After playing for the McMaster Marauders for four years, McMaster linebacker Nick Shortill has hung up his maroon and grey jersey. The football doors will not be shut immediately, as he will be sporting another colour for another league this summer.
Ranked amongst the Canadian Football League’s top prospects all year, Shortill was selected in the second round by the Montreal Alouettes with the 13th pick in this year’s CFL Draft. He was the first linebacker to be chosen for the night.
“It was a relief hearing my name called more than anything. I was excited I knew where I was going to live after waiting so long,” said Shortill.
Though there were some injuries and setbacks along his journey, the linebacker hailing from Nobleton, Ont., brought a noticeable spark to the McMaster defense. After missing half of the 2013 season due to injury, Shortill came back stronger than ever and proved to be a player of professional calibre.
In his final season playing for the Marauders, Shortill performed exceptionally well. He led his team with 29 solo tackles in seven regular season games, and added an interception and 2.5 sacks. Shortill was awarded with the OUA’s President’s Trophy as Stand-Up Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named an OUA First-Team All-Star for the 2014 season.
A new chapter will start with Shortill, but he will always remember playing for the McMaster Marauders and the lessons it brought. “I have learned a lot while being a Marauder that’s going to help me in the CFL including film study, caring for your body and how to be a man,” said Shortill.
Over his time, the Marauders played in three Vanier Cup appearances in a period of four years. Not many people can say that they had an opportunity to hoist a championship trophy in both their rookie and fourth-year veteran years.
“My favourite moment playing in maroon was winning the Vanier Cup in my rookie year,” said Shortill of the 41-38 double overtime victory against Laval.
As training has already begun for Shortill and the Montreal Alouettes, he will focus on taking the necessary steps to be ready to compete on a higher level. “I look forward to the increased level of competition and the atmosphere of being a professional,” said Shortill.
“I’d like to thank all of my teammates, coaches and support staff that have helped,” he said.
With the games at Ron Joyce Stadium behind him, Nick Shortill will now have a chance to show himself on a bigger field, and on a bigger screen.