Taking time away from the game helped Tanner Green realize just how much he loves football.
A high school standout for the Lacombe Rams, Green turned his attention to lacrosse after graduating.
“I was really enjoying lacrosse at the time, and I was asked by a Junior ‘A’ team to play. So I decided to go in that direction,” Green explained.
But after getting married and graduating from junior lacrosse, Green felt it was time to give the gridiron another go.
“Having a nice break from the sport then coming back to it just reignited my passion to play, especially playing at a competitive level.”
He decided to join his friends and play for the Central Alberta Buccaneers senior football club. That’s when he realized playing professional football was something he was capable of pursuing.
“I had quite a few people saying that if I wanted to I could play at the university level. After talking about it with my wife, we decided that you’re only this age for a short period of time, so let’s give it a shot and see if I can make it to the CFL.”
Green put together a highlight tape from his lone season with the Bucs in 2015 and sent it to everyone he knew who had football connections. Several universities expressed interest in recruiting Green, but he says Concordia University in Montreal stood out above the rest.
“They were really good at answering the questions I had and were always on top of staying in touch with me. And I really wanted to go and play against the powerhouse Laval, because that’s one of the best teams in Canada.”
Green played two seasons with Concordia. He missed several games last year due to a hamstring injury but worked hard to be ready for last week’s CFL Western Regional Combine in Winnipeg. An impressive performance there earned him an invite to stick around for the main event over the weekend.
“The regional combine probably didn’t go as well as l had hoped,” Green admitted. “But moving on to nationals, all the nerves were gone and I did pretty well. The big thing for me was confidence. I just needed to believe that I belonged there with those athletes and that I was there for a reason.”
His testing results improved across the board from regionals to nationals, and he’s confident the scouts took notice. Green met with several CFL teams at the national combine including B.C., Hamilton, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Montreal.
“The interviews went pretty well,” he said. “They were all just trying to get to know me, more about my story and why I was there and want to move up and play professional football.”
Green says he didn’t really have a favorite CFL team as a kid, cheering mostly for Calgary and Edmonton to beat whoever they were playing against.
Listed at 6’2” and 241 pounds, the 25-year-old running back is making sure he’ll be ready for training camp should a team call his name during the upcoming CFL Draft.
Should that not happen, Green says he plans to play for the Bucs and give back to the game he loves.
“Football is such a big part of my life now. I’d be playing for the Bucs, I’d get back into coaching and would love to start training younger athletes who are looking to go somewhere with football.”
The 2018 CFL Draft takes place on Thursday, May 3.
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