May 13, 2014, OTTAWA (ISN) – Pierre Lavertu, a centre from Laval University, became the eighth CIS player in as many years – and the 12th in the past 15 years – to be selected first overall in the CFL Canadian Draft when the Calgary Stampeders called his name at No. 1, on Tuesday evening.
For all the information on the CFL Canadian Draft: www.cfl.ca
It was a record night for CIS football as 59 players from the league were selected out of 65 total picks (90.8%), shattering the previous standard of 44 set a year ago (out of 60 picks). The eight CIS standouts drafted in the opening round also tied the league mark from 1970 and 1972.
Eight more CIS stars were called in each of the second, third and fourth rounds, with nine following in the fifth, seven in the sixth and 11 in the seventh, which included two more picks than the other rounds.
A native of Quebec City, Lavertu followed in the footsteps of Calgary defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh, who was picked first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a year ago, as well as Saskatchewan offensive lineman Ben Heenan (2012 – Saskatchewan), StFX linebacker Henoc Muamba (2011 – Winnipeg), Queen’s linebacker Shomari Williams (2010 – Saskatchewan), Alberta offensive lineman Simeon Rottier (2009 – Hamilton), Saskatchewan defensive back Dylan Barker (2008 – Hamilton) and Regina wide receiver Chris Bauman (2007 – Hamilton), the other No. 1 selections from CIS since 2007.
Before Lavertu, defensive end Miguel Robédé (2005 – Calgary) and offensive lineman Alexandre Gauthier (2002 – Ottawa) were the only Laval players to go at No.1. Moments before tonight’s draft, the Stampeders traded veteran offensive lineman Jon Gott to the expansion Ottawa RedBlacks in order to pick first overall for the first time since 2005, when they selected Robédé.
Since 1965 (year of first Vanier Cup championship), 29 CIS players have been chosen with the first pick. All players selected first overall in the first nine CFL Canadian Drafts between 1956 and 1964 were also from schools currently competing in CIS.
“It’s amazing. I thought there was a chance I could go number one but once it’s done, there are no words to describe the feeling,” Lavertu said. “The Stampeders contacted me in the last few days to check on my health and see if I was ready for a pro camp, so I could see there was a possibility there.
“When a team makes a big trade to draft you, it shows how interested they are in you.”
Lavertu, who also played CEGEP football in his hometown – at F.-X. Garneau – before joining the Rouge et Or, was dominant in his four campaigns at Laval. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound business administration student was voted an RSEQ conference all-star every season and a first-team all-Canadian each of the past three years. He helped the Quebec City powerhouse capture four straight Dunsmore Cups as RSEQ champions and three Vanier Cup national titles, including the last two.
Last fall, he was part of an offensive unit that topped the Quebec league in scoring (34.1 points per game), rushing (216.6 yards per game) and least quarterback sacks allowed (15). Laval set Vanier Cup rushing records in each of the past two CIS championship games with 373 yards in 2012 and a mindboggling 449 last November.
After playing in the CIS East West Bowl a year ago, Lavertu was ranked in the top four on each CFL Scouting Bureau prospect lists released throughout 2013-14, including at No. 4 back in September, No. 2 in January and No. 3 last month.
In addition to Lavertu, the CIS standouts selected in the first round on Tuesday included Manitoba running back Anthony Coombs (No. 3 – Toronto), Montreal defensive back Antoine Pruneau (No. 4 – Ottawa), Montreal offensive lineman David Foucault (No. 5 – Montreal), St. Francis Xavier wide receiver Devon Bailey (No. 6 – Edmonton), Concordia defensive lineman Quinn Smith (No. 7 – Calgary), Western linebacker Beau Landry (No. 8 Hamilton) and Manitoba defensive lineman Evan Gill (No. 9 – Hamilton).
All were listed on the Scouting Bureau’s final Top 15 chart on April 22.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive tackle from McGill, was the No. 1-ranked player heading into the evening but the reigning J.P. Metras Trophy winner saw his CFL stock drop after he was drafted by the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, on Saturday. The Stampeders took him 19th overall with the first pick of the third round.
Laval and Montreal led all CIS programs with six players selected, followed by Manitoba (5), Concordia (4), Queen’s (4), Toronto (4) and Western (4).
The six-team RSEQ league was the most prolific of the four CIS conferences with 21 draftees, followed by the 11-team OUA (19), six-team Canada West (11) and four-team AUS (8).
Defensive linemen were the most popular CIS players as no less than 18 were called. Offensive linemen, linebackers and receivers tied for second (8), ahead of running backs / fullbacks (7), defensive backs (6) and kickers (4).
The 2014 CFL season gets underway on June 26th.
NOTES: The 1983 and 1984 CFL Canadian Drafts opened with one Territorial Protection per team, so the first player drafted was the 10th overall choice… Each Draft from 1973 to 1982 opened with two Territorial Protections per team, so the first player drafted was the 19th overall choice.
CIS players selected in 2014 CFL Canadian Draft (59):
First Round (9 total selections)
- 1. Pierre Lavertu, Laval, OL (by Calgary)
- 3. Anthony Coombs, Manitoba, RB (by Toronto)
- 4. Antoine Pruneau, Montreal, DB (by Ottawa)
- 5. David Foucault, Montreal, OL (by Montreal)
- 6. Devon Bailey, StFX, WR (by Edmonton)
- 7. Quinn Smith, Concordia, DL (by Calgary)
- 8. Beau Landry, Western, LB (by Hamilton)
- 9. Evan Gill, Manitoba, DL (by Hamilton)
Second Round (9 total selections)
- 1. (10 total) Andrew Lue, Queen’s, DB (by Montreal)
- 2. (11 total) Dylan Ainsworth, Western, DL (by Saskatchewan)
- 4. (13 total) Scott MacDonnell, Queen’s, WR (by Ottawa)
- 5. (14 total) Pascal Lochard, Laval, RB (by British Columbia)
- 6. (15 total) Aaron Milton, Toronto, RB (by Edmonton)
- 7. (16 total) Max Caron, Concordia, LB (by Calgary)
- 8. (17 total) Jesse Briggs, McGill, LB (by Winnipeg)
- 9. (18 total) Alex Pierzchalski, Toronto, WR (by Saskatchewan)
Third Round (9 total selections)
- 1. (19 total) Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill, OL (by Calgary)
- 2. (20 total) Johnny Mark, Calgary, K (by Saskatchewan)
- 3. (21 total) Jaskaran Dhillon, UBC, DL (by Toronto)
- 4. (22 total) Jeff Finley, Guelph, DL (by Montreal)
- 5. (23 total) Nigel Romick, Saint Mary’s, DL (by Ottawa)
- 6. (24 total) Adam Thibault, Laval, DB (by Calgary)
- 7. (25 total) Joe Circelli, Western OL (by Calgary)
- 8. (26 total) Kristopher Bastien, Concordia, WR (by Saskatchewan)
Fourth Round (9 total selections)
- 1. (28 total) Aaron Weathon, Toronto, OL (by Ottawa)
- 3. (30 total) Raye Hartmann, StFX, DB (by Edmonton)
- 4. (31 total) James Tuck, York, DL (by Montreal)
- 5. (32 total) David Ménard, Montreal, DL (by British Columbia)
- 6. (33 total) Thomas Miles, Manitoba, LB (by Toronto)
- 7. (34 total) Derek Wiggan, Queen’s, DL (by Calgary)
- 8. (35 total) Andrew Smith, Manitoba, WR (by Montreal)
- 9. (36 total) Alexandre Dupuis, Montreal, FB (by Toronto)
Fifth Round (9 total selections)
- 1. (37 total) Hugo Desmarais, Laval, OL (by Ottawa)
- 2. (38 total) Eric Black, Saint Mary’s, DB (by Toronto)
- 3. (39 total) Matt Webster, Queen’s, DB (by Saskatchewan)
- 4. (40 total) Tyler Crapigna, McMaster, K (by Calgary)
- 5. (41 total) Alexander Fox, Bishop’s, WR (by British Columbia)
- 6. (42 total) Evan Pszczonak, Windsor, WR (by Toronto)
- 7. (43 total) Nick Boyd, Manitoba, K (by Montreal)
- 8. (44 total) Christopher Johnson, Toronto, LB (by Hamilton)
- 9. (45 total) Kyle Paterson, Regina, OL (by Saskatchewan)
Sixth Round (9 total selections)
- 1. (46 total) Stephon Miller, Windsor, DL (by Ottawa)
- 2. (47 total) Quinn Everett, Mount Allison, DL (by Winnipeg)
- 3. (48 total) Zackary Medeiros, Montreal, K (by Edmonton)
- 4. (49 total) Jean-Christophe Beaulieu, Sherbrooke, FB (by Montreal)
- 7. (52 total) Mathieu Girard, Montreal, DL (by Hamilton)
- 8. (53 total) Stephen Mawa, UBC, DL (by Hamilton)
- 9. (54 total) Travis Bent, Concordia, LB (by Saskatchewan)
Seventh Round (11 total selections)
- 1. (55 total) Vincent Desloges, Laval, DL (by Ottawa)
- 2. (56 total) Aram Eisho, McMaster, LB (by Winnipeg)
- 3. (57 total) Michael Dadzie, Regina, DL (by Edmonton)
- 4. (58 total) Mackenzie Sarro, Calgary, FB (by Montreal)
- 5. (59 total) Guillaume Bourassa, Laval, RB (by British Columbia)
- 6. (60 total) Kirby Fletcher, Acadia, DL (by Toronto)
- 7. (61 total) Brian Marshall, Western, WR (by Calgary)
- 8. (62 total) Martin Pesek, Acadia, DL (by Hamilton)
- 9. (63 total) Terry Hart, StFX, OL (by Saskatchewan)
- 10. (64 total) Alexandre Bernard, McGill, LB (by Ottawa)
- 11. (65 total) Kevin Malcolm, McMaster, DL (by Ottawa)
CIS players selected by round (59):
First round: 8
CIS players selected by regional associations (59):
Canada West: 11
CIS players selected by universities (59):
Laval: 6 *
Montreal: 6 *
Saint Mary’s: 2
Mount Allison: 1
* Laval and Montreal both had a player drafted who last played for the school in 2011
CIS players selected by positions (59):
Defensive linemen: 18 *
Offensive linemen: 8
Running back / fullbacks: 7
Defensive backs: 6
* 1 defensive lineman (Kevin Malcolm) drafted as a long snapper
About the 50th TELUS Vanier Cup
Canadian Interuniversity Sport will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the TELUS Vanier Cup throughout the 2014 season. For the first time in history, the championship game will be staged in Montreal – at Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium – on Saturday, November 29, at 1 p.m. ET, live on Sportsnet and Radio-Canada.
Official TELUS Vanier Cup website (including ticket information) www.vaniercup.com