TORONTO — Mark Korte believes his versatility could pay off at the 2018 CFL Draft.
The pride of Alberta, Korte played multiple positions on the O-line throughout his University of Alberta career, and is considered one of the most polished prospects going into next month’s selection process.
In his first year with the school, at the age of just 18, Korte was already getting his feet wet at the left tackle position — usually a spot for the more experienced.
“It was an eye-opening experience to get thrown into the fire a bit and to really grow a lot my first year,” said Korte.
Korte has always possessed an advanced skill-set. He was even one of just two U SPORTS players, along with Montreal’s Regis Cibasu, invited to the prestigious East-West Shrine Game — a week-long showcase for North America’s top college football prospects — last November in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“That’s just part of what we do there — we want people to be good at multiple things and able to jump in. If someone goes down you’re ready to be there for them.”
Mark Korte on his versatility
Part of it might be his family bloodlines, starting with his brother, Craig, a linebacker and teammate at the University of Alberta who’s two years older.
“Playing with Craig was special,” said Korte. “It was awesome to be able to follow in his footsteps at the University of Alberta and to have his leadership on the team as I was kind of coming into my own.
“I was [always] chasing my brother, who was two years ahead of me playing football, and my dad and uncle played football as well at the university level.”
Their father, Brent, a former player himself, coached both of his sons as the defensive line coach at the university.
Another reason for Korte’s success and versatility in the college game is his athleticism. Natural athletic ability enabled Korte to play and adapt to multiple positions on the O-line with relative ease.
“I was an athletic guy coming into Alberta and that’s something that stayed with me,” he said. “That’s just part of what we do there — we want people to be good at multiple things and able to jump in. If someone goes down you’re ready to be there for them.”
Wherever Korte projects to play, he’s widely considered one of the draft’s elite prospects. CFL.ca’s Marshall Ferguson pegged him to be the fourth overall pick in his most recent mock draft.
The only thing that could hurt Korte’s stock is the potential interest from teams south of the border.
“Korte was the second-most athletic lineman behind UBC’s Dakoda Shepley at the national combine and is worth the risk despite NFL interest after excelling at the East-West Shrine Bowl,” Ferguson wrote. “His well-rounded skill set mimics that of Ottawa’s first round pick Evan Johnson last year.”
Wherever Korte ends up, having his name called on draft day will be a dream come true.
“Wherever I end up I’m ready to do anything for that team. I think I’m a versatile guy, I think I’m an athletic guy that can play any position on the offensive line. Whatever that team asks me to do, whatever that city needs me to do, I think I’m there for them.”