Quebec footballer Pier-Olivier Lestage is confident, but still a little nervous, preparing to participate in his first training camp with the pros.
Unlike many athletes he has encountered on his football journey, the offensive lineman will begin his professional career in the NFL, with the Seattle Seahawks.
“This is no longer a college or university, this is my first professional camp and in my case, it takes place in the best football league in the world. I feel a little nervous, but I would say I am more excited than nervous, as Lestage expressed, in a telephone interview conducted A few days before he left for the United States.
Last May, Université de Montréal Carabins producer was hired as a free agent by the Seahawks and continued to participate in the club’s small camp. The work is now underway, with about 90 athletes fighting for a position among the 53 players available on the roster.
“It’s even more stressful knowing it could end overnight,” he said. It adds performance pressure, but I can’t wait to fight for a place on the roster.”
Lestage will face an additional obstacle in his pursuit of an NFL dream, as he has yet to fully recover from surgery to repair a sports hernia. The 23-year-old giant went under the knife in early June.
“I haven’t done 100% yet, but rehabilitation has gone well from the start,” he said, praising the work of Carabines physical therapist Patrick Gendron.
“I still don’t know if I will be able to train from the first day of camp [mercredi] And if the Seahawks wanted me to take a few more days. “It will be at their discretion,” Lestage said, adding that he doesn’t think it will take any longer to fully regain shape.
However, the native of Saint-Eustache is not naive. He knows that this situation can hurt him.
“It’s possible. If I miss some training, I might have fewer reps than others and that hurts in the end. My goal is to play football to the best of my ability and I can’t control anything else.”
Don’t swell your head
Before returning to Quebec to gain strength, Lestage received great reviews from the Seahawks’ head coach.
“I’m excited about this guy,” Pete Carroll said of him in May. He’s really focused and motivated to be here.”
When asked how he felt about what the legendary pilot had to say, Lestage set the record straight.
“I heard what he said and it’s fun. At the same time, I don’t want to worry too much about it. He just met me and maybe he would answer the same question as another student. He answered with maturity.
“I’m going to Seattle with the idea of making the team, without neglecting the fact that there will be a lot of obstacles,” Lestage continued. I will have to work hard and prove myself. I have the knife between my teeth. My mentality is that I’m going to stay in Seattle and be an NFL player.”
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