On January 19, 2020, The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Green Bay Packers, securing themselves an NFC Conference Championship and a spot in Super Bowl LIV, where they will play against the San Francisco 49ers in Miami, Florida on February 2. This year’s Super Bowl is particularly exciting for the Montreal and McGill communities, who may recognize one of the Chiefs’ players.
Laurence Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive guard for the Chiefs, is the 10th Canadian and first-ever Quebecker to play in the NFL. In addition to being a professional athlete, Duvernay-Tardif also holds a medical degree from McGill. He began his higher education at Collège André-Grasset from 2008-2009, followed by an undergraduate career at McGill from 2010-2013. In 2018 he graduated from McGill’s Faculty of Medicine after having already been playing for Kansas City for nearly four years.
While attending Collège André-Grasset, Duvernay-Tardif played with the Phénix and continued playing with the Redmen throughout his undergraduate studies at McGill. Prior to his higher education, Duvernay-Tardif played for the Richelieu Pirates in Beloeil for three seasons. Beyond his on-field accomplishments, Duvernay-Tardif has also been honoured with many awards and distinctions in athletics and academics. He has won the Montreal Allouttes bursary twice, along with being awarded the Fondation de l’athlète d’excellence du Québec in 2009 and 2013.
Furthermore, in January 2014, he earned a spot in the NCAA’s East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida where only two Canadians were invited to participate, thereby attracting the attention of NFL recruiters. He was also rated as the top-ranked selection for the 2014 CFL draft by the CFL Scouting Bureau in all three of their rankings
“He’s obviously got a lot of talent … I go back to the days of Mike Schad coming out of the Canadian ranks and he went in the first round. You’re looking probably at a third- or fourth-round pick here… But you’ve got to develop him. You’re not going to get much (out of him) as a rookie.”, said Mel Kiper Jr. at ESPN. Duvernay-Tardif was eventually picked in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Athletics and medicine are two incredibly prominent aspects of Duvernay-Tardif’s life and has resulted in him being a major advocate for the promotion of healthy living. Duvernay-Tardif noted that he is driven by the desire to get young people excited about physical activity, and has participated in various activities with Montreal youth. On June 20th, 2016, in between shifts at a Montreal hospital in 2016, he gathered 150 students from local schools and brought them all to Montreal’s Percival Molson Stadium for a day dedicated to athletics.
“I matched Laurent up against the opposition’s best defensive end every game and he did not give up a sack all year. He played on both sides – left and right tackle – and dominated. He always locked up with his defender until the whistle blew. He was incredible at blocking at the second level – the best and always got to the linebacker”, said Paul Lambert, the offensive line coach for McGill football. The McGill and greater Montreal community are incredibly proud to have a local and alumni going to the Super Bowl and are eagerly awaiting the February 2ndgame.