I have to admit that I don't follow Canadian college football closely enough. I think I'll start though because it seems to me that the game at that level is just getting better and better. That also goes for the Juniors and even the high school teams. But, I still found it interesting to read the CFL's recently released top 10 draft choices. On the list there are just three players representing the offensive backfield, the rest are linemen and one linebacker. Does anyone out there have an opinion on this list? Does the ratio seem about normal? And if the O- and D-line players are the cream of the current crop, what does that do in terms of CFL fans ever having the chance to watch a homegrown starting QB or feature back?
It's good to see the CFL start getting these guys in the news and we can try and watch them over the season as some of these guys will be first round draft picks.
Hopefully they will also put out a list of NCAA eligible players. I don't think it is a bumper crop, in fact I had trouble finding 10 guys. But here goes.
DT Brian Bulcke 6'04 270 Stanford (Jr)
S Eric Fraser 6'00 200 Central Michigan
RB Eric Lee 5'11 230 Weber Lee
S Ryan Hinds 6'01 190 New Hampshire
S Tang Bacheyie 6'01 210 Kansas
LB Shomari Williams 6'02 245 Houstan (Jr)
LB Tristan Black 6'03 245 Wayne State
OT Bill McGrath 6'05 260 Indiana State (Jr)
TE Martin Bedard 6'03 230 Connecticut
LB Marcus Walker 5'11 210 Eastern Washington
Here are some more:
QB Lukas Garby 6'4 216 Arizona State
DL Bruno Lapointe 6'5 259 Buffalo (Jr)
DB Matt Morris 5'11 180 Colgate
WR Michael Kachmer 6'0 185 Colorado (Jr)
RB Charlie Houghton 6'0 200 Georgetown (Jr)
LB Nick Edgson 6'1 220 Idaho State (Jr)
OT Tom Kaczmarek 6'5 310 Michigan State (Jr)
WR Nathan Binder 6'2 210 Missouri Rolla (Jr)
TE Francis Claude 6'5 265 Penn State (Jr)
DE Jonathan Pierre-Etienne 6'3 260 Rutgers
DB Matt Black 5'9 180 Saginaw Valley
OG David Bouchard 6'5 305 Syracuse
CB Chayce Elliot 5'10 180 Western Washington (Jr)
The link is from last year but it is easy to figure out... last year's Jr is this year's Sr etc...
Good on you. I think the general public has a perception that the game at those levels is boring and/or sloppy and it's anything but. I started getting into it more a couple of years ago to "scratch the itch" when the Renegades folded and I absolutely love following it. At various levels,from the age of 17 or so and up, I attended 23 football games in 2008. I'd recommend it to anyone who even remotely likes the sport.
Unfortunately some of these players are no longer playing football that I know of. Kaczmarek was highly rated but is through because of injury. Claude might have had a future as a long snapper but is not with Penn State anymore, probably out of football.
Bouchard's draft year was last year and wasn't picked, but he played this year for Laval so he might get a look somewhere.
Matt Black was drafted in the 7th by the Argos.
Bruno LaPointe has possibilities but I'm pretty sure this is only his third year. Could be a high pick next year. The same with Edgson. Etienne hasn't shown the promise coming out of high school yet, maybe next year.
The rest are mostly Div III players. History shows they don't often make CFL teams. They are in Div III for a reason, generally because they are too small or too slow. Aaron Fiacconi OG/C with Edmonton is a good example, he was an All Star at Div III Mansfield but has been a career back up in the CFL.
Div III Minot State generally has a large contingent of Canadians, many of them starters but very few even make it to a CFL training camp.
Twenty years ago any Canadian playing down in Div III was probably a real good ball player but then the big schools started scouting Canada more and the good ones now all end up in Div I. IMO if a young player coming out now doesn't make a division I school he would be better off football wise to go to a CIS school. But its hard to turn down a free education.
Speaking of Div III ball players it reminds me of RB Jerome "can't miss" Messam 6'04 250 with 4.4 speed out of Graceland. Wonder what ever became of him. I thought from his press clippings he might be the real deal.
I can't find it but Duane Forde had an article regarding the NCAA prospects for the upcoming draft. Apparently there are only 11 players available for the draft that are playing in the NCAA. Not sure if there are any NAIA prospects that fit the bill.
Jerome Messam was a NAIA prospect not NCAA Div III and surprisingly a school called Graceland is actually in Iowa and not near Memphis, Tennessee.
I don't think there is much difference in the calibre of the NAIA and Div III.
You are correct about Edgson, he was drafted by the Lions two years ago and he was still listed as a junior for the 2008 season. By the time he graduates and then plays a couple of years on the Lions special teams it will be time to retire.
CFL.ca has a listings called "propects" under "teams". These players will in most cases make up the first three rounds in the up coming CFL Canada draft. However I don't see O-Lineman Zac Carlson of Weber State, who Forde says is elgible, on the list.
Duane Forde also states that the status of three players in the NCAA is being reviewed by the CFL to see if they qualify as non-imports. One player who should qualify IMO is DE Jamal Westerman of Rutgers. Moved to Canada during his high school years, but because he didn't play all his high school football in Canada he's an import by CFL rules.
The Argos apparently think highly of him as he is reported to be on their neg list as an import.
The top level of NAIA is a lot better football than NCAA Div III. Carroll College would beat up on Mt. Union who is the monster in Div III. Carroll has come north and put the boots to U of Calgary and U of Regina along with some junior teams and those games haven't been close.
NAIA can give scholarships while Div III cannot give true athletic scholarships so you can imagine where the better players end up of those passed over by NCAA Div 1A, 1AA and Div II. Also NAIA schools tend to be smaller than traditional Div 1AA schools which is a drawing point for some.
It would really do the CFL and Canadian college ball a solid if a superstar calibre player were to come out of the CIS draft. An elite running back or pass rusher would make the draft alot more interesting drawing a larger audience because people will be looking for the next guy of this calibre. Right now all that comes out of the draft are offensive linemen and the occasional receiver.
Not true. Tons of receivers, and an increasing number of rb's and db's have come from the CIS draft. On the Riders alone, Fantuz, Hughes, Getzlaff are all CIS grads. Foord is a junior player. Bauman in Hamilton was a #1 pick a couple years ago. Waldu in Montreal is a db. Labinjo is a huge star that came from the CIS draft, and might be the biggest Canadian star there is right now.
Although this year is reported to be a weaker field, so there may be a temporary reversion to the traditional lineman picks, but CIS players have made impacts at nearly all positions in recent years except QB.