It takes courage, strong resolve and a whole lot of self-belief to do what Cory Greenwood has done.

Greenwood by now may well have established himself as a big star in the Canadian Football League. He could have been the local hero helping the Toronto Argonauts win Grey Cups. Instead, he’s a fairly anonymous member of the Lions’ 90-man training camp roster battling long odds to win a spot as an outside linebacker and special teams ace.

“No regrets whatsoever,” Greenwood said on Saturday, as he prepared to help Team (Stephen) Tulloch battle Team (Nate) Burleson in a charity softball game. “This is every kid’s dream in Canada, other than playing hockey.”

Greenwood grew up in Kingston, Ontario, halfway between Toronto and Montreal. After four years playing at Concordia University in Montreal, where he was the national defensive player of the year in 2009, he was the third overall pick of the Argos in the 2010 CFL draft.

He would have been the big man on that campus. But third overall picks in the CFL command about $50,000 per season. The NFL minimum salary in 2010 was $325,000. When his agent said he thought he had a chance to get him a tryout in the NFL, Greenwood didn’t hesitate.

“I always thought I could play down here,” he said. “Even before college I wanted to come down here and play Division I. I had offers, too.”

Connecticut, Tulsa and Buffalo were among those that recruited Greenwood, but the logistics of transferring high school credits from the Canadian educational system to the U.S. didn’t work out.

“In Canada we don’t do SATs, we just use our high school scores,” he said. “I had to get a tutor and do the SAT test and I came up 20 points short.”

Greenwood scored well above average, though, at the CFL scouting combine and that eventually got him an invitation as an undrafted rookie to the Chiefs training camp in 2010. He not only won a roster spot — becoming just the 24th player from Canada’s collegiate system to play in the NFL — he spent three seasons in Kansas City and became one of the leaders on special teams.