Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Statistics: second Team All-Canadian guard, 1,413 team rushing yards, zero sacks allowed
The CFL draft has always been the domain of the big kid, the trench warriors and the hogs. There is no position in the league at which CFL teams value nationals more than the offensive line. They like them big, they love them physical and they need them to be nasty.
Few players meet that description better than the University of Guelph’s All-Canadian guard Coulter Woodmansey.
“On the field, the biggest thing for me is I’m very aggressive. I play to the whistle and I don’t take plays off,” Woodmansey said.
“That is something Coach Mike [MacDonald, Guelph’s offensive line coach] has always tried to push in us and it’s something I took really seriously. As a rookie, I saw that as my way of getting on the field.”
It’s an emphasis that come through on tape. Woodmansey has a mauler mentality and routinely finishes on his opponents throats. In other words, he is a bouncer who makes his money throwing opponents out of the club.
For a kid of Woodmansey’s size, football seems the natural fit, but his family history made it a sure thing.
“Football runs a little bit in my family. My grandfather was team doctor for the Argos,” Woodmansey said, referring to the late Dr. Robert Jackson. The legendary physician pioneered arthroscopic knee surgery on athletes while serving as the Argonauts’ head doctor from 1976 to 1991.
“I grew up in Toronto with my family being Argos fans.”
He started with the Toronto Jr. Argos as a peewee, then moved up the ranks to Northern Secondary in Toronto where he attracted attention as the 75th ranked player in the country — 10th overall offensive lineman — in the 2016 recruiting class according to CanadaFootballChat.com. Ultimately, his decision to attend Guelph came down to coaching, specifically the offensive line expertise of Mike MacDonald.
“I’ve had great coaching, that’s been the biggest thing consistently. Since my first year, Coach Mike has done a great job preparing us and making sure we are really getting all the information needed to improve.”
That coaching has turned Woodmansey into a player who matches his physicality with excellent understanding of the leverage necessary to execute a play. He attacks at the proper angles and understands where his teammates will be.
“My biggest strength is my preparation, the mental side of it, how much I can get ready for a game and how once I’m in a game I can let it take over and let my on-field skills and the work I’ve put in show,” Woodmansey said.
That mental processing ability is an important component of an interesting skill set that should make Woodmansey stand out from other linemen in this draft.
“Well I can’t ride a unicycle, that’s pretty cool and impressive,” he laughed when I brought up Geoff Gray’s memorable pro day performance from a few years ago. “But I can juggle and I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute. Average is about 50 seconds.”
Woodmansey can likely frame a house quicker than any prospect in the draft as well, thanks to working with his father Geoff, a contractor who has had starring roles on the Discovery Channel’s Junk Raiders and Canada’s Worst Handyman as a host and expert.
While his dad may grace TV screens, it is his mother who scouts will be interested in. Woodmansey is a lineman with heavy hands but equally heavy feet. While the current mass isolations due to COVID-19 may harm the fitness of most draft prospects, Woodmansey may be one of the few who is improving by staying home.
“I’m extremely lucky because my mother is a personal trainer and she has a full blown gym in our house with squat racks and dumbbells and everything you could need — as well as having access to a good hill and field. My little brother, Curtis, is on the Guelph football team as well, a defensive lineman, so I get a lot of opportunities to do the same training I had before,” Woodmansey said.
“It’s kind of just what I was used to because I was always training at home during the summers, prepping for the season. For me, I think it has just been a fantastic opportunity to continue and build on everything I was doing up to this point.”
One thing that you can be sure of with Woodmansey is that he will be working hard, regardless of the circumstances. It’s something he’s prided himself in, both in football and life.
“I’ve always had an ability to overcome. When I was a kid, I was in special education with a fairly severe learning disability and, through school and hard work, when I got to university was able to go without any extra help.”
“I’m on pace to graduate with honours within the four-year span without taking a reduced course load.”
For Woodmansey, success has not been about just overcoming his limitations to be the equal of his peers, but rather surpassing all expectations to be the best he can be. That is something he knows he’ll have to do once again to crack a CFL lineup, but it’s a challenge he is ready to take on.
“To make that next jump, I’m going to have to put in a lot of work and I accept that and everything that comes with it,” Woodmansey said.
Anonymous quote from a scout: “Tough as sh** but has heavy feet. Needs to move a little better to be effective at the pro level.”
Projected round: 4