June 20, 2011

Road to the Show star Surla joins practice roster

CFL.ca Staff

WINNIPEG — John Surla’s road to the show continues.

John Surla went un-drafted in the 2011 Canadian Draft before signing as a free agent with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Surla, who has gained a following across the CFL community, has survived Blue Bombers training camp and has earned a spot on Winnipeg’s practice roster.

Despite entering the 2011 CFL Evaluation Camp as a highly touted prospect, the former Western Mustang was not selected at the 2011 Canadian Draft in May. However, he was signed by the Blue Bombers as a free agent just two days later.

It was there that his dream of one day playing in the CFL suddenly turned back into a reality.

The 5’10″ 225 lbs. linebacker reported to Bombers camp under a heavy microscope.

Since the CFL E-Camp in March, Surla has been the subject of a CFL.ca original documentary series, chronicling his path towards becoming a professional football player.

Surla has personified many traits of an underdog CFL hopeful. He is approachable, hard-working, humble and yet determined to ensure that his future remains inside the Canadian Football League.

During training camp, Surla took massive steps as a player, evidence of which can be seen by the decisions of Bombers’ management and coaches to insert him into the lineup for the team’s first pre-season match-up against the Montreal Alouettes.

In that game, Surla was used mainly on special teams; however, he did get some time at linebacker in the fourth quarter.

John Surla shows off his battle scars following his first-ever CFL game in Montreal on June 16, 2011.

Throughout his journey, Surla has constantly been forced to take the path-less-followed. Now, he begins an entirely new section of his life on Winnipeg’s practice roster and his dream continues.

It is often said that for a player to truly succeed, he must first demonstrate his will to do so.

Surla is being given that exact opportunity.

He will have to work to show Winnipeg’s coaches that he is more than willing to do whatever it takes to earn a spot on the 46-man roster.

The CFL.ca original documentary series Road to the Show follows Surla on this turbulent journey to the CFL.

In the second installment, which will be released on CFL.ca this Monday at 11 a.m. ET, the crew follows John from the Canadian Draft to his first pre-season game with the Bombers and tells the story of his remarkable journey.

Tune in to CFL.ca to experience Surla’s road to the show.