COVID-19 has impacted the lives of everyone, and college football players are no exception.
These players have had their seasons, and potentially a final year of game tapes, taken away from them. Now, they are left wondering what their next step is.
Alain Cimankinda transferred to Carleton University, this year, from the University of Guelph. His brother, Jean-Paul Cimankinda, has followed Alain to Ottawa. Both put a large importance on both school and football.
Jonathan Edouard is yet another student impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He adds his name to the long list of CFL draft prospects that will be taken in the draft in the next couple of years. As such, he needs to look closely at what the future holds.
With football cancelled across Ontario University Athletics, school has become a primary focus for just about every player.
“I’ve been in school for seven years,” says Alain Cimankinda. “I took a bunch of psychology classes because that’s something I’m interested in. Growing up in the hood like I did, you see how the judicial system works and how society treated certain people. I’ve always been interested in sociology. That’s one of my majors. The other one is political science.”
“I’m a film studies student so we don’t have Zoom classes, thankfully,” says Edouard. “We have movies to watch and then we have a discussion once every two weeks.”
On the football side of things, it has been difficult. Players have been off the field for longer than ever before.
“It was expected that the season would be cancelled, but we were hoping for the best,” says Jean-Paul Cimankinda. “I felt like I needed the season more than anybody because it has been about two years since I played football. I was a credit short.”
Edouard’s situation is a little bit different. He has the opportunity to become the first American player to be drafted out of U Sports into the CFL.
“I’m just focusing on working out until my draft year in 2022,” says Edouard. “I’m being sent workouts from Ryan Clark [a former NFL player] and I have been doing them while I’m here in Orlando.”
With the CFL on hold right now and an unclear future for the league, players have some concerns, but they will be ready when the time comes for them to get back onto the field.
“At this point, I’m confident that I am going to make it to the CFL,” says Jean-Paul Cimankinda. “Right now, my goal and my focus is to make it [to the NFL]. I know that if I shoot for the moon and don’t make it, I will fall down among the stars.”
“I’m preparing like there is going to be a season,” says Edouard. “I’m depending on it and I know that it is going to happen. Everything I have manifested since before I got to Carleton has happened, so I truly believe that both the CFL and U Sports will be back for 2021.”
“I haven’t even thought about it,” says Alain Cimankinda. “I don’t worry about things I can’t control.”