OTTAWA (CIS) – David Onyemata, a defensive lineman from the University of Manitoba, is still the top-ranked CIS player on the second prospect list released by the CFL’s Scouting Bureau in advance of the league’s 2016 Canadian Draft.
As was the case back in September, 11 CIS standouts merited a spot on the Top 20 list. Perennial powerhouse Laval leads the way with three representatives, while UBC sees two of its players join the elite group following its remarkable Vanier Cup triumph.
Onyemata enjoyed a dream season in his fourth year with the Bisons. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior was named a Canada West all-star for the second straight campaign, was recognized as an all-Canadian for the first time, and claimed the J.P. Metras Trophy as the top down lineman in CIS football. Despite being double-teamed on most plays, the 23-year-old nose tackle was second in his conference and ninth in the country with five sacks in eight league games and also ranked second in Canada West in tackles for a loss (7.5) and 12th in overall tackles (38.5).
“It’s nice to be ranked again as the top CIS prospect,” said Onyemata, a native of Nigeria who had never played football before he moved to Canada five years ago. “Good things come to those who wait. But better things come to those who work for it.”
Rounding out the list of CIS stars in the new Scouting Bureau Top 20 are Laval offensive lineman Charles Vaillancourt (No. 6 / up four positions), Calgary running back Mercer Timmis (No. 7 / down two), UBC defensive back Taylor Loffler (No. 9 / previously unranked), Laval OL Philippe Gagnon (No. 13 / up two), Laval OL Jason Lauzon-Séguin (No. 14 / up five), Calgary DB Elie Bouka (No. 16 / down 12), former Toronto wide receiver Llevi Noel (No. 17 / down five), Acadia wideout Brian Jones (No. 18 / previously unranked), Queen’s WR Doug Corby (No. 19 / down three) and UBC kickerQuinn van Gylswyk (No. 20 / previously unranked).
Last May, Calgary offensive lineman Sukh Chungh was the first CIS player selected in the CFL Canadian Draft when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers called his name at No. 2, marking the first time in nine years that the first pick overall was not a CIS product. Chungh had been ranked eighth, seventh and sixth, respectively, on the three prospect lists released over the course of the season.
Forty-four CIS players (out of 62 total picks) were selected in the 2015 CFL Draft, including seven in the first round.
NOTE: The Scouting Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine teams.
CFL SCOUTING BUREAU DECEMBER 11, 2015 LIST:
Rank Name University Hometown Pos. Ht. Wt. PR
1. Tevaun Smith Iowa Toronto, Ont. WR 6-2 205 (1)
2. David Onyemata Manitoba Lagos, Nigeria DL 6-4 300 (2)
3. Josiah St. John Oklahoma Toronto, Ont. OL 6-6 308 (6)
4. Mehdi Abdesmad Boston Coll. Montreal, Que. DL 6-7 286 (9)
5. Arjen Colquhoun Michigan St. Windsor, Ont. CB 6-1 202 (3)
6. Charles Vaillancourt Laval Coaticook, Que. OL 6-4 325 (10)
7. Mercer Timmis Calgary Burlington, Ont. RB 6-1 220 (5)
8. Trent Corney Virginia Brockville, Ont. DE 6-3 255 (17)
9. Taylor Loffler UBC Kelowna, B.C. DB 6-3 219 (NR)
10. Mitchell Winters Miami Mississauga, Ont. DL 6-5 292 (8)
11. Dillon Guy Buffalo Hamilton, Ont. OL 6-4 310 (7)
12. Juwan Brescacin North. Illinois Mississauga, Ont. WR 6-4 230 (11)
13. Philippe Gagnon Laval L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que. OL 6-8 295 (15)
14. Jason Lauzon-Séguin Laval Pointe-Claire, Que. OL 6-4 300 (19)
15. Anthony Thompson South. Illinois Montreal, Que. DB 6-1 208 (13)
16. Elie Bouka Calgary Laval, Que. DB 6-1 205 (4)
17. Llevi Noel Toronto Toronto, Ont. WR 6-2 200 (12) *
18. Brian Jones Acadia Grand Lake, N.S. WR 6-4 230 (NR)
19. Doug Corby Queen’s Burlington, Ont. WR 6-2 190 (16)
20. Quinn van Gylswyk UBC Victoria, B.C. K 6-4 200 (NR)
* Noel played for the University of Toronto in 2013 and 2014 but was not on the Varsity Blues roster in 2015.