Star Laval receiver Kevin Mital likely to return for one more U Sports season but won’t rule out turning pro

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Kevin Mital is currently planning to return to the Laval Rouge et Or in 2023, the star receiver told 3DownNation via telephone on Tuesday.

The six-foot-one, 215-pound target wants to play one final season of U Sports football, though he will discuss his future with his parents and coaches before making a final decision. He is not considering a transfer to the NCAA, saying he “already had [his] experience down south” after spending his freshman year at Syracuse University in 2019.

Mital will turn 24 in April, which puts him on track to enter the professional ranks at the age of 25. He has another two years of U Sports eligibility remaining but doesn’t want to put off declaring for the draft too late.

“I don’t want to force anything by going too fast to the pros or going too slow by taking two or three more years,” he said. “I think just the one more year will be perfect.”

Canadians in the NCAA who declare for the NFL draft are automatically entered into the CFL draft, though this is not the case for players in U Sports. If Mital declared for next year’s NFL draft, he would remain ineligible for the CFL draft until 2024.

The native of St-Hubert, Que. is a business student, though he doesn’t consider the possibility of graduating to be a strong factor in his decision to return to school as he can always complete his studies after entering the professional ranks. His primary goal is to make the NFL, though he indicated that he would be happy to play in the CFL if he were unable to catch on south of the border.

Mital made 58 receptions for 751 yards and 12 touchdowns this past season to win the Hec Crighton Trophy, becoming the first receiver to earn the award since Andy Fantuz in 2005. He made another 27 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns over four playoff games to help Laval capture the Vanier Cup for the first time since 2018.

Despite having just played one of the most decorated seasons in the history of U Sports football, Mital remains as motivated as ever to repeat that success with the Rouge et Or next year.

“What about doing it twice?” he said. “That’s the goal: try to win another ring, try to win all the awards that we can.”

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.