By day, he is a primary school teacher. In the evening he plays football.

That would make a hell of a movie synopsis. With a few nuances, that’s the life of Michael Brodrique, a name you’ll hear more and more of in the coming years.

Next Tuesday, he should be picked early in the Canadian Football League draft. In the final ranking of hopes, he comes in 11th place, and no player playing in Quebec universities is better positioned.

If he is known as Michael Brodrique, linebacker for the University of Montreal Carabins, in football, it is more like “Mister Michael” in his other life.

“Tomorrow is my final colloquium. My colleagues and I are presenting our latest project,” he tells us proudly.

The CEPSUM, where he has been playing since 2019, is upside down when we meet him on Thursday afternoon. In fact, it’s quiet inside, but outside, workers are busy rebuilding the football field. The vibrations of the construction machines force us to find a quiet corner, far from the windows, where he will tell his career as a player, but also his vision of his “other” profession.

“The land was ‘due’,” the charismatic athlete said, smirking.

“But it’s too bad you won’t get a chance to try it.”

“It happened to me in CEGEP too, I’m used to it.” Maybe a year after I left, they completely redid the changing rooms! »

First enrolled at HEC Montreal, he quickly realized that business was not for him. The summer before his admission, he had been a counselor at a day camp. “I really got tripped up,” he says. Then I did my semester at HEC, but I realized that I didn’t like my classes at all. »

Hard to break away from the label of “cool teacher” in these circumstances?

“I don’t act like the cool teacher, because we have to establish our authority at the beginning,” he replies. But after a few weeks, I become more of the ‘easy’ teacher.” Besides, what I prefer is the 3rd cycle. Autonomy, maturity, that’s what I advocate. So yes, I can be seen as the relaxed teacher. But I ask a lot of them because they are in 6th grade. »

The interview comes as the teaching profession finds itself at the heart of the news, after the story comes to light of a teacher recorded shouting aggressive remarks towards her students. However, Brodrique did one of his internships at the Grands-Vents primary school in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac.

“It touches me a lot because it’s my neighborhood, it’s one of the schools where I worked. I find it sad that a teacher needs to go there. In teaching, we know very well that burnout happens. No one is… Everyone is different and experiences it in their own way. When I see that, I tell myself that we still have a lot of difficulty in the world and it would be fun to change that so that no one goes there.

“It’s hard to make up your mind about the best solution. I’m not saying that the teachers know the solutions more than the people on the outside, but we are the ones on the ground, we know the problems in the classrooms, with the directions. If everyone finally sat down at the same table and discussed the real issues, maybe the changes would happen for real. »

Whatever happens in football, the 24-year-old has every intention of pursuing both careers.

The CFL Draft is always difficult to predict. At the heart of the uncertainty: the fate of players also coveted in the NFL.

Quebecers Matthew Bergeron and Sidy Sow, for example, are the first and fifth prospects respectively, according to the CFL Scouting Office. However, both were claimed in the NFL Draft, in the second and fourth rounds respectively. The teams that select them will therefore do so taking into account the possibility that they will carve out a position in the NFL and never come to Canada. In 2014, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the No. 1 prospect, but was only picked 19th overall by the Calgary Stampeders, a water pick.

The Alouettes hold the fifth and seventh picks in the first round, and if there’s one organization that knows Brodrique, it’s Montreal. General manager Danny Maciocia led him with the Carabins in 2019, as did Byron Archambault, now special teams coordinator and assistant with the Alouettes.

Except that Brodrique had had, by his own admission, a “morally difficult” season, he played very little and was mainly employed on the defensive line, where he is not at ease. The following season had been canceled and when the game returned in 2021, Maciocia and Archambault were no longer there.

Anyway, our man does not stop much at these stories of the past.

“I mostly think to myself: do the Alouettes need me, do they have a plan for me? I don’t tell myself that I want to play with this or that team. I want to play with the team that wants to draft me. It would be a great mark to represent the team of the city where I played, but my goal is to play football. »