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National rookies fight for a spot with the Riders
Published Friday, May 17, 2019 5:45PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, May 18, 2019 11:54AM CST
Newly drafted players got their final chance to make themselves known on the last day of Riders rookie camp Friday, including the Roughriders’ fifth round, 44th overall pick for 2019, Charbel Dabire.
"I thought he's had a good camp so far. We're going to try to push Zack with good Canadians behind him,” Riders head coach Craig Dickenson said.
As a tackle, Dabire has a golden opportunity, because starting national tackle Zack Evans only has one backup in Nakoda Henry. Dickenson said it is tough to make a team as a rookie, but calls Dabire’s chance decent.
"I just like his work ethic. He looks like he's a grinder. He's going to have to lose a little weight, he's a little big, but it's a different game coming from down south,” Dickenson said.
In three seasons with Wagner College, Dabire recorded 73 tackles in 33 games and forced one fumble plus two sacks.
"I was known to be a bullrusher, but I believe myself to be more of a finesse. I feel like I shock people when I start using my speed a little more,” Dabire said.
The 6-1 300 Ibs lineman says he tries to play a finesse game and surprise the o-line with his speed. Dabire says he is aware of what he needs to work on.
"Yeah, I always have to improve my condition, so I can always get better,” Dabire said.
Also on the field was Jacob Janke, who was drafted in the fourth round, 35th overall.
"I was buzzing the whole time, I couldn't sit down, I was going all over the place, but obviously a really special moment when it happened,” said Janke. “I had all my family there. Just instant emotion, burst into tears, I’m so happy to be here.”
Janke is listed as a linebacker but played defensive back for the York University Lions last season. He led the Lions in tackles, recording 5.9 per game and 47.5 total tackles.
Janke knows if he makes it to main camp, like many rookies, special teams could be in the future.
"I love special teams. In university my coach had a saying, you find out who the real men are on special teams,” Janke said.
Dickenson won't make any guarantees, but is hoping he can take all the rookies to main camp which starts on Sunday in Saskatoon.
With files from CTV News' Colton Wiens