MONTREAL -- What does the term Mr. Irrelevant mean to you?
To many, it might represent the term bestowed upon the final selection in any professional league’s Amateur Draft.
It’s a designation that, in reality, has grown to represent a player that has virtually no chance at making an impact on the field throughout his professional career.
To Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, however, it’s exactly the opposite.
“Being Mr. Irrelevant…I take pride in it now,” said Brodeur-Jourdain, the 48th and final pick of the 2008 CFL Draft.
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“I was feeling fortunate to be drafted by a team. All you want is an opportunity to play at the next level. Getting drafted 48th overall, being Mr. Irrelevant…all I wanted was a shot,” he added in a phone interview with CFL.ca.
Brodeur-Jourdain’s Draft story is a stressful one. Even listening to the hulking 6-foot-2, 309-pound centre recount the tale is a task in itself.
Like many other students at the University of Laval, Brodeur-Jourdain woke up on April 30, 2008 with a lot on his mind.
LBJ – as he’s become affectionately known by his teammates – wasn’t only thinking of where he might be playing football for years to come, but also of his final exam that he was to write later that night.
“Draft day was such a long day. I had an exam that evening so I had to study all day, but because I was part of the Draft class, I spent the day with (Laval Head Coach) Glen Constantine,” he said.
As the day went on, now-notable names such as Dimitri Tsoumpas, Keith Shologan, Brendon LaBatte, and Greg Wojt began being crossed off.
“It’s something I needed in my career. The hardships, and how you overcome them, it’s how strong players are built. I feel I have a strong head and not much can surprise me or shake me from my goal.” READ MORE.
As even more time passed, lesser-known names like Michael Stadnyk, Sammy Okpro, Richard Zulys and Jean-Nicolas Carriere were called out as well.
So while the numbers of picks remaining in the Draft continued to shrink, Brodeur-Jourdain’s stress continued to steadily mount.
“It felt so long, it felt like an eternity. At that point I thought ‘Okay, I’ll be a free agent’. But then, I was picked by Montreal.”
Needless to say, he was relieved.
“You’re just waiting for your name, and you don’t know if it’s going to happen.”
“It felt like forever. Awful day. Awful waiting. But a wonderful day at the same time.”
Brodeur-Jourdain attended Alouettes training camp that June, and was promptly returned back to Laval to complete the final year of his CIS eligibility.
It was there that he honed his skills and became a more diverse lineman, thus creating an opportunity to step into different spots on the front line if needed.
The following year at Alouettes training camp, there was no need for a return ticket back to Quebec City. Brodeur-Jourdain was there to stay.
The St-Hyacinthe, QC. native remembers just how important his extra year at school was with respect to his development as a professional athlete.
“I got cut, went back to school and practiced every spot on the offensive line that I could,” he said.
“I practiced everywhere, just to make that I’d be ready to make the team in 2009.”
Soon after, Brodeur-Jourdain cemented his spot at the centre of Montreal’s offensive line.
He went from being Mr. Irrelevant, to snapping the ball to Anthony Calvillo on each and every Alouettes offensive play.
He was hardly irrelevant anymore.
“I just needed a chance and I needed some time. I ended up getting both.”
|2||Blue Bombers||OL||Chungh, Sukh|
|8||Alouettes via HAM||OL||Ruby, Jacob|