Meet Carolina's latest Canadian connection

May, 20, 2014
May 20
8:00
AM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- David Foucault politely asked whether he could get a drink before beginning the interview. The undrafted offensive tackle didn't have to ask. When a 6-foot-8, 320-pound man says he needs a drink, nobody is going to tell him no.

Then he began to talk.

Once you get past Foucault's frame -- one that challenges the Charlotte skyline not far from the Carolina Panthers' practice fields -- you are enamored by his deep French accent that conjures up scenes from a Charles Boyer movie.

If that doesn't make Foucault stand out, there's the long, blond ponytail that, when unleashed, rivals the hair of Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews -- as seen in this picture from Twitter.

Foucault (pronounced foo-KOH) is, as general manager Dave Gettleman said from the sideline Saturday during the final day of a two-day rookie minicamp, interesting. He's a hog molly -- Gettleman's term for a big man.

He is also the latest installment of Carolina's Canadian connection. Like defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh a year ago, Foucault turned his back on a roster spot in the CFL to attend a tryout with the Panthers and left with a contract.

The Panthers like Foucault's potential so much that, when they signed him Monday, they released several linemen who had been on the roster.

"He's very intriguing for us," coach Ron Rivera said.

That doesn't mean Foucault is the answer at left tackle, where veteran Jordan Gross left a big hole when he retired in February. Right tackle Byron Bell and Nate Chandler remain the front-runners there.

But Foucault, 25, has the raw size and potential to at least have a chance to make the roster. And with a little seasoning and experience, who knows?

"My first priority is Carolina and the NFL," Foucault told a Canadian newspaper after he was the fifth pick in the CFL draft last Tuesday. "I want to have my shot."

Gettleman credits pro scouting director Mark Koncz for developing the contacts to find Foucault and Gaydosh, the No. 1 pick in the CFL draft a year ago.

If the Panthers keep this trend up, they'll have to start playing "O Canada" along with "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games.

"I just wanted [him to bring] some Canadian beer down," the general manager joked.

This is no joke to Foucault. He gave up hockey -- the most popular sport in Canada -- at the age of 13 to focus on the far less popular sport of football. He committed to play college football in the United States and almost wound up at East Carolina in Greenville, North Carolina, before an issue with the NCAA Clearinghouse ended that.

He instead went to the University of Montreal, where he shifted from defensive line to guard and eventually tackle. There he became a dominating force who caught the eye of the Carolina scouts.

You can't help but be captivated by Foucault, who buys his clothes on the Internet because he can't find them big enough in stores. You also can't imagine him getting out of the Nissan Versa he drives.

"[When] I drive with another football player, we all do elbows like this [touching]," Foucault joked on a pre-CFL draft video. "It's very good for the gas."

Foucault could be a bargain for a salary-cap-strapped Carolina team if he makes the roster. Left tackles, even backups and reserves, usually don't sign for the minimum salary in a tryout.

Especially when they are as big as Foucault.

He is, as Gettleman said, interesting.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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