Marsh’s 3 Stars: Standouts from the first day of practice

EDMONTON — After a full day of testing on Thursday, prospects hit the field in pads for the opening practice day of the 2023 CFL Combine presented by New Era.

This was the first opportunity for the coaches, scouts and general managers to evaluate the players with their pads on and helmets strapped up.

When the day was said and done and the last one-on-one was complete,’s Marshall Ferguson was intrigued by a pair of defenders along with one receiver, who also impressed the CFL Combine guru on Thursday.

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» Marsh’s 3 Stars: DBs catch attention on testing day


1. Lucas Cormier | DB, Mount Allison

Testing doesn’t always tell the full story of a players’ skillset and for Ferguson, that was the case when he watched Mount Allison defensive back Lucas Cormier. Cormier didn’t have eye-popping numbers during Thursday’s test session, but when he strapped on the pads on Friday, he really set himself apart.

“Cormier has intriguing length and a well-rounded skillset,” Ferguson explained after the day wrapped up. “He really looked better in pads than he did in testing, which is a huge benefit to him.”

2. Francis Bemiy | DL, Southern Utah

Francis Bemiy set the tone in the first one-on-one session of the CFL Combine on Friday (Christian Bender/

The CFL draft guru was equally impressed with Southern Utah defensive lineman Francis Bemiy after the six-foot-three, 257-pounder participated in his one-on-one session against the offensive linemen.

“Bemiy is physically one of the best defensive lineman in the draft,” Ferguson said. “The second they switched from run-themed things to pass rush, it was like the light bulb went on and he just started popping everybody five yards deep in the backfield. That was super, super impressive.”

3. Clark Barnes | WR, Guelph

After a strong showing in the testing on Thursday, receiver Clark Barnes showed off his route running on Friday (Christian Bender/

And the third star of the day is no stranger to this series, as Clark Barnes caught Ferguson’s attention for the second day in a row. Thursday’s second-best 40-yard dash time made Ferguson do a double take and it was the receiver’s route running abilities on Friday that made him do much of the same.

“Clark Barnes got open on almost every single route,” said Ferguson. “He created separation, had great patience in his routes, and had natural hands. It looks like he separating himself as one of the better receivers.”

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