I’m curious to know whether or not any import players have come to the CFL via systems other than the NCAA or the Canadian system. I know there’s a handful of players who weren’t born in Canada or the US that play in the CFL, but as far as I can tell they either come from NCAA schools, CIS schools, or sometimes CJFL/QJFL.
What about the gridiron football systems of other countries? According to this article Japan has over 100 schools playing American football (similar number per capita to the number of schools in Canada with a football program), and there are around 60 countries in the International Federation of American Football. Have any of these other countries produced non-imports for the CFL? I would guess no, since there is so much talent coming out of the American system that it’s probably not worth the effort to look elsewhere.
Aside from increasing the pool of talent from which to choose, it could help, if only just a little, to popularize our game a little more internationally if the CFL picked up a few players from these other systems (not at the expense of talent, mind you). Maybe someday, the Vaahteraliiga will be playing by Canadian rules and the fact that their championship trophy comes from Canada will make a little more sense (it’s unlikely, I know).