Even on the day he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, offensive tackle Justin Senior was putting in work to get better and better. With the gym closed at Mississippi State, where he spent his college career, Senior did cardio drills on a speed and agility ladder on his own.
"I want to become a more complete player, I feel like I owe that to the team that took a chance on me," said Senior, who was drafted 210th overall by the Seahawks in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday. "I owe that to all the people that helped me get here, to just keep working and be a better and better player.
"I don't know when I'll stop working. I'll just keep working and working until the end. There's always something you can be better at."
The six-foot-five, 331-pound Montreal native played at Mississippi State where he was a three-year starter. The 22-year-old captured the 2016 Kent Hull Trophy as the state's top offensive lineman. He's also the top prospect for the CFL draft on May 7.
Senior played in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 before competing at the NFL combine. He also participated in Mississippi State's pro day before having a private workout with the Houston Texans.
It's made for a busy start to the year for Senior, but he's grateful to be so busy because it means that his football career wasn't going to end with the NCAA.
"It's an honour because it's not like that for everyone," said Senior. "You don't want to have nothing to do because that means no one's interested in you, no one wants to get to know you, no one wants you to be on their team. Being hectic, being busy is a great thing.
"It's not like in school anymore where you hate being busy. Now you're not in school, chances are most people aren't busy, they have nothing going on. Here I am with a lot of things to do, a lot of things to take care of."
Former Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant announced Senior's selection in an elaborate setup where a diver at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash., swam through the facility's pool to hand the official draft card over.
Senior was not the only Canadian to join an NFL team on Saturday, as tight end Anthony Auclair, offensive lineman Geoff Gray and defensive lineman Eli Ankou were all signed as free agents.
Auclair, who won a Vanier Cup with the Laval Rouge et Or last season, joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The six-foot-six, 254-pound native of Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que., was the No. 2 rated prospect for the upcoming CFL draft but he wants to become a part of Tampa Bay's high-octane offence.
"When I visited the team they told me that the roster was filled with good tight ends," said Auclair. "But there are spots open for a wide tight end, a guy who can block first and do routes and stuff also."
The six-foot-five, 315-pound Gray, who played for his hometown Manitoba Bisons, signed with the Green Bay Packers.
Ottawa's Ankou, who played at UCLA, was signed by the Texans. The six-foot-three, 290 pounder was ranked third for the CFL draft.
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