was an open room in his house. It was just perfect timing and a perfect situation,” Green said. “I would not have been able to be as prepared and as locked in for this as I would have been if I hadn’t been living with [Bryce],” he added.
The cancellation this past year is another missed opportunity for both Bell and Green to showcase their talent to CFL scouts and management, having also missed the East-West All-star game last year.
“Not being able to accomplish these things in 2020 and having to go through the whole CFL Draft process without having this past season is tough,” Green said.
Even without competition, Green had no problem staying busy.
“I learned graphic design and have been doing a lot of freelance work in my spare time,” Green said. His creative mind led him to learn a new skill in graphic design, which he continues to develop for his own clothing brand, Laurier football and other clients.
When asked about his favourite moment at Laurier, Green recounts the thrilling battle of Waterloo game in 2019 which Laurier won 53-50. Green provided the pivotal play in that game blocking the Warriors’ game-winning kick to send the game in overtime. Thinking back to the missed opportunities earlier that season, Green made sure that the Golden Hawks’ season would not come to an end that day.
“I told myself I’m not going to lose this game. I looked at everyone beside me before the kick and told them I was going to block it,” Green said.
The CFL Draft is scheduled for May 4 this year and Coach Faulds believes both Green and Bell will receive a great amount of interest from the nine teams across the country.
Alfred Green will be hoping to follow the same path of his defensive line teammates, Robbie Smith and Sam Achaempong who were both drafted to the CFL in the top two rounds the past two seasons.
“I don’t think I would be here if I weren’t under those guys’ wings learning and seeing what they were capable of doing. I can’t put into words how grateful I am.”