Two USports athletes selected to prestigious East-West Shrine Game

Photo courtesy: University of Montreal

University of Montreal defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy and University of Alberta offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell have been selected to participate in the 95th annual East-West Shrine Game.

The East-West Shrine Game is the oldest United States college football all-star showcase. It has served as an NFL launching point for Canadian players such as tight end Antony Auclair (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), defensive lineman David Onyemata (New Orleans Saints) and offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (Kansas City Chiefs) in recent years.

For more than three decades, at least two Canadian university players have been invited to the annual event in Florida. It features a week of practices in front of NFL and CFL coaches and scouts followed by a game broadcast on the NFL Network. This year’s contest takes place on Jan. 18, 2020.

Dequoy led the Carabins with 37.5 tackles in 2019 and registered one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and three interceptions during eight regular season games. The six-foot-three, 195-pounder had a game-sealing 85-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Dunsmore Cup upset at Laval. He earned USports first-team All-Canadian status.

O’Donnell, the Red Deer native, started seven of his eight regular season games at right tackle — he was moved to right guard for match-up purposes during Alberta’s final two contests. Head coach Chris Morris wanted O’Donnell inside to neutralize University of Saskatchewan defensive lineman Evan Machibroda.

Just like Machibroda, O’Donnell was named a first-team USports All-Canadian for his efforts in anchoring the Alberta offensive line. He helped the Golden Bears average 399 yards of total offence and 5.2 yards per rush in 2019. Morris believes O’Donnell is more athletic than Alberta graduate Mark Korte who attended the Shrine Game last January.

Both Dequoy and O’Donnell have NFL measurables, but need to prove the ability to make the jump.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.