Childhood dreams of suiting up in the National Football League may come true for a pair of local products.
Terrell Davis and Quinn Van Gylswyk have both been contacted by several NFL teams.
The two members of the Vanier Cup-champion UBC Thunderbirds are available in both the upcoming NFL and Canadian Football League drafts. Both will likely be overlooked in that selection process south of the border, but free-agency signing is very real once the late-April selection process is over for the U.S. route.
“It’s 100 per cent true,” Davis said of rumours that have been circulating over the last couple of weeks, regarding an NFL opportunity.
“I just got off the phone with the [Kansas City] Chiefs [Monday] night and they seemed pretty interested, we’ll see how that turns out, I guess,” said Davis, who has also had interest from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. “I’m really excited about it. I never thought this would happen, but I’m glad it might turn out this way. I’ve been dreaming about that since I was a kid.”
Most teams are interested in Davis as a linebacker as the 22-year-old made the switch to defence from running back last year.
“The Chiefs would like me to switch back to running back though. They like the bigger-sized running back in their offensive system and that’s where they see me at, I guess,” said the six-foot, 225-pounder, who came off an incredible CIS season.
“Winning the national championship has given everyone that much more exposure, being in the national spotlight certainly helps.”
Like Van Gylswyk, Davis is expected to be selected in the CFL draft in the second week of May. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have had the most contact with the former Mount Douglas Rams star, who ended up at UBC after leaving Arizona State University.
Davis has always longed to play pro football, in Canada or the U.S.
“I would play receiver. I would play tight end, as long as I get to play. I’m used to the American game, that’s what I grew up playing. I’ve only played CFL rules for two years now. I’d say I’m more comfortable with the American style, but the CFL style is fine, too,” said Davis, who has one year of CIS eligibility remaining.
Van Gylswyk, 24, has completed his CIS eligibility and the kicker/punter, who formerly played with the Westshore Rebels, has moved into a top 20 ranking for the CFL draft.
Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Philadelphia have come calling and now his coach has been asked about video for the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals.
“It’s awesome. I never thought this could happen. To have this season as my last was pretty special,” said Van Gylswyk, who kicked the winning points for the T-Birds at the Vanier Cup. “We wouldn’t have had these sort of looks had we not been at the Vanier Cup or won it.
“The NFL dream — that might be a little far-fetched, in my opinion. But who knows? If I play a couple of years in the CFL I might be able to get to the NFL from the CFL. It’s definitely motivating, though,” said Van Gylswyk, who has had interest from Hamilton as well as others in the CFL.
The Ticats just lost kicker Justin Medlock to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the first day of free agency on Tuesday.
“I talked to more of the CFL teams through Vanier Cup weekend and I’ll be going to the national combine on March 10 [in Toronto] with Terrell,” said Van Gylswyk.