Mace is young and hungry | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
 
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Possible first selection in Wednesday’s CFL Canadian Draft

By Perry Lefko,
CFL.ca


Being a young man playing against men is not something that intimidates Corey Mace.

The 21-year-old enters the Canadian Football League’s 2007 Canadian Draft as one of the youngest eligible players.

Born on Nov. 22, 1985, Mace is only 21, but the native of Port Moody, B.C. doesn’t consider that an issue as he looks ahead to a future in professional football.

“I was the youngest one by far at the CFL Combine,” Mace said in reference to the TransGlobe Evaluation Camp, which took place in March.

“To me it’s not going to make any difference (playing against older players),” he added. “No matter what level of competition I’ve always been the youngest on the team.”

Mace started out playing post-secondary football at Palomar Community College in California at the tender age of 17.

“I’ve been playing against older guys in everything. Even in pickup basketball games when I was younger I played with older guys. I always try to put myself in position to play with the best competition and I really don’t see it being an issue. Age is not a big deal to me.”

Mace, who stands a shade under 6-foot-3 and weighs about 295 pounds, admitted he still has growing to do physically.

“I’ve got some weight to put on or lose or whatever,” he said. “It’s quite easy for me still because I’m pretty young, but I definitely feel I have some growing to do.”

There have been suggestions among scouts that Mace may be selected first overall in the draft, which starts at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday and is available via webcast on CFL.ca and LCF.ca. At the very least he is tabbed as a sure first-round selection.

“I’m just sitting around, just being calm and hoping everything goes in my favour,” he said. “Hopefully I go high. I’m just really looking forward to getting on the field and doing something.”

Following his graduation from Port Moody, Mace evaluated his situation. He didn’t feel he was ready for a Division One school and didn’t fare well in the U.S. college standard admission test. He opted to go to Palomar in northern San Diego County to be near his father, who lives in the area. Palomar had a good reputation of developing players for Division One schools.
“It was a match made in heaven,” Mace said. “I met a great coach and he helped me out. He pushed me and pushed me and pushed me and I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship offer.”

After two years at Palomar, he transferred to the University of Wyoming, which has offered scholarships to Palomar players because of their character and commitment to football. In addition, a member of the Palomar coaching staff attended Wyoming.

“He gave us a heads-up what to expect,” Mace said.

At Wyoming, he had to adjust to the speed of play and the strength of the players.

“You had to understand that everybody at that level was the best player at their high school or the best players at their junior college and everybody is out there to compete,” he said. “I’d say the level of competition and (everything) overall was something that you had to pick up.”

Last season, following a change in the defensive scheme from four down linemen and three linebackers to three down linemen and four linebackers, Mace moved from tackle to end in some situations. In passing downs he moved to nose tackle, in run-stopping situations he played end. He said it doesn’t matter where he’s lined up.

“I really feel comfortable all the way through the line. As far as pass rushing, it’s probably better off in a four-three defence. I’m a three-technique at defensive tackle, but I feel comfortable playing end in whatever scheme of defence that I land on. I think I’m pretty versatile.”

Editor's Note: Interview was conducted before Mace signed with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.
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