Andre Sadeghian

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by Larry Moko, The Hamilton Spectator

The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada)
December 14, 2005 Wednesday
Final Edition

The attack of McMaster's football team has a secret weapon heading into the 2006 Ontario University Athletics season.

He's Andre Sadeghian, a transfer student and tailback from University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

The 21-year-old Beamsville resident could only practise with the Marauders this past season -- under Canadian Interuniversity Sport transfer rules -- but next September he becomes eligible to be added to Mac's arsenal.

He previously played two campaigns for the Canada West Conference entry.

"Andre is a heck of a player," UBC offensive co-ordinator Ted Goveia said from Vancouver in a recent telephone interview.

"He's one of the top running backs in the country. He's got great speed. Andre is a smart kid, he has a good work ethic and he's coachable.

"We were sad to see him go."

Goveia formerly coached Burlington Braves of the Ontario Football Conference and assisted at Mount Allison University from 1994-97. In addition, he was a paid assistant coach at McMaster for three seasons before taking the position with Thunderbirds two years ago.

He was interviewed Monday for the vacant UBC head coaching position.

"I'm sure Andre will enjoy it there (at Mac)."

Sadeghian, a graduate of Grimsby's Blessed Trinity High School, was limited for the most part to punt return and kickoff return duties as a CIS rookie in 2003. But he rushed for 759 yards on 121 carries and scored five touchdowns in nine games in 2004.

Sadeghian also caught 14 passes for 123 yards and was the team's leading punt and kick returner.

"I was missing home too much," 6-foot, 224-pound Sadeghian said of the factors that led to his return to Southern Ontario.

"With football, I thought I'd be able to handle being away. But two years passed and it just wasn't the right decision for me to stay out there."

Sadeghian, whose ethnic background is Armenian-German, said he has lived in this area all his life and is used to the cold weather.

"I had a good experience with football at UBC, but besides that I wasn't enjoying myself."

Current McMaster head coach Marcello Campanaro, whose contract isn't being renewed for next season, said Sadeghian and rookie sensation Jordan Kozina form a solid 1-2 punch.

Kozina ran for 1,191 yards on 158 carries -- the third-highest rushing total in Canada.

"Absolutely," Campanaro said, when asked if Sadeghian and Kozina could be used in the same backfield. "Those guys have to be on the football field. Andre is going to be a great player and Jordan will be a year older and more experienced.

"We've got some talented offensive players. That's exciting."

Sadeghian, an Ontario high school medal winner in the 60-metre and 110-metre hurdles along with the 60m and 100m dash, said it was difficult for him to sit out. Much of the time he did his own weightlifting and training.

"I don't think I would be able to go much longer without playing," he said. "I think I can be a huge help and an impact player."

The powerful Mac offence generated 3,966 yards in 2005 -- second only nationally to Western Mustangs (4,151 yards). And it's expected to return all but two starters. 905-526-2458

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