Sidy Sow, the Canadian offensive lineman from Eastern Michigan University, drew attention at the 2023 NFL Combine.
The Bromont, Que. native surprised more than a few evaluators with his impressive testing results, clocking a 5.07-second forty-yard dash and finishing among the top offensive linemen in every event. Performing in Indianapolis was a long-held dream for the deceptively athletic blocker.
“Since I was eight years old and I saw the Combine on TV, time went by fast and now I’m here,” Sow said. “It is surreal but I have to focus because I have a job to do.”
The six-foot-five, 323-pound stalwart began his football journey at Champlain College Lennoxville, where he played offensive tackle for the Cougars. He led the team to a Bol d’Or championship and earned a spot on Team Canada, eventually catching Eastern Michigan’s attention at a university recruiting camp.
He quickly made an impression on his coaches and teammates, earning a starting position as a redshirt freshman. His early success was a testament to his talent and it served as a launching pad for his continued growth and development as a football player.
“My first year I redshirted and that helped me learn a lot,” Sow recalled. “One thing that helped me learn was playing scout team against [Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive end] Maxx Crosby every single day. It was tough and I learned a good amount, how to be relentless and have sound technique — I had to learn fast.”
“I realized the NFL would be an option for me. It was rare for a freshman to start and I am good at what I do.”
In his time at Eastern Michigan, Sow played in 56 games and started in 54 of them — both school records. He quickly became a vital part of the Eagles’ offensive line and was named a second-team All-MAC all-star in his senior year.
In the eyes of NFL teams, Sow’s most valuable asset is his versatility. He has experience starting at both guard and tackle while being comfortable playing positions on either side of the line. It makes Sow an attractive pick for any team in need of offensive line depth.
“When I got the Combine invite, I had an emotional reaction and then knew I had to get to work right away,” Sow said.
“I have been training with Tavius Robinson in Phoenix for the Combine, who is also a Canadian at the Combine, and we found out we have a lot of similar connections.”
Robinson, an Ole Miss defensive end who began his post-secondary career at the University of Guelph, had a strong testing performance of his own on Thursday, running a 4.66-second forty-yard dash. The pair’s background as Canadian football players has given them a unique perspective on the game and different ways players can reach the next level.
“Back home in Canada, I would play hockey in my spare time for hours and hours. I was a multi-sport athlete and I think that helped with the foundation of my football career,” Sow explained, noting that he often faced elite competition growing up that never received the attention south of the border that he did.
“I feel like for a lot of years Canadian football has been downplayed a little bit but it is competitive. They have a lot of guys playing in U Sports right now that have the talent to play in the NFL and maybe didn’t have the opportunity I had to come play in the NCAA. There is great football in Canada and in the Canadian Football League.”
Sow encourages all U Sports athletes that are looking to make the same NFL journey he has to believe in their ability and strive for what they want.
“Make sure to network and get some scouts out to your pro day,” he advised. “Work hard for it.”
With Sow’s impressive physical attributes, versatility, and unique perspective on the game, he has the potential to be a valuable addition to any NFL team. While he entered the Combine with many outlets projecting him to land as an undrafted free agent, he may have done enough to secure a coveted NFL Draft selection.