Mark Korte (#65)
It's not often the National Football League has significant interest in a U SPORTS Football athlete, but that's exactly what's happening with fourth-year University of Alberta Golden Bears offensive lineman Mark Korte. After participating in the East-West Shrine Game in January in Florida, Korte will now host an NFL Pro Day on March 27th at Foote Field.
Scouts from numerous NFL teams will analyze and evaluate the Golden Bears star, who has the potential of being the first Canadian drafted by into the NFL since 2016, and first Golden Bear since Bryan Fryer was drafted in the eighth round of the 1976 Draft by the Washington Redskins.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind," said Korte on his upcoming Pro Day. "Every kid grows up wanting to play professional sports, so now being on the verge of getting to that next level, it’s so exciting.”
The fourth-year tackle was a pillar for the Bears this past season, who sported one of the nation's top offensive lines. Korte helped the Bears to the most dominant rushing season in Canada West history. Korte and company set the table for running back Ed Ilnicki, who broke the conference single-season rushing record with 1,468 yards. Thanks to his strong season, Korte was awarded the Canada West Outstanding Lineman award, before participating in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in January.
"I thought I did really well down there. I thought I fit it with some of those top guys who play down in the states and some of the major universities," continued Korte. "I thought I made a good impression, and it’s cool to see all this NFL buzz come up here in Edmonton."
Along with the NFL Pro Day next week, the fourth-year Bear will also travel to Winnipeg for the upcoming CFL Combine, in the lead up to the CFL draft. Korte was ranked as the fourth-highest Canadian in the most recent CFL Draft Rankings list, and the highest Canadian offensive lineman.
"I think hes the top guy. I haven’t seen too many kids with his mobility. Ever..." said Golden Bears head coach Chris Morris, who played 14 years in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. "He has some special athleticism to him. I think he’s as good as it gets when it comes to the CFL draft."
“With Ed Ilnicki winning the Hec Crighton, and having so many players with individual success, all of those things are just layers, and they boost the status and reputation of our program." continued Morris. "It’s really encouraging for us. We put some hard work into this program, to build it up to where we want it to be. It’s really exciting to go to some of our recruits, and show them this is what can happen if they come to the U of A. It’s very encouraging for our players and coaches to start seeing some of our athletes get this recognition."
The 2018 NFL draft will run from April 26th to 28th in Arlington, Texas, while the CFL draft is scheduled to take place on May 3rd, 2018.