Preseason is always an exciting period of the offseason. Not only is the 16-week grind of a regular season on the horizon, but hundreds of players littered around 32 NFL teams are vying to do everything they can to be a part of it.
One of those players just so happened to be former CFL standout Marken Michel, who caught a beautiful pass from Nate Sudfeld early on and took it to the house for a 75-yard touchdown in the Eagles preseason opener. For Michel, this moment was a turning point. One he’d been grinding towards ever since going undrafted in 2016.
Michel got a shot with the Vikings and stuck to their roster until the final roster cuts. He then turned his attention to Canada, where he flourished amongst the Stampede.
“It’s been a long road. It’s been long.” Michel told reporters after the game. “I feel like I put in a lot of work. Definitely the work is not over. Only the people that’s closest to me know the things that I’ve been through to get to this point and to get that touchdown. For me, that touchdown wasn’t six points. It was way bigger than that.”
The speedy receiver racked up 435 yards on 31 receptions, 36 yards on two carries and added six total touchdowns in 11 games last year for Calgary, making most of his money out in space…which, as we know, is where the Eagles also like to make a living.
Whether it panned out or not, Golden Tate is a prime example as a man who averaged 6.4 yards after the reception prior to joining the Birds. 54.4% of his total receiving yards up to that point came after the catch.
Now, back to Michel.
394 of his 1215 receiving yards (or 32.4%) in the CFL came after the catch. He also managed 11.8 yards per carry in his young career. Making big-time plays is something that has become second nature to the former Minuteman at this point and it sounds like there’s plenty more where that came from.
“One hundred percent.” Michel went on to say. “I feel like while I was in Canada, it was funny because a lot of people kind of deemed me a ‘gamer.’ In practice I would make plays, but in the game I would get it done. So I kind of take that mentality. Even though I go hard in practice, when the lights are on, it’s showtime.”
The lights will be on for three more weeks of preseason play, giving Michel a big window to take advantage of. But the spotlight is already finding its way to the older brother of Sony Michel…and that’s all this gamer needs.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports