SASKATOON – Donovan Dale is sick of being told that he isn’t good enough. When he went undrafted at the 2015 CFL Draft, he used the snub as motivation and went on to have his best season in the CIS. Dale was a monster on the defensive line for the Saskatchewan Huskies in 2015, registering eight sacks in eight games.
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“Luckily because I’ve been busting my butt, I’ve been able to put forward some really good seasons which have turned some heads and got teams interested,” said Dale
The Ottawa Redblacks certainly took notice, as they signed the three time Canada West All-Star to his first CFL contract in late March.
“I feel very vindicated now, getting that next shot,” said Dale. “I believe that hard work always pays off.”
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Dale’s a busy man these days. In the morning, he’s in the gym pushing his body to the limit in preparation for his first CFL season. During the day, he’s at the University of Saskatchewan, working towards obtaining his Masters in Kinesiology. At night, he’s back at the gym for four to five hours, coaching high performance athletes.
His favourite part of these long and exhausting days, is coming home to see his wife Charissa and their newborn baby girl Evie.
“I think my wife would agree with me that I’m definitely better at the snuggling and getting the baby to sleep,” says Dale as he turns to Charissa and smiles. “I take great pride in that for sure.”
By signing a deal with the Redblacks, Dale is close to achieving his lifelong goal of playing pro football. The next step is actually making the team. In order to accomplish that feat, Donovan will be spending more time in the gym, and less time with his family. It’s not not an ideal situation, but Donovan says that his wife, Charissa has been tremendous throughout this whole process.
“She’s definitely my rock.” said Dale. “She’s been 100 per cent supportive of me the entire time.”
Dale has excelled at every level in his football career. He was a stand out player with the CJFL’s Saskatoon Hilltops, and a three time Canada West All-Star while playing CIS football. This summer, Donovan is out to prove that he has what it takes to thrive in the CFL.