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Interview with Cody Kennedy

This article has been submitted by Queen’s Grad Alex Jackson.

The question is, can we tailgate Cody’s future CFL games?
-Yafa Sakkejha, October 22, 2006

-Alex Jackson, February 20, 2008

Cody Kennedy, a product of Glenelg, Nova Scotia, is a fifth year mining engineering and economics double major at Queen’s University. For many soon to be graduates, the spring can be a nerve-racking time; questions swirl, what does the future hold? What career path will I go down? Cody is pursuing a career path that I dare say is not taken by many economics and engineering degree holders: professional football.

Kennedy, the 6’7, 325 lbs. offensive tackle, was a First-Team All OUA selection and a Second-Team CIS All-Canadian in 2007. After a standout five year career at Queen’s, Kennedy won the Orrin Carson Memorial Trophy as the team’s Offensive Lineman of the Year, and recently signed a free agent contract with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. I was lucky enough to steal Cody away from his studying and workouts to ask him a couple of questions about the road he’s going down.

How long was the negotiation and decision making process? What factors played a role in your decision making process? Did you receive interest from more than just the Stampeders?
I was contacted by the Stampeders’ GM, Jim Barker, on February 12th. Myself and Coach Sheahan negotiated the contract the next day, and a hard copy was in my hands on Thursday. The decision to make the jump to the CFL was made in January, when I informed Coach Sheahan I wanted to pursue a career in professional football. The decision to sign the contract was made before I even got it. Calgary was the only team I received any official interest from.

In your five years at Queen’s, you have had the opportunity to play alongside some very talented football players, some of whom have gone onto the CFL. Have you remained in contact with players such as Bryan Crawford, Ryan Freeman, Brad Smith or Matt Kirk? If so, have they been able to pass on any advice as you prepare for the next level?
Freeman, Kirk, as well as guys like Jon Landon have given me lots of helpful advice. The main thing they tell me is to try and learn as much as you can, and work hard. Basic advice but not trivial by any stretch.

Speaking of preparations, how is your training going? What does a typical routine consist of these days?
Training is going well, although I have only about a month and half left to prepare for camp. I train 6 out of 7 days of the week. Monday and Tuesday are speed lifting days where the emphasis is on power and volume. Wednesdays and Fridays I do an offensive line specific workout prepared by the Stampeders O-line coach Kris Sweet. Thursday and Saturday are lifting days with an emphasis on maximum strength. This routine is putting me in the best shape I’ve ever been, and hopefully is adequate to gain me a roster spot in training camp.

With the drafting of Marc Mitchell in 2004, Ian Hazlett last year and your free agent signing a few weeks ago, it seems like the Stamps like Queen’s players almost as much as the Green Riders do. Why do you think those two teams have so much more interest in Queen’s players?
The Queen’s program has a very professional attitude towards technique as well as offensive and defensive schemes. That attitude and attention to detail is entrenched in the players and makes for a perfect fit in the CFL when the athlete is of that caliber. Many drills and plays that we use here at Queen’s are CFL based, and I guess the Western teams are picking up on that.

You were invited to play in the East-West Showcase Bowl in 2006; unfortunately you did not receive an invitation to the CFL pre-draft camp last year. How difficult was this for you? Did it add to your motivation and play a role in you coming back for your fifth year?
When I wasn’t invited to the CFL E-Camp I was disappointed, but not discouraged. I kind of wrote off my chances at a professional career and focused more on finishing my college career on a high note, and that in turn has led to another shot. My fifth year was a product of a dual-degree program I enrolled in, and luckily for me it gave me another chance to showcase what I can do on the field.

As of March 19, there appear to be eleven offensive linemen on the Stamps roster, nine of whom are non-imports. Will this make your journey more difficult? You are likely going to be one of the younger players in Stamps camp. At this stage, does age play much of a factor?
When a team carries that many linemen, you know they’re looking to cut the numbers and keep the best. It definitely makes camp more competitive, but that’s good because that’s the environment I thrive in. Being only 22 years old should be an advantage, with the next youngest offensive lineman being 3 years older than me. Hopefully they will look at my potential as a young body and what I can do in a couple of years. Even better would be to take age out of the equation and just be the one of the better linemen in camp, which is what I aim to do.

Now it’s time for quick hitters. I’ll throw something out there and you respond with a name, place, thing, or event…

Best player you’ve played against: Ricky Foley (College: York, CFL: BC)
Best player you’ve played with: Matt Kirk
Player you’re most looking forward to playing with: Jeff Pilon
Most memorable game you’ve played in: Queen’s @ McMaster 2006 OUA quarter-final. First Queen’s win over McMaster since rejoining the OUA.
Favorite food: Steak & potatoes
Favorite athlete: Alan Faneca
Favorite book: 1984
Favorite football movie: The Program

All Photos are courtesy of Jeff Chan.

This article has been submitted by Queen’s Grad Alex Jackson.

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One Response to “Interview with Cody Kennedy”

  1. Pennycook Says:

    I really liked this article. Good to see how some of our athletes are doing and also some love for the CFL. As someone who has closely followed the Stamps for the past couple years I can definitely say that with the new management as of this year it is a huge transition time for the team and they definitely need some good Canadian kids to help bring the team back to their glory days.

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