April 5, 2024

Elks in the Offseason: Mark Korte

EDMONTON, AB –  Just a local guy living his childhood dream.

The 27-year-old offensive lineman has been a staple in front of Elks quarterbacks for the last two seasons. Korte will be back with the Elks for the 2024 season, anchoring the middle of the offensive line as the team’s starting centre.

The Spruce Grove, AB product is Edmonton through and through, having played his University ball with the Alberta Golden Bears and making his way home in 2022 CFL Free Agency after three seasons with the RedBlacks who drafted him.

In he latest Elks in the Offseason, Mark Korte sat down with GoElks.com to discuss his dog, keeping up weight, and more.

So first Mark, how’s your offseason going?

It’s going great. Really enjoying getting some chance to unwind and yeah, enjoy time at home with the dog, training hard and really excited for the 2024 season.

What kind of dog do you have?

I’ve got a yellow Labrador named Tucker. He’s about to turn three-years old.

It’s not named after Jason Tucker, is it?

It’s not. It’s a good coincidence, but my wife picked it.

So what is a typical day in of life look like for you right now?

Really, the main focus for me right now is training to get ready for the season. A few other pieces involved, but really my day revolves around getting a good workout in, eating well, sleeping well, and the rest falls into place from there.

What does a training look like now for an offensive lineman? Are you trying to bulk up? Are you just working on agility? Or is it a little bit of a mix?

It’s a bit of a mix between making sure that your mobility is in a good place, making sure that your strength is coming along well, and managing your weight through that. So it’s really trying to take a holistic approach and make sure that everything is going to be in the right spot when the middle of May comes around and then when we get to week one.

I feel like offensive linemen are generally one of two ways. Either they struggle to keep the weight on or they struggle to keep the weight off. Are you one of those two?

Yeah, absolutely. I’ve always been one that had to work to get up to the weight that I need to be, and that’s still with me. A really a big part of through the offseason is maintaining that weight. I make sure that I’m eating enough and lifting enough to stay where I want to be and it’ll fluctuate as the year goes around, but make sure that when we get to training camp that I’m in that 300 to 305 territory and ready to go.

Was that the biggest maybe adjustment coming from the University of Alberta to the pro game?

That was something that, when I went through the pre draft process, was identified as needing to add size and something that I worked really hard on to get my weight up for making the transition to pro. And even those first couple of years was making sure that weight was staying up. Now I think I’ve got it at a point where it’s pretty manageable and really comfortable with where it’s at.

What do your meals look like throughout the day right now?

For me, usually everything’s always weighed. One of the best things that I did as a rookie was I bought a food scale and everything I eat is weighed out. Breakfast is usually six eggs on two slices of toast and then lunch and dinner are usually the same. Generally a good amount of white rice and some ground beef.

Are you like The Rock where you have your cheat day or you kind of holding that out?

I kind of mix it in. I do have a bit of a sweet tooth through the offseason, so yeah, sometimes dive into some chocolate chips. But yeah, try to stay away from blowing it up too bad.

You’re a local guy, what makes Edmonton a good place to be in the offseason and a great football city?

I think Edmonton’s an incredible football city because of the fans and people here really embody what it means to be a good sports fan, football especially, and they care about winning, they care about the team. And I think one of the great things that makes Edmonton home is that there’s a great football and sports community here and that it’s just a good place to be a young family with.

The team 75th season is this year. As somebody who grew up here, what are some of your favorite memories from watching the Green and Gold?

I’ve got a lot of great memories of watching Grey Cups and being at Grey Cups for Edmonton and being in the stadium. I think one of my best memories growing up as a kid was my brother, who’s two years older than me. We’d come to the games and after touchdowns we’d run down to the railing and grab a mini football and that would come home with us and we’d play for it until the next game. So that always sticks out to me as a memory of coming to games as a kid.