Montreal native Medhi Abdesmad embracing time before 2016 NFL draft | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Montreal native Medhi Abdesmad embracing time before 2016 NFL draft

April 01, 2016 - 2:49 PM

Medhi Abdesmad has resumed training like a football player again, this time with all the comforts of home.

The towering six-foot-six 284-pound Boston College defensive lineman is back in Montreal with his family patiently awaiting the NFL Draft at the end of the month. After spending his off-season preparing for the NFL combine and the Eagles' pro day, the 24-year-old has adopted a more traditional football workout regiment with a delicious twist —his mother Sihame's home cooking.

"Oh yes," Abdesmad said during a telephone interview Friday. "It's way different being in Boston and cooking on your own.

"I mean, I can cook some stuff ... but she makes a great couscous. That's my favourite meal of hers."

Couscous is a North African dish of steamed balls of semolina usually served with vegetables and meat. Semolina is a gritty, coarse flour usually made from durum wheat.

Abdesmad, the son of Tunisian immigrants, made a triumphant return to football last season after missing most of the previous two campaigns with a left knee injury. He registered 49 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks with Boston College to earn honourable mention All-ACC honours.

Abdesmad was the lone Canadian invited to the NFL combine in February in Indianapolis. He posted a time of 5.10 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had 25 reps in the 225-pound bench press, a 29.5-inch vertical leap, a nine-foot broad jump and times of 4.62 seconds in the shuttle and 7.55 seconds in the three-cone drills.

Abdesmad said he also met with 10 NFL clubs in Indianapolis.

He showed improvement at Boston College's pro day last month. He registered a 30-inch vertical, a broad jump of nine feet seven inches and times of 4.57 seconds and 7.43 seconds in the shuttle and three-cone events.

"I was really pleased," he said. "I was able to do better at my pro day than I did at the combine, which I was really happy with."

With the combine and pro day testing now complete, Medhi finds himself with plenty of time on his hands leading up to the April 28-30 draft. But he's using it to catch up with his mother, two sisters and best friend and not fret about the uncertainty of his football future.

"This happens just once in your life so you have to enjoy it," he said. "It's not something you can control so you just have to wait and see which team will take you."

Pro scouts like Abdesmad's size and ability to drive blockers off the ball and make tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage. But they also say he doesn't always control the point of attack and doesn't use his hands enough on the pass rush.

There's also the matter of his past knee problems. But Abdesmad says he's healthy now and anxious to show an NFL team he can be a versatile performer on the field and a consummate pro off it.

"I'm stout but I'm a defensive lineman who can play throughout the line in (different) packages," he said. "They'd get someone who can contribute, a tough guy who will be responsible with high character.

"I'd say I am a student of the game. You have to be, especially when you're playing at a high level. You've got to have your head in your playbook and watch film."

If an NFL career doesn't pan out for Abdesmad, he won't necessarily be finished with football. He's the fourth-ranked prospect heading into the CFL draft May 10.

While Abdesmad's focus is on the NFL, he'd welcome the opportunity to play professional football in his native land.

"I think the first goal of every kid (playing football) is to go to the NFL," he said. "But the CFL is still a pro league and you still have a chance to call yourself a pro and football is still your job."

Abdesmad said the idea of playing for the Montreal Alouettes does have definite appeal.

"That would be great," he said. " It's my hometown so if I am playing in the CFL it would be great playing here."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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