Mexican linebacker Christian Hernandez from the Monterrey Fundidores in Mexico’s Liga De Football Americano Profesional is enjoying life with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football league.
Hernandez was one of 24 Global players who made CFL active and/or practice rosters following the drafts of Mexican and European players earlier this year.
American Football International’s John Turner had a chance to visit with Hernandez following a recent home game against the BC Lions.
The CFL has made it a priority to involve international players on their roster. For 2019, they have designated one spot on their active roster for a “Global” player- a player from somewhere other than Canada or the United States
After conducting drafts of players from both the LFA and the European leagues, many international players now have a spot on a team, either as an active player or on the practice squad. Practice squad players have the opportunity to move to the active squad and get their chance to play, as we saw in week 4 with Mexico’s Christian Hernandez.
Hernandez played in the LFA for the Monterrey Fundidores. He now plays linebacker for the Toronto Argonauts and saw his first action in Week 4 versus the BC Lions.
Hernandez is excited for the opportunity, and says that his family and former teammates contact him daily to offer encouragement while he is so far from home.
He feels like the coaches and other players have been extremely welcoming and encouraging during his transition to another country, climate and style of football play.
His Fundidores coaches text him daily to offer support and advice, and he is certainly appreciative of being a #MexiCANstar. While he misses his home, and definitely misses the food, his excitement is palatable, even after a tough one point loss to the Lions.
The loss is certainly not discouraging him
“It’s football. You win or you lose, and you just think about the next game.”
As unfortunate as the manner of the loss was to the BC Lions, Hernandez is on a young roster with lots of talent on it, that is only two seasons removed from a Grey Cup. Micah Awe, Ian Wild, Kennan Gilchrist, Nelkas Kwemo, Nakas Onyeko, and Justin Herdman-Reed, along with Hernandez make up a linebacker unit that are all under 30 years of age.
We’ve seen early career struggles turn into prime and later career dominance before. The Argos have great ownership, and leaders in the locker room. If Coach Chamblin and his staff can get better play results out of the quarterback, both sides of the line, and special teams, Hernandez and company will be poised to be as competitive as any team in the league before mid season.